It's a God thing. It really is.
Yesterday I felt about as dreamless as a writer can get. Technology problems, time constraints, and the old rejection monster keep knocking at my door. Writing contests beckon as a way to pad my resumé, but most cost money; which ones are legitimate and most worthy of the time and expense to enter? Funny how quickly I get mired in discouragement, despite baby step victories. This past month, I had a couple of pieces published in magazines, one more thing to add to my list of credits.
"Yeah, but..." my mind goes, and ticks off a list of vetoes and unanswered queries from agents and publishers.
I seek advice from wise counselors and others in the profession, and their suggestions don't delight me. I don’t want to take courses to rub shoulders with someone who might know someone who might help me. I don’t want to self-publish, have never felt led to do so. Agent-less though I am, can’t the literary world recognize greatness when it shows up in its inbox?
But, oh, what a difference a day makes!
Today - every bit of it - was like a "Dear Thea" letter from God.
A fellow writer invites me to swap and critique manuscripts with her. Our respective books are at about the same point of readiness and we think alike, so why not combine resources? A long forgotten travel mug with the words, “Look into thy heart and write!” appears in my kitchen. Bible verses that inspire me to continue the work I've begun find their way into my daily reading. Notes from a four-year old sermon* cross my desk, addressing the question, "What do you do when you think you're at the finish line, and it becomes a brick wall?" Not least, the same sermon contains an admonition to pray consistently for things that may never benefit me.
How’s that again?
I admit it, I want accolades. I want writers’ prestige. Heck fire, I want Penguin Random House to seek me out, woo me with a huge advance, and whisk me off on a 15-city tour.
I also want to be able to eat chocolate till the Easter bunny cries “Uncle” without gaining an ounce, but that’s not happening either.
Nevertheless, everything I touch today holds the message, stay the course.
It isn’t about my getting mine, whatever that may be. It isn’t about me getting recognized for a plot line God planted in my brain, or for stringing together sentences that flow well and hold people’s interest.
It is about making a meaningful contribution to an important dialogue our country needs to have. It’s about advancing truth – not relative truth, as so many would declare it, but eternal, absolute truth spelled out in a Holy Book that’s survived for centuries because it contains just that.
And it’s about obeying a calling that persists and resists the urge to give up and insists on being heeded, however long it takes.
It’s about doing each next right thing, as God directs, and leaving the results in His hands.
“For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.” – Romans 11:29
*Notes taken from Rev. Jerry Iamurri's August 26, 2012 sermon based on Daniel 10:1-20.