Writers: You Have to Start Somewhere. I did.

May 31, 2012Work Uncaged, Write!

I want you to stop a moment and read this. I wrote this a decade ago for the Rockwall Christian Writers Group. If you can’t read it, here’s what I wrote.

Personal Writing Goals:

Past writing experiences, studies, achievements: 

  • Produced 4 newsletters, one self-published
  • English BA

Current writing projects:

  • Great grandmother book
  • short articles
  • Threshing Floor (DTS), once a month column

Think about that a moment. One decade ago, I was essentially unpublished. I’d created some newsletters and penned a column for my husband’s seminary newsletter (not paid). I had just started The Quarryman’s Wife. And that book never got picked up by a traditional publisher. I hadn’t been to a conference. I had barely been to a writer’s group. I had potential but none of it realized.

Here’s the truth: Everyone has to start somewhere.

But we like shortcuts. We forget this Scripture: “For who has despised the day of small things?” Zechariah 4:9. We’d rather have instant gratification of our dream right now, without having to put the sweat equity behind it.

Don’t let the hard work deter you. Remember Joseph and his crazy dreams of world domination. They eventually came true, but not until God used years and years of trials and faithfulness to test his character. You may have a vision of being something spectacular, but God may have given it to you for this purpose: to sustain you through the long journey.

So many times I faced dead ends. So much rejection flew my way. And even after I published, the journey didn’t become butterflies and chocolate. More like gravel and thorns. If I hadn’t had that initial vision that God had instigated this writing journey, I would’ve given up.

Just because you’ve been given a vision for the future doesn’t mean it will happen today. Tuck that encouragement deep in your heart. Pull it out when you’re thinking of quitting. And then do the next thing. Then the next thing. Then the next thing.

Because anything worth pursuit will be a dangerous journey. Besides, would anyone else be intrigued by this story: “I decided to become a writer, so I wrote a book and hit the NYT bestseller list.” The stories we like are full of obstacles and tenacity.

Start somewhere.

Don’t despise being faithful in small things.

Apprentice and learn the craft.

Keep the vision handy when discouragement comes.

And persevere.

I did. By God’s grace. 14 books under my belt, even more written. A decade of hard work. But it all started with the first step.