Dreams chase us as writers.
We have vision to write words that will help others and the big dream that those words will actually be published one day. But when days turn to weeks, months and years, the insecurity and frustration can mount. Worse yet, when what we want now, seems to be happening for others and not us, the fresh hope we once had can spiral and our dreams can get buried under frustration.
I have heard a lot of frustration over the past several days.
I’m just home from a writers conference with lots of thoughts. I talked to many women that were discouraged. Like most of us, they have dreams and like many their dreams seem to be on hold. The holding pattern can be for a variety of reasons, but the main one I kept hearing about was their numbers. The emphasis on platform, numbers and increasing speaking engagements has many discouraged and feeling like their dream of being published may never happen.
As an agent, I know that the numbers are important but the numbers do not have to put our dreams on hold. If we allow ourselves to compare with others or spiral into frustration we will get stuck. What if this time of waiting is to prepare our hearts for the calling God has in front of us? What if the waiting time is a beautiful part of the process? We can wait in complaining and frustration or we can wait with expectancy and action. Each of us has a choice.
What can we do in the waiting time?
We can choose a positive mindset to counter the negative. In the wait we can look for what God is teaching us, showing us or what he might be pruning in us. Remember, God delights in our lives bearing fruit, so if the waiting place seems like his pruning shears, be assured that it is for our good.
“He prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more.” John 15:2
NOTE: PRODUCE EVEN MORE
Let’s flip the script of discouragement and begin telling ourselves that God is preparing us to do more and to bear more fruit! The waiting time is part of the process.
Here are just a few ideas for moving forward in the waiting time:
- Pray daily, asking God to lead you and guide you. Ask God to prepare your heart for all he has planned to do through you in the future.
- Write daily, just 10 minutes can keep your head in the game.
- Show up daily on social media. Yes, I said daily. Consistency is what pays off and grows numbers.
- Include the work of others, or personal connection with others and tag them. This lets their followers see who you are too.
- Think about starting a blog. Restart a blog. Send monthly newsletter blogs.
- Learn about reels and how they might enhance your social medial space.
- Start a private FB community group centered around the subject you are most passionate about.
- Start a private FB group that you can teach in, write in or encourage others in.
- Write a bible study to teach to a local small group.
- Write short stories for fun and practice.
- Write letters or cards of encouragement.
- Take online courses on the area of writing that interests you.
- Read. Read some more. Read in the genre you dream of writing in.
- Refuse to compare yourself or your path with others. Yours is unique.
- Remind yourself that God has a plan and his timing is important.
As an author myself, I write this week’s blog with compassion and understanding. I know about seasons of waiting. I know about pruning and how it feels terrible in the moment but is needed for my growth. I’m hoping to hold out hope to you in whatever part of the process you find yourself in right now. The kind of hope that will help you frame the season of waiting with the truth that God has you, sees you and has not forgotten you. Keep dreaming. Keep writing.
You are not alone.
” I will never leave you or forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5
I thought I had a calling,
I thought there was a vision,
but as the years grew galling
I made the hard decision
to turn away from what I’d planned,
that pie up in the sky,
for I had come to understand
that my dreams had to die,
and move my heart into a day
of offering encouragement,
that I might try to point a way
to make one’s life a testament
that though success may not be tasted,
in God’s service, nothing’s wasted.
Those words, ” in God’s service, nothing’s wasted.” So good!
“Each of us has a choice.”
I’ve been hearing the word “choice” a lot lately.
I’m dealing with a broken ankle. It has sidelined me in many ways. The pruning has been hard and humbling. But during this “downtime” I have been able to write more. Contemplate more. Read more.
It’s not fun and I would never recommend this to aide in understanding the WAIT time, but wow. I have been learning much about myself. This forced rest stares some needed prayer and “come to Jesus” moments right in my face.
I’ve been bitter. I thought I had that ugly word behind me. But alas, like my air cast boot, it is an unwanted companion. And it’s not going away until I do the hard work of healing.
I’m getting there, but it takes time. It will all be worth the wait.
Carol R Nicolet Loewen
Thank you, Debbie, for this uplifting reminder that God is working in the waiting.
Janet Ann Collins
This is very encouraging. Thank you.
Thank you, thank you, thank you!
I like the few ideas for moving forward and will utilize some of these for it is true a daily approach is best if one has the time. I do. Needed this and am always thankful for the inspiration you offer.
Kristen Joy Wilks
Thank you so much, Debbie! Yes, it can be so discouraging. I’ve been submitting writing to publishers for about 20 years now. Some amazing moments, but a whole lot of wait, wait, waiting! It is so good to remember to use this time well.
What an encouraging message. I appreciate the tips on what to do while I’m waiting. For years I’ve only been wading in the Social Media waters, no deeper than my knees. Just like the way I get into a swimming pool, slow – with lots of time to adjust to the temperature bit by bit. But I’ve been getting the hint, from multiple sources, that I need to take the plunge. It’s time I learn to dive. (Makes me think of the Stephen Curtis Chapman song.)