Blogger: Mary Keeley
I woke up New Year’s Day to a plethora of tweets expressing excitement about the brand new year: fresh start, clean slate, and all that. But precious few of those tweets mentioned hope as a factor. Today, let’s have a practical discussion about true hope and prepare to stay grounded in it all year.
Most writers feel enthusiastic at the beginning of a new year. But how long does it usually last for you? Until you get the first or second discouraging feedback on your manuscript or a rejection letter? In that case, you have to ask yourself on what do you base your current enthusiasm. How much derives from the fact you are refreshed and eager to work hard on your manuscript in hopes of getting an agent or a contract? How much is founded on confidence in the One who is HOPE?
If you know God has called you to write, you know about the hard work and learning involved. And that the learning will never end. Why do we humans tend to focus primarily on our end of the partnership, which can lead to quick discouragement when you don’t get the response we desire? Perhaps it’s our sense of responsibility. Or maybe there is a pride factor: We like to think our accomplishments are our own doing.
Obviously, you need to work hard at your craft, build your platform, learn about the industry—all the components you hear us talk about on this blog. But make this year special by focusing on discovering how God is growing you to prepare you for a theme he wants you to convey in your writing. Jerry Jenkins, co-author of the Left Behind Series among many other books and owner of Christian Writers Guild, has this to say: “If you plan to make a life of writing, you must stand for something, have a carefully considered and lived-out worldview.”
Your preparation may come in the form of struggles or hardship. But God is the giver of your talent and the giver of HOPE. It’s one thing to know this in your head and another for true hope to saturate your heart and steady your spirit during times of stress or when discouragement knocks at your door.
Regardless of how you may feel about Donald Trump, he recently tweeted this useful advice: “To be successful, you must become very good at finding creative solutions to what appear to be impossible problems. – Think BIG.” It was his statement that prompted this blog as I thought about how to apply it to a writer’s life. By aligning your creative ability to God’s role of leadership in your career each day, you have access to the biggest creative thinker in the universe. And you will increase the potential to accomplish all he intends for your writing. Go deep with him this year, anchor yourself to real hope and his timing, and work hard at your craft. That’s a big thought for real success at his purpose for you.
When do you get discouraged in your career? What helps you “ride the waves” and maintain a positive outlook?