I wandered through one of my favourite bookstores recently, amazed at the number of books on the shelves. The fiction section alone was five rows deep. I love reading so you would think it would be thrilling to see all those books. But on that day I found my spirits dropping. How could I expect to compete with all of this? Why keep tapping out more words when there are already so many out there?
I headed for the exit. Something shiny on the check-out counter caught my eye. I stepped closer. It was a silver ring, a big one, with words engraved on it. I picked it up and read: "The World is Waiting to Hear Your Story." Oh. I bought the ring.
The next morning I read a blog by another writer. Mike Duran wrote - "if you’re really called to be a writer, the biggest risk is not saying something. It’s shutting up." Oh.
Then I read a post by Mary DeMuth in which she gives ten ways to know if you are called to write. I checked off each one without hesitation. Oh.
Then I got an email from a publisher asking for an article. "You've been kind of quiet lately," she said. "Yes," I agreed, softly. Oh.
I flipped through my list of excuses in my mind. "I've been ill." Right. "My energy level still isn't what it was." Right. "Promoting my new novel is a priority right now." Right. But none of them salved my conscience. The message was getting louder: Write. Oh.
And then I realized it was all my fault. Now that my second novel has been published, I'd prayed that God would show me what to do next. And He did. But it's a project I have misgivings about. The story has been flowing through my head incessantly for some time but it's not what I thought I would do next. Really, Lord? Is this what you want me to do?
Then I remembered something a friend said when she told me she was writing a novel. "I don't do fiction," she said. "I'm a poet. But God has made it clear this is what He wants. I guess sometimes writing is pure obedience." Oh. I read her manuscript recently and it's wonderful. I'm sure God has great things planned for it.
So I've begun this new project, and it is pure obedience. Only He knows what He intends. I guess all I have to do is write. Oh.
"May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us; establish the work of our hands for us ... yes, establish the work of our hands" (Psalm 90:17).
Marcia was the winner of the Best New Canadian Christian Author Award for her debut novel, One Smooth Stone. Visit Marcia's website - www.vinemarc.com to learn about her new release, A Tumbled Stone and her ebook devotional for writers, Abundant Rain