WHY DID I QUIT MY DAY JOB?
Lately I have been struggling with a crisis about my calling to write. My pre-published friends wonder why I complain. I am where they hope to be: writing full time, with close to thirty published titles under my belt, and more books under contract. I am blessed. I know that.
But doubts creep in when day after day I struggle to write. My health is fair-to-poor, and the days I don’t feel 100% far outnumber the times I feel well. I want to write more and instead have to write less. Getting words on paper challenges me all the time, and it’s even harder when my body seizes with pain or allergies clog my head.
So I found myself asking: am I truly called to write? I know I can write. I even know people enjoy my books. But have I made a difference? And if I haven’t, why do I put myself through the hard work (some days it feels like torture) of producing a quality book?
Recently I wrote the 100th post on my new blog, http://mydailynibble.blogspot.com/. I reread many of my posts, and surprised myself to discover I had written about God’s call to write—encouragement taken from the Bible, Genesis through 2 Kings. Some of the lessons I had learned:
· Write all the words, sharply (Deuteronomy 27). What differentiates a writer from one who wants to? A writer writes. Period. Write from the heart, and hone my craft.
· My voice is unique (Numbers 18). No one else can tell my stories the way I will. It is an exclusive calling; if I don’t write them—no one can and no one will.
· Treat God as holy by writing about Him and presenting Him artistically (Leviticus 21-22.) In my writing, I present holy (not perfect) people doing holy things—in real life settings.
· Exodus 37-38 provided a lot of lessons, including:
· The God who gifted to write romantic fiction may also lead me to write a different genre, even nonfiction.
· I’m not a household name, but one of a group of largely unknown authors who write Christian fiction.
· In My Daily Nibble, I seek the break down the law (both the Torah and all of God’s Word) in bite-sized nuggets of understanding.
· God doesn’t call me to be anyone other than myself. My writing can’t and shouldn’t copy someone else’s style.
· Writing is often an act of faith.
· Whatever God wants me to write, He won’t give up on me or leave me, but He will see me through to the finish. (Joshua 2)
· Writing may/will move me out of my comfort zone. (Genesis 31-32)
At the same time, I spoke with a supportive friend. She pointed out the obvious: “Maybe you are under attack. Maybe God has something even bigger that you are or will be working on, and Satan is trying to stop you.”
Oh. Suddenly it made sense to me, especially in light of all the things God had shown me in His word.
If I needed any additional “signs,” God gave me a three-book contract—while I was in the hospital for a week.
So I am once again doing the hard job of writing and asking God for daily strength.
Many writers—so close to 99% I would almost dare to say all of us—fight self-doubt and discouragement. Visit the milestones when the call seemed the most clear. Remind yourself why you started writing—why you should continue.
One final thought: The last time (before now) that I seriously considered quitting was ten years ago. At the time, I had no books published although I had been writing for over ten years. I asked God, am I foolish to pursue this pipe dream?
The answer I got was—I don’t have to know if God wants to write five years from now. I only need to know if He wants me to write today, on this particular project.
Don’t worry about the rest of your life. Ask God for wisdom for today.
Mary Anne is on the run.
Her father's been murdered, and now the mob's after her, too. Leaving New York City behind is the only way to stay alive. Yet Mary Anne Lamont finds herself stuck in Maple Notch, Vermont, when her car crashes straight into Wallace Tuttle's truck. Wallace and his family offer her warmth and welcome, no questions asked. But she doesn't dare give them her real name—not without risking their safety too.
At first, Wallace chides himself for being distracted by the glamorous flapper. Mary Anne certainly doesn't fit his image of a future wife. But underneath the bleached bob and big-city ways is a courageous, caring woman. When the danger she's been running from draws close, Wallace must risk everything to prove his faith in Mary Anne, in God's plan, and the dreams they've come to share.