Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Three Ways You Welcome Failure, O Writer

by Linore Rose Burkard

No one intentionally tries to fail, and yet, despite our best efforts, we may inadvertently put out a welcome mat to an ongoing sense of failure. How?

1. We fail to find rest in our calling as writers in Christ.

We try our darndest to be good at what we do, don't we? But no amount of striving, learning, working, trying, editing, will make us the writer we are called to be--unless we first put our hope in God and find our rest in Him. Frenetic activity, apart from a deep sense of our vocation being a shared journey with the Lord, will bring exhaustion and

Are you sabotaging your own success?
discouragement. Sure, it may also bring some degree of worldly "success"-- but at cost to our soul's life in Christ.
  • If He has called us, He is faithful and will "do it"--bring us to a place of success.
That  "place of success" is different for each of us, but part of his divine plan. It may not look like what you're striving for, but it will be perfectly tailored for you in his will. Can you rest in that?
  • Your "success" may look like failure to someone else. Can you say, as one hymn, "Riches I heed not, nor man's empty praise/ Thou mine Inheritance, now and always?" *Unless you can, you are not resting in Him.
  • Learn to define "success" as God defines it for you. 
2. We fail to do everything we know to do, diligently, even while asking God for success.
  • Resting in our call does not preclude doing our part. Are you slacking in your diligence? Failing to apply yourself in some way? Remember Ecclesiastes 9:10: "Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might." Just don't do it ONLY with your own might, but in the strength you get from God. (Matt.6:33; Phil.4:13)
  • The Christian life is a tightrope; a fine line separates whether we are working and striving in our own steam or resting on His. Discipline yourself to put your trust in God before each day's work.   
3. We fail to want Christ more than we want to succeed. 
  • Seeking to excel at one's craft is fine and good, but not if we do it because we're obsessed with "success."
  • Recognize that no amount of worldly success will bring lasting satisfaction. In that sense, it can be failure, even if it looks great to outsiders. 
When it comes down to it, the degree to which we "succeed" as writers has nothing to do with contracts, royalties, or even the esteem of others. It has to do with us on our knees before a holy God, finding our energy and source for inspiration in Him. 

Want to be a smashing success in 2016? Get on your knees. Every day. Let God define "success" for your life--and accept his definition. (Aye, there's the rub!)
You can do it; I can do it; with his help!

* lines from "Be Thou My Vision,"  by 6th century Irish poet, Dallan Forgaill
*This column was inspired by a 2006 interview with Kristy Dykes, by CBD (Christian Book Distributors)

Linore Rose Burkard (a.k.a. L.R.Burkard) wrote a trilogy of genuine regency romances for the Christian market before there were any regencies for the Christian market. Her books opened up the genre in the CBA. She writes YA Suspense/Apocalyptic fiction as L.R. Burkard, not only to keep expanding boundaries for her readers, but to explore deeper themes. Married with five children, she home-schools her youngest daughter, preferably with coffee in one hand and iPad in the other. 


Janice L. Dick said...

Oh yes! Thanks for the reminder.

Linore Burkard said...

You're welcome, Janice! Thanks for coming by. I need to be reminded too!)