Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Encouraging Words for Writers

by Cindy Sproles @CindyDevoted

An Open Letter to Authors

Dear Authors,

Publishing is double-edged sword. It brings us great joy and equal frustration. Daily publishers post information about the terrible state of the industry, driving us to ask the question, “Why do we bother?”

It’s this question that prompts my letter to authors, both new and seasoned. Quitting is not an option, but strength, determination, and wherewithal must supersede that which discourages you. Follow this wisdom and know that despite the odds you are called to a task. You are trained to move ahead—groomed to withstand the wait.

*Do not let your heart be troubled . . .(John 14:1 NIV)  for you are called to a mission by a power far greater than that of a publisher. When rejection storms your heart, do not cover your face, but open your arms and embrace it for, it is the rejection that spurs us to hone the craft – to strive to be better. A troubled heart cannot speak clearly nor can it work effectively, but when that worry is placed in the hands of the Great Writer, it will flow effortlessly and it will touch deeply.

* Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him . . . (Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV). When you take success upon yourself, your eyes become clouded by selfishness and greed. But when you trust your ways to Him, you are – in essence, acknowledging your work was inspired and gifted to you as the tool through which it is to be presented. Write the words. Write them to the best of your ability. Show an attitude of willingness and teachable spirit as you work with editors and publishers. Then trust the work back into the hands of the Great Inspiration and let Him do with it as He sees fit. After all, it was His to begin with. He simply chose you as the best communicator of the story.

* There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens . . . (Ecclesiastes 3:1 NIV). Keep in mind the publishing industry a huge wheel. Placed around the wheel are genres, articles, and needs that slowly circle. Today your work may not be at the top of the wheel, but implore patience and trust, and the wheel will spin, eventually landing on your time . . . your work . . . your season. This is when your work begins to take wing and fly. Your work grows from rejections to rewriting, editing, and honing. With each revisit, more and more improvement is made. And when your time rises to the top, it will be . . . amazing.

* Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! (Philippians 4:4 NIV). When success comes your way, do not forget from whence it came. Rejoice in the success of the completion of your work but do not claim credit when the praise belongs to the Great Chooser – for He chose you, gifted you, and blessed you. Do not allow the praise of good work make you haughty, but remain of humble spirit, filled with kindness and giving the glory to Him who chose you to complete His work. Rejoice fully in the completion of the work. Do not take on the attitude of entitlement – instead, write, give, serve others with your skill and the Great Giver will take your efforts and multiply them ten-fold. Should hard times fall over you in the midst of your joy, rejoice in the Lord always for there is comfort in turning your fears of failure to the Giver of Peace.

* Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalms 37:4 NIV). Your passion and desire is infectious and when you work with an attitude of happiness and giving, the Lord delights in you and He gifts you according to His will, the desires of your heart. When you put forth your best effort to write compelling pieces, then what you craft can be used to touch hearts. Grasp hold of gentleness for the words you are gifted may be tough and you must be prepared to extend compassion to those who do not understand. Write truth. Do not preach it. Write it in love and tenderness and the One who touched your senses with this idea will bless the task. Be an imitator of the Father, sculpting words and phrases that touch and inspire others.

*May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord my Rock and my Redeemer (Psalms 19:14 NIV). Remember He knew you before you were formed in your mother’s womb. He knows the plans He has for you. So trust. Practice. Learn. Share. Give of yourself. Be faithful and intentional as you write the words He places on your heart. Remember it is not about you, rather what can you do to expand the Kingdom.

Sometimes words of wisdom are hard to endure but dear writer, the Great Author will work through you and your skills of writing—be it fiction or truth. Show the world the light of Truth because the Light is where the world needs to look. These are words written in love to guide you through discouragement and temptation and point your heart toward Him. Now use your gift. Write with the pen of the Great I Am and change lives.

What can you add to these words of encouragement? Share your favorite verse or quote in the comments section below.
Don't forget to join the conversation!

TWEETABLES


Cindy Sproles is an author and popular speaker. She is the cofounder of Christian Devotions ministries and managing editor of Straight Street Books and SonRise Devotionals, imprints of Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. Cindy is the executive editor of www.christiandevotions.us and www.inspireafire.com. She teaches at writers conferences nationwide and directs The Asheville Christian Writers Conference - Writers Boot Camp. 

She is the author of two devotionals, He Said, She Said - Learning to Live a Life of Passion and New Sheets - Thirty Days to Refine You into the Woman You Can Be. Cindy's debut novel, Mercy's Rain, is available at major retailers. Visit Cindy at www.cindysproles.com and book her for your next conference or ladies retreat. Also connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

13 comments:

  1. Thanks, Cindy. I appreciate the fact that you base your encouragement in scripture. To the outsider, today's Christian publishing industry seems anything but Christian. The Word of God is a language of purity and life that connects God's people everywhere. Your post is warmly received.

    I discovered The Write Conversation early one Sunday morning when I was ready to quit blogging. It has become a regular daily stop for me. I've also been encouraged by Jeff Goins @ goinswriter.com

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    1. When we choose to be grounded in a higher power for our inspiration, wisdom, and call to write, we set the standard higher. When the world wallows in the mud, insisting we slither around with it, remaining strong, with a clean heart and words, lifts us to the top to be heard. . .to make a difference.

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  2. Thank you for reminding me of all my favorite verses. I also love Psalm 34:10 NASB "Cease Striving and Know that I am God." Many know it as, "Be Still" It is very difficult for me to remain still, I have ADHD. I can cease striving in my heart and mind. When I think about deadlines, and my To Do list, I can get anxious. I remember this verse, give my list to God, and exchange it for His peace.

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  3. I like to keep my heart focused. When I do, I can write words I never imagined possible.

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  4. Thanks for the reminder about Psalm 19:14. This verse had slipped off my radar. Now it's back on.
    One of my foundation Scriptures, especially for writing is Habakkuk 2:2,3 (NLT) - Then the Lord said to me,“Write my answer plainly on tablets,
    so that a runner can carry the correct message to others.
    This vision is for a future time.
    It describes the end, and it will be fulfilled.
    If it seems slow in coming, wait patiently,
    for it will surely take place.
    It will not be delayed.
    It's His way of telling me to trust Him with my writing. My role is to write and let Him take care of the rest. If I don't write, He has nothing to work with.

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    1. I try to keep myself grounded in the Word on the tasks I'm assigned in writing. I'm human so I fail at times...but when I keep focused on Him, then the work is blessed.

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  5. Cindy,

    This is great inspiration and motivation especially for those of us who feel a little lost in the writing world at present. It's so easy to just leave ideas forgotten on a page...words that seemed to once be written with a Christ shaping energy. What I mean by that is, when we are sensitive to the Holy Spirit's promptings as writers, we furiously scribble on anything, just to get it down. Sadly, those sentences, stitched together by threads of a holy language, lay hidden under stacks or tossed aside. Your post motivated me to look back through notes and feel the fire kindled afresh.

    I love Psalm 45:1, "My heart overflows with a good theme, I will address my verses to the King; my tongue is the pen of a ready writer." If we are intentional about Who we are addressing our verses to, that they bring God the highest of glory within our humble and flawed language, then we can be sure He will use them!

    Trish Pederson

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  6. Things may seem buried at the time. That's why I look to Ecc. for the scripture . . .for every thing has a season. When the time is right - your work floats to the top. When you've done what you are called to do, when you've done it as a glory to Him and not you...when the season arrives NOTHING can keep it hidden. We, as writers, grow impatient. "But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint." Isaiah 40:31. Be patient. Keep writing. Keep working. Do not hesitate. Do not worry. And wait, trusting that His timing is perfect. I promise...it is.
    Here's an example: True story. A writer sent me a devotion for Christian Devotions about the song How Great Thou Art. I received the devotion in early 2012. When I assigned the devotion a date it was for April 16, 2013. The writer sent me a note, furious that the devotion would not publish for a year. My response was this: "Never underestimate God's perfect timing."

    I posted the devotion and one year later, I opened my browser to see that George Beverly Shea had died. This man led music for Billy Graham at his crusades for years and one of the songs he brought into the hearts and minds of people everywhere was...How Great Thou Art. I was sad to see Mr. Shea had died but when I opened Christian Devotions that day, guess what devotion popped up. You got it. The devotion, written by an angry author a year prior about How Great Thou Art. It was undeniable that God's timing was perfect that day. What an honor for such a special man, who's singing of this song made it SO MEMORABLE, that nearly every person around could at least sing the chorus.

    Nothing goes unnoticed when it's done under the authority of Christ. You simply have to WAIT on His timing. Sometimes that means never seeing the fruit in your lifetime. But you wait on the Lord to use the piece and you NEVER STOP writing the call. Instead, you write, you persevere, and you improve and hone the work, and it will come into it's season when the time is right. Not everyone agrees with me and that's okay. But I'm just saying, I see this all the time in my own work and as an editor, in the work of others.

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  7. What an uplifting article of encouragement! Thank you.

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  9. Great Post. Thank you for these encouraging words of wisdom.

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  10. Thank you for these encouraging verses!

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