Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Finding Contentment in Writing

by Cindy Sproles @CindyDevoted

Is there contentment in writing? We’re a people of instant gratification. If others don’t give us what we want, when we want it—we simply take matters into our own hands and make it happen. 

This attitude is one that grieves me. I’m not sure when it began to happen but somewhere along the way, understanding the importance of working hard and receiving success has gone by the wayside. These days we just “do it ourselves” regardless of the impending consequence.

Don’t get your hackles up and don’t read between the lines. I’m not against self-publishing in the right circumstance, but for most of us . . . the right circumstance is simply impatience.

It’s important as a writer to continually assess your goals and motives. Ask yourself those hard questions like, “Is my work ready to publish?” “Why the rush?”

I recently spoke to a writer friend who has been to the school of hard knocks. She’s written excellent work and been rejected ample times. She’s a number of years in the industry, and still waiting for “her time.” But that’s the difference in her and so many. . .she’s waiting. It was the case for me. It took 8 years and all my beginning writing peers being multi-published, before I landed a traditional contract and a successful novel.

Waiting is hard. Especially when our peers are receiving the contracts while we stand back in the corner growing frustrated and sad.

There must be a certain amount of waiting involved in writing, if for nothing more than learning the craft. There must be rejection to make us stretch beyond our limits and improve. Time simply must pass for us to become the writers we were meant to be.

As we mature in writing, a point of contentment arrives. The moments when you know you have done all you can do to make this work the best it can be.

The time when you’ve completed that project and done all you can to perfect it. When you finish the work, pray a prayer of absolution, let go of the obsession of publication, then move on to the next project. When you find this contentment in your writing, I can almost guarantee. . .you will publish very soon.

Rushing my writing, I have found, has never made me better at anything, unless of course its mistakes. And that, I seem to be very successful at. But when I learned my best was all I could control, then my writing began to grow successful.

The hardest thing about being an author is learning to pray that prayer of absolution. You type "the end," then scoot back in your chair, lift your eyes to heaven and say:

Lord, thank you for letting me be a tool. I have obeyed. This is now in your hands. May it be only to your glory not mine. Be it successful or not, I have obeyed for this is you called me to do. 

Now I can go to bed, having done just that.

Rest knowing your best work. Trust, knowing you have obeyed the calling given you. Believe God will use the result of your work. And you will be successful.

Finding contentment in #writing - from @CindyDevoted on @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

"Rest, trust, and believe that God will use the result of your #writing." @CindyDevoted (Click to Tweet)

Cindy Sproles is an award-winning 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.comShe 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.


  1. Amen Ms. Cathy. Thank you for reminding us that we are simply the "delivery driver." It's important to remember God made the meal, we are merely delivering it. While it is always good, for me at least, to have a deadline; it is always better to be on God's schedule than my own.

  2. Thank you. We are the tools. Great things happen when we say yes.

  3. Thank you for your sound advice to rest, and trust, in God.

  4. Good word. I'm glad I waited. I'm also thankful that when God laid writing on my heart 11 years ago, He didn't tell me how long it would take ☺

  5. Thanks, Cindy for the insightful and inspiring post. Lots of wisdom. I feel I needed to read this today after my twelfth rejection.
    Thanks again.

    1. Remember, rejections are meant to pro-ject you ahead. Keep up the work...your day will come.

  6. "There must be a certain amount of waiting involved in writing, if for nothing more than learning the craft. There must be rejection to make us stretch beyond our limits and improve. Time simply must pass for us to become the writers we were meant to be." Thank you. The best part of this job is the depth of the people I've met along the way. That includes you. Thank you Cindy for your wisdom and encouragement today. Blessings.

    1. Awe...thanks Andi. You made me cry...in a good way.

  7. Cindy: I'm so glad you say right off the top that you are not against self-publishing. Your post isn't a rant against that. But you are right: sometimes we are rushing this whole "I want to be published" journey. Sometimes a no isn't a "forever" no, it's a "not yet" no. And the question becomes: what are we doing in the waiting? Are we looking for an exit -- an escape hatch? Or are we learning our craft? Becoming better writers?
    I like to say, "Just because we can doesn't mean we should."

    1. Absolutely. There is something to be said for the bloody knees of waiting and rejection. I think...a sweeter acception comes.

  8. Timely topic with gobs to chew on. Thank you Cindy.

  9. This post is so encouraging as I work through my second manuscript. The first one will never leave this house again, not in its original condition. :) I'm relieved to hear do my part and waiting is okay. In fact, it's good for me.