Friday, July 27, 2018

Don’t Stop Writing Your Book


By Lori Hatcher @LoriHatcher2

How many times have you said, “That’s it. I quit”?

If you’re a writer, you’ve said it at least once—this hour. Or maybe you’re on a writer’s high, and you haven’t said it in a day or two. For the sake of the community, allow me to crack open your skull (figuratively speaking, of course) and expose your innermost thoughts for the writing world to hear:

I’m never going to finish this book. I could have birthed an elephant in the time I’ve been working on it. Maybe two. And if I do finish it, no agent will want to represent me. I’m a nobody. And if, by chance, someone feels sorry for me and takes me on as a benevolence project, he’ll never be able to find a publisher. I’m sorry, but your manuscript doesn’t meet our publication needs at this time. 

Besides, lots of other people have written about ________ (insert your subject or story line). What makes me think mine is unique? And even IF a publisher says yes, who’s going to pay good money to read what I’ve written? If I had to choose between Sarah Young, Karen Kingsbury, or me, I’m not sure I’d spend my money on my book. Why should I expect someone else to?

If you’ve quit today, this week, or this month (Did you attend a writers conference? Sadly, lots of people quit there), I want to encourage you—don’t stop writing your book (blog, newsletter, or column). God uses books.

Let me say it again.

God uses books.

He reminded me of this twice this week.

The first reminder came in a note from a friend. Her husband of 50 years had died after a horrific illness, and she was heartbroken. Normally bright-eyed and energetic, on the day I saw her, she looked as though she had aged 20 years. 

As she talked and I listened, sympathetic tears sprang to my eyes. My heart ached for her, and I wanted so badly to lift some of the burden she wore like a rain-soaked garment. I took her hand and prayed, asking the God of All Comfort to make himself very real to her.

After we parted, I knew she needed more than kind words and a prayer. She needed a resource she could access any time grief sank its teeth into her heart. I ordered the book, Grieving the Loss of Someone You Love,by Raymond Mitsch. When it arrived, I dropped it into a cheerful bag with a tin of my favorite chocolate straws and delivered it to her back porch.

Yesterday I found a note in my mailbox. “Thank you so much for your friendship, your prayers, and this amazing book,” she wrote. “It has brought me comfort when I’m hurting, wise counsel to help me navigate my grief journey, and tips to let me know what’s normal and what’s not as I adapt to life without my husband. I read it every day. It’s a lifeline.”

No doubt about it. God uses books.

The second reminder came in a completely different setting. Over the past year or so, I’ve grown increasingly concerned about a friend’s spiritual condition. A series of deep hurts and losses has caused Kate to become more and more cynical, questioning the truth of the Bible, God’s love, and the Christian faith. When I overheard her describing Moses’ parting of the Red Sea as “a fable,” I knew things were serious.

Later that day, while dusting, my eyes fell on one of the books on my bedside table. I’d received Why I Believe – Straight Answers to Honest Questions about God, the Bible, and Christianity,” by Chip Ingram, earlier that year as a gift. I remembered liking his scientific yet conversational approach to some of the most common questions people ask about Christianity. Instantly, I knew God hadn’t intended that book for me, but for my friend Kate. I prayerfully passed it along to her. 

This week when we met, she told me she was already halfway through the book. “I like the author’s approach,” she said. “He makes some very good points. I plan to read it all the way through.”

My heart’s desire is for Kate to place her faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. I believe God is using Chip Ingram’s book to answer her questions and draw her to himself. While no book (not even the Bible) will answer every question she has, she’ll find plenty of scriptural reasons to believe within the pages of Ingram’s book.

These two experiences reminded me of what I already know—God uses books. He uses the most important book of all, The Bible, and he uses words penned by Sarah Young, Karen Kingsbury, and us to share the message he places in our hearts.

So don’t quit. God has plans for your writing—if you surrender it to him for the good of others and for his glory.

Now it’s your turn. What thoughts do you struggle with when you think about quitting? How do you combat them? Leave a comment below and join the conversation.

TWEETABLES


Lori Hatcher is the editor of Reach Out, Columbiamagazine and the author of two devotional books, Hungry for God … Starving for Time, Five-Minute Devotions for Busy Womenand  Joy in the Journey – Encouragement for Homeschooling Moms.A blogger, writing instructor, and inspirational speaker, her goal is to help women connect with God in the craziness of life You’ll find her pondering the marvelous and the mundane on her blog, Hungry for God. . . Starving for Time. Connect with her onFacebookTwitter(@LoriHatcher2), or Pinterest(Hungry for God).

17 comments:

  1. This post hit home, right in the center of my heart (mind?) I've just about given up on the book I'm writing. Well, actually, it is a collection of children's Missionary stories that I've already written, but now want to compile into one book. I want to get it into the hands of 8-12 year olds, so they can learn about Missions and maybe one day, go to spread God's word in a different country. I want parents to read it too, so they won't be afraid to let their children make this decision to go.
    But, when I work on it (some editing, and tying the 12 stories together) I think, "I can't do this." "No kid will want to read it." I'm messing up the stories by editing them." "I can't afford to have someone proofread it when I'm done (over $1,000!!!)" "Who will be interested in it." "Self publishing sounds so hard and involved - I don't have the skills." "I'll just let it go - God doesn't really want me to finish it. It's just my pride."
    Thank you for your encouraging words. I WILL keep at it, trusting God to send it where and how it should go. Oh, Lord, help me to edit and compile these stories as You would have them, and give me the courage to keep at it until it's done. Lend Your wisdom as to what to do afterwards.

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    1. Amen, Jackie. Just imagine .. one child reads your book, God uses it to call them to the mission field, where they share the gospel with many. One person says yes to God and goes to heaven instead of hell. And one day, when you’re walking the streets of gold, and swapping salvation stories, this person comes up to you and says,”My salvation story began when this child read a book about missionaries...” Ahhh... it will be worth it all. Write on, Friend!

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  2. Outstanding! But what if you’re “just a blogger” with a small following? Jackie Houchin’s comment affirms that bloggers must keep blogging. The words that reached her today weren’t from a book but this great blog post. Amen, Lori! Writers, please keep writing. Work on your craft through websites like this, writing books, critique groups like Word Weavers International, and conferences. But don’t stop writing! God will use it!! Thanks, Lori!!

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    1. Yes, Jean. Through blogging we can share God’s truth to people we’ll never meet this side of eternity because the Lord directed them to our site. What a platform — the whole wide world!

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  3. Thank you for this encouragement.
    The only reason I haven’t quit my blog is because I know God told me to write it. Quitting would be direct disobedience. So I keep writing out of obedience, and try to hold onto the hope that God is using it.
    The awesome thing is, He does send people to tell me that they’re blessed by it. I’m so thankful that God is so faithful!

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    1. Me too, Maria. By faith we trust that God will use our words to accomplish his will, either in us or in other people. And he is trustworthy — he wouldn’t call us to thebwork if he disn’t Have plans to use it for our food and his glory. Who woukdn’t Want to be part of that? Keep writing, Friend!

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  4. Wanting to quit an imposter's syndrome is something most of us deal with daily.
    Thank you for the encouraging post.
    I believe God wanted me to read it today.

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    1. I’m so glad Indidn’t quit before i wrote this post then, Ingmar. I would have missed out on what God is doing in your life:) Blessings to you, and keep writing!

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  5. Great post. Giving a book to a friend in need is a great way to encourage them when we can't be there. Or can't think of the words to say.

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    1. Books are my favorite gift, on every occasion :) Thanks for stopping by Tim.

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  6. I love to give books to friends. But most of all, I needed this bit of encouragement today so thank you. I've been working on my book for so long and there are days when I want to give up.

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    1. Me too, Debbie, but we press on to the work God has called us to, trusting that he will use it for his good purposes. Write on!

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  7. You are right, Lori. I don't know how many times I've decided to quit on my writing. So many times I've thought, No one else believes in you or your writing, don't waste your time... Like Jackie I've gotten to the point of needing a really expensive edit and I don't see me ever having the money to finish it. There are always the 'just have more faith' ideas that come up, but it isn't a lack of faith, it's a lack of money. LOL So, I continue my blog and author posts, hoping someone will decide I 'need' money and just out of the blue start sending. Kind of funny, and one never knows. We all need this encouragement though. ;)

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    1. Donevy, it’s been amazing how God will send just whonor what I need just when I need it. I’ll join you in asking the Lord to do that for your project, in his perfect timing.

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  8. Thank you you for the reminder. My struggle at times is that my books won't make sense and so one will want to read them.

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    1. Yeah, Veronica, me too. Some days I look at what I’ve written and think,”That’s pure brilliance.” Other days I think, “What a piece of junk!” And it’s the same piece of work. It’s hard to be objective. But as we grow and learn and improve, we become excellent communicators. I’ll pray that for both of us today.

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  9. I can't even consider quitting because I know why I'm supposed to write. I do need to structure my time to write and these encouraging words from friends, and fellow authors, fuel the fire. Thank you.

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