Tuesday, February 4, 2020

The Good Word—For Writers & For the Rest of Us

by PeggySue Wells @PeggySueWells

Father of seven and author of the bestselling series Dragons in our Midst, Oracles of Fire, Children of the Bard, The Reapers Trilogy, Echoes from the Edge, and Dragons of Starlight, Bryan Davis received memorable advice at the beginning of his writing career.
Bryan recalls the story. 

I heard the word at the convention where my publisher introduced my first two books. 

Expectant, I arrived early to the event. A wheelchair-bound gentleman was already there. 

“I don’t know why I’m here,” the man said to the woman at his side. “I don’t have much to do with the company anymore.”

We were introduced. The president of the publishing company, Dr. Spiros Zodhiates shook my hand. “You’re the author of the children’s books who quit your job to pursue writing though you had no book contracts.” His eyes widened with delight. “Now I know why God called me here. He wants to give you a word.”

“What word is that?”

“Autarkeia. Greek for contentment. Paul used the word in Philippians when he said he learned to be content in all circumstances.” Dr. Zodhiates pointed at me. “God will care for your needs.”

Later, I rented a booth at a homeschool convention. A homeschooler myself, I thought I could sell well.

I also wanted to be a good steward of my money. I tracked expenses—gas, lodging, food. After an hour, I calculated expected profits based on the sales so far. At this rate, I would lose fifty dollars. I couldn’t afford to promote if I would lose money. I became assertive; trying to convince skeptical shoppers that fantasy books about dragons would enhance their children’s spiritual growth. 

My efforts were fruitless. I polished my sales pitch. Read about heroes who rely fully on God as they step out in courage. I recalculated. I have to work harder.

At the convention’s end, I packed my unsold books. 

A man leafed through my fathering book. “This would be good for my men’s ministry. I’ll buy it.” 

I slid this last payment into my cash box and calculated a final total as he walked away. Short. I had failed.

The man stopped. “This was written by Bryan Davis.” He squinted at my author’s sign. “Are you Bryan Davis?”

“I am.”

He approached the table again. “You’re going to think this strange.”

“What is it?”

He withdrew his wallet. “God told me to find a man named Bryan.” He extended some bills. “And give him fifty dollars.”

I stared at the ten and two twenties. My knees nearly gave way. 

He pushed the money toward me. “Will you take it?”

At home, I counted my sales and expenses totals. When I added the fifty, I had broken even to the dollar. I gave thanks.

God used a miracle to teach me the true meaning of this word. Contentment is a way of life. In a spectacular, personal way, God taught me contentment in this writing journey. That he is my sufficiency. Since that day, although I still take care to be sensible, I haven’t worried that God will provide for my every need. Autarkeia. 


Tropical island votary and history buff, PeggySue Wells parasails, skydives, snorkels, scuba dives, and has taken (but not passed) pilot training. Writing from the 100-Acre wood in Indiana, Wells is the bestselling author of twenty-eight books including The Slave Across the Street, Slavery in the Land of the Free, Bonding With Your Child Through Boundaries, Homeless for the Holidays, and Chasing Sunrise. Optimistic dream-driver, PeggySue is named for the Buddy Holly song with the great drumbeat. At school author visits, she teaches students the secrets to writing, and speaks at events and conferences. Connect with her at www.PeggySueWells.com, on Facebook at PeggySue Wells, and Twitter @PeggySueWells. 


  1. Peggy, a very touching story. Thanks for sharing.

  2. I’m considering major changes. Thanks for the word of encouragement.

  3. PeggySue,

    What a powerful word and great story that I needed to hear today. Thank you. I'm going to read this story over and over.

    Get a FREE copy of the 11th Publishing Myth

  4. PeggySue, What an inspiring story. In our early years of pastoring small churches, there were times people would hand us money, not knowing we were wondering how we would afford groceries that week. Once a man who didn't even attend our church, took me to the grocery store and spent $100 for our food, the week we had to entertain an evangelist. (That was a lot of money in those days.) We always had food to eat and enough clothes to wear. God took care of us and in the process, taught us the difference between needs and wants. What a blessing we were getting and didn't realize it until later.

  5. Such a good word. I needed that today! I've written it on a sticky and put it on my monitor. Thank you for following God's guidance in sharing this story!

  6. Amen! That is excellent! I can see how God works everything together to test our faith. Bryan’s books have provided great spiritual growth for me, especially “Oracles of Fire.”

  7. Contentment is a great word to ponder every day. Thanks for sharing that story.

  8. Like so many others, I needed to hear this today. It touched my heart and spoke words of encouragement. Thank you.