“And these things we write to you that your joy may be full.” 1 John 1:4
I’ve been a writer and teacher for decades, so you’d imagine it would be easy for me to author a book. Ha! Not so.
For years, God kept after me to write A Crocus in the Desert: an instructional, encouraging prayer guide for women struggling with childlessness. The task was daunting enough when I started, and it wound up being even harder than I thought!
The real privilege, though, came in what this book would teach me. If you’re thinking of tackling authorship or some other major project, here are six lessons I learned:
- If God wants it done, He makes it happen. From start to finish, this book took me 25 years to complete. Most of that time, it gathered dust. But God kept nudging me to get it done, and I’m glad. Otherwise, it would still be in the back of my file cabinet, and you wouldn’t be reading this. Follow God’s leading—He’ll give you His strength to persevere.
- Obstacles aren’t necessarily rock walls…they can be steppingstones. Take on some kind of big challenge for the Lord, and the devil will throw boulders in your path. Computer glitches, unexpected delays, and all other kinds of monkey wrenches get thrown into the process. Don’t ask me how many times I uploaded and revised my manuscript…the endless corrections drove me crazy. But each problem becomes a lesson for the next go-around. Be sure to write down problems and their solutions as you go along…I wish I had, because I can’t remember everything now!
- People have wonderful stories to tell. Every interview was a jewel. I loved what women told me about their lives, struggles, families, and joys. A book about me would be so shallow…but making it a collection of many voices gave it a richness and depth I never anticipated. It was neat to see how God worked through their trials to transform their spiritual lives. Talk with people. They can write your book for you.
- Praying through Scripture draws us closer to God. When we speak God’s words with Him, they plant His truth in our minds and hearts. I recently returned to one of the prayers in my book when I was dealing a different issue (not infertility). It was amazing how much I needed that prayer at that moment to ask God for encouragement. His words, like His promises, are ever faithful and never come back empty.
- Perfectionism is a drag. It paralyzes the writing process and even editing to a degree. While you need to do your best work for the Lord, at some point, you eventually have to decide that “done” is better than perfect. Writing is much more satisfying now because I’m okay with a few mistakes!
- There is no such thing as “one and done.” When God finishes one project in your life, it’s so He can get the next one going. Authorship is an ongoing process. It was fun to bask in the limelight of finally getting a book in print, but it was a brief thrill. The only way to maintain readership and success is to keep writing. If you’re in the middle of climbing a big mountain, remember you’ll see more mountains to climb after you reach the top. At least it will get easier to find the ropes.
Before taking on any major decision or job, pray about it and seek godly counsel from your friends and experts. Let God show you how He’s going to use you with the talents He’s given you. Not every call to do something is a “yes,” but you’ll know when He’s got His hand on your shoulder. Best wishes as you seek His will and strive to serve Him!
Lord, You are the supreme Author of my life and work. Your words in Your Scriptures are captivating, always new and refreshing my soul. Please continue to inspire me…make my words and thoughts pleasing and acceptable in Your sight. Write Your name upon my heart, and let everything I do bring glory and honor to You. In Your precious name, Amen.
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© Copyright 2020 Nancy C. Williams, Lightbourne Creative