Those of us who are writers, know the hard work and dedication that go into the craft. Inspirational writers are called to speak words of wisdom and encouragement into the hearts and minds of readers. An important and much needed ministry.

But, like any profession, there are highs and lows. There are basically 3 phases writers go through in developing that tough exterior so necessary to make it in the writing industry. I’ll refer to these as: the good, the bad, and the ugly (to borrow from an old Clint Eastwood film).

First, comes the Good stage. This is the phase when words spill out like water. When we’re drinking in every aspect of the writing craft we can and learning how to apply it to our work. Perhaps we join a critique group, or writer’s club, such as ACFW. We’re forming new friendships, building a platform, and making connections. Maybe we even secure an agent. Our skills are improving. Our hopes are high. Everything’s great. 

Then comes the Bad stage: Those dreaded rewrites and edits. When the writing that flowed comes to a grinding halt. Our critique partners make us dig in and work. Months pass while we wait to hear something positive from our agent or a publishing house. When nothing extraordinary happens, our hopes begin to dim. 

Thirdly, comes the Ugly stage, when rejections pour in and we’re told we need to make some major changes, if we’re ever to be published. Discouragement sets in, and we wonder if we have what it takes to make it in this competitive market. We even question if God really called us to write at all.

Yet there’s a forth stage Clint Eastwood’s movie neglected to portray.  The Surrender stage. It’s this final stage that makes everything worthwhile. When we surrender our writing to the Lord and allow Him to do with it what He wills, our lives become richer and fuller than we ever imagined. We aren’t all destined to be best-selling authors or world-renowned speakers. But, if we remain faithful to our calling and obedient to God’s spirit, He’ll use us in ways we never dreamed.

God’s plans often differ from our expectations. We may start out in one facet of writing and find our journey shift in a completely different direction. Yet, if one heart is touched by what we write or say, it hasn’t been wasted. The key is to stay open to God’s leading.

For, “We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

Whichever stage you’re in, I hope you’re encouraged to remain obedient to your calling. May you persevere over discouragement, delays, and disappointments. God grant us all the grace to know His plan for our lives. May He ever be the guiding force behind each word we write or speak.

What encourages you in your writing journey? I’d love to hear your story.

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