I’d spent untold hours polishing my prose until it shone like glass. “Nailed this baby!” Or so I thought. Then, I submitted my “baby” to my Inspire Critique Group—eager for their feedback. My fellow writers said my writing had improved. They loved my message. Then, they proceeded to tell me how I could make the chapter better.
My shoulders slumped. And that melancholy voice inside of me groaned. “What made you think you could write a book? Maybe you should quit.”
Thankfully, I no longer listen to myself. I’ve learned how to write with endurance. Here’s four things that might help you too.
1) Write by Faith
If God equipped you to write, then write. In the parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30) we’re encouraged to use our God-given talents rather than bury them. What that looks like will be different for each of us. I’ve been published in church newsletters, devotionals, magazine articles, and a “Chicken Soup for the Soul” book. Regardless of the publication, my desire is to glorify God. Even when I write something that doesn’t get published, I feel God’s pleasure because I’m using the gift He’s given to me.
However, I admit that when I don’t reach my writing goals by a certain time, I get frustrated. Some days I want to beat myself up. But God compels me to write. So I’ve learned to walk in obedience by faith, and not by sight. Just because I don’t get the feedback I want, or I haven’t progressed as far as I’d like, doesn’t mean God isn’t in this.
2) Lay Aside Everything that Hinders
Hebrews 12:1 talks about laying aside everything that hinders us so we can run with endurance the race marked out for us. I’ve adopted that same principle when it comes to my writing. A friend once told me to worship, wait, and then write. In my eagerness to write, there are times I’m tempted to skip the worship and waiting on God’s guidance. Not good. God’s Spirit is part of the creative process and empowers me to write. So I’m learning to lay aside my impatience and a prideful attitude that assumes I can write anything in my own strength.
Other things also hinder my writing. When my smart phone beeps whenever there’s a new notification, my eyes wander to the phone and I’m running down rabbit trails. I have to discipline myself to mute the phone and place it out of sight. An even greater hindrance to writing are my emotions and excuses. Do any of these sound familiar: I’m too busy to write. I’m too old. Improving my craft is too hard. I’m not good enough. Who cares if I write? What’s the point? My prayer is that we can lay aside whatever hinders us from writing, and endure till the Lord says, “It is finished.”
3) Limit our Vision
Hebrews 12:2 says, “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith….” I’m easily distracted and fall into the comparison trap when I look horizontally instead of fixing my eyes on Jesus. If a fellow writer is ahead of me, and more successful, I panic or crumble. If the writer is lagging behind, my chest puffs up. Neither attitude is acceptable before God. I think of the John 21:22 when Peter asked Jesus how He planned to use another disciple in God’s Kingdom? Jesus responded, “If I want him to … what is that to you? You follow me.” God has marked out the race for each of us. My job isn’t to question God’s plan for others. My job is to follow Jesus and write what He lays on my heart.
4) Writer Companions
Being a writer is a lonely profession, but we’re not meant to travel solo. Fellow writers, who understand our passion for the written word as well as our frustrations, are paramount in a writer’s journey. That’s why being plugged into an Inspire Christian Writers’ critique group and attending the monthly evening chats can be mutually beneficial. It’s a safe place where writers can encourage one another’s hearts and pray for each other because being a writer isn’t all about the writing.
What have you learned to help you write with endurance?