When I began to write seriously, I knew I had a lot to learn about the craft. I also knew I would need to grow in my knowledge of the publishing industry. What I didn’t expect was that God would use my passion for writing to build my character. I am His project, even as I pursue my writing projects.
God is using my writing journey to redefine me. And build my character.
Some of the tools in His tool belt are:
Harsh Critiques and Rejections
Yes, I get them too. We all do. It’s what we do with them that matters. We can dig in our heels and become rigid or we can prayerfully remain pliable in our Master Builder’s hands. I have to keep my pride in check to remain teachable.
Praise can be such a trap! It is easy for me to begin to think I’m pretty special when people speak kindly of me and my work. God gently reminds me I am nothing without Him. He must increase, but I must decrease. John 3:30
As a writer, I encounter lots of people. Writers mostly, and some agents, editors, bloggers, and readers. I love people and generally get along well with others (I have my kindergarten report card to prove it!) Every once in a while God puts someone in my path who grates on me. Usually, these people exhibit character traits I see in myself and don’t like. I learn to love better through those who are harder to love.
Waiting, Waiting and More Waiting
The publishing industry moves at a glacial pace. Each step toward publication is painstakingly protracted. I can’t remain impatient and survive as a writer. God is teaching me patience.
As an artist, fear is my foe! But it also is a great teacher along my spiritual journey, showing me areas I need growth, God. My fears of rejection, failure, success, exposure, and obscurity can stop me in my tracks. God uses these fears to remind me that He is greater. He can break their fetters and free me to write vulnerably in the face of them. My job is to bring my trembling heart to Him. And to persevere even when I’m afraid.
Maybe these tools look all too familiar to you. Or maybe, God uses different means to shape your character through your writing journey. I’d love to hear what you’re learning. How you’re growing.