When you hear the call of God, whether in little nudges or bursts of passion, to go into writing/music/movies or any particular craft at all, there is a tendency to want to rush in with a lot of enthusiasm. Enthusiasm isn’t bad in itself. But Prov. 19:1 says zeal (enthusiasm) not guided by knowledge is not good, and by being hasty, you’ll miss the way.
This is so true even in writing, or any form of entertainment. I’ll speak for writing because I’m a writer.
Ask around, most published authors did not publish their first manuscript. And the answer to the reason why all around, is the same or similar—they were amateurs at the time and were not savvy enough on how the publishing world works.
The best thing a person could do for his/herself before entering any industry is to educate themselves on how that industry works, so that they can be as productive as possible. It takes time, patience and practice to learn the ropes and necessary skills to not only survive the industry, but to thrive in it as well. Rarely does anyone become an instant hit. Even when that happens, that person must learn to stay on top. And that’s not where it stops. You constantly have to update your knowledge, and sometimes even, reinvent yourself to keep up with the ever constant changes. How else do you remain relevant in your chosen profession? It’s simply the rule of success.
When you first begin, it’s easy to believe you are ready and good to go. You’ve got all that talent swelled up inside you, and a good dose of passion to go with it too. What else do you need, you ask? But if you’re typical, you’re work is a long way from being ready to meet the world. That’s why I understand the story behind Amber’s sophomore novel, Forget Me Not, coming January 2014. Though Forget Me Not was Amber’s first completed manuscript, it wasn’t the first to be published. She realized she had so much to learn, and so set it aside to prepare herself to meet the publishing world. It was a two year cruise to publishville. I’ve heard of similar stories with many other authors.
My story is no different.
I’ve set the wheels rolling to publish To Die Once, my debut novel. But it is not my first completed work. Awaken is my first manuscript. Naturally, when I finished it, I held it up in the air with a gleeful smile on my face and asked, “Who can resist this baby?” After I thrust myself deeper into the writing/publishing world, I realized the volume of knowledge that I lacked. Somewhere along the way, I looked at Awaken with more professional eyes than I did before and I began to see the many errors in it. The structure was so bad I knew it would require nothing less than denser rewrites in many parts of it. I instantly felt tired and exhausted with it. I believed I needed something fresh to begin again. Something that I could write start to finish with this new found knowledge as my guide. So I set Awaken aside with a promise to return back to it in the future. That was when To Die Once, Book #1 of The Child of Grace Series was born. It’s taken me two years to get here since I started. I have no regrets.
But it wasn’t an easy journey to arrive at this point where I’m about to hit publish.
There were times I just wanted to give up. There were times I was sure I would never learn enough to arrive there and be perceived as a professional writer. My dream and vision would wane so much, it could barely make a glimpse in my mind, and I’d physically become weary. Other times the bad feelings grew to worse and I was sure I didn’t want to do this again. After all, there are so many great books out there. Who would want to read mine?
But faithful God gently nudged my heart towards Scripture and reminded me of someone.
While he was still a teen, Joseph was given the great dream and vision that promised he would one day become a great ruler. Considering how the human mind works, I wouldn’t be surprised if he thought this vision would manifest in a matter of months. It’s just the way we humans are. We receive a vision and believe it’s for right now. But it is not always so. Sometime, it’s the sign that it is time to begin our journey to the Promised Land.
For Joseph, depending on how old he was when he was sold into slavery, it took some eleven to fifteen years to arrive there. No joke! If he was seventeen, then that’s thirteen years. In all that time he learned everything necessary to become a great ruler of Egypt, one that even preserved the nation from famine with God’s help and wisdom. That learning included sinking to the lowest possible bottom that a human could, at the time. You’d think it couldn’t get any worse being a slave, and then you’re thrown into the very prison the King keeps his own prisoners.
I wouldn’t be surprised if at that point Joseph’s dream fizzled out of his mind and was replaced with doubt. He may have even scolded himself at some point for being foolish enough to believe such a fantasy. But God is faithful. It is at points like this that he reminds us of His promises, and if we choose to believe, He restores hope in us again. This may have being what happened with Joseph.
Ask around, a lot of successful people sank to bottom before rising up. I too felt the same way at some point. My heart even started to accommodate doubt. But God revived me and filled me with hope again. Even though I haven’t arrived there yet (I’m still on my way!), I see a beautiful path ahead me, clearer than I’ve ever seen before! And it keeps getting brighter and brighter. I’m blessed with so much hope, peace, joy and promise that I can’t express in words.
Your story can be the same too. Like Joseph’s.
It doesn’t matter where you are right now. Trust that you’re learning the ropes, the necessary skills that will help lead and keep you in success. Whatever you do, like Joseph, continue to trust in God and make plans to rise again. When in doubt, seek His face. He is never far away.
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