By Tamara D. Fickas
Writing a book has been my dream for years. I’ve prayed for opportunities and submitted my work to the Lord. When an opportunity finally happened, I managed to forget one of the most important aspects of writing.
After years of taking writing classes and plugging away, I am participating in my first book project. The book is an anthology; my portion is only 2,000 words. I submitted my article and then was asked to make revisions. Though that one request is completely normal in the writing process, it overwhelmed me. Years of work brought me to this experience, and yet I felt weary. I wondered if I had anything of worth to write and in that wondering, I did actually learn something.
If you’re a pre-published author, I want to share some words of wisdom with you. I’m by no means a veteran, but this first publishing experience taught me how quickly I can get caught up in my own talent and the glamour of being an author. The road is hard, and if you’re not careful, you can be overcome by the hard, the ugly, the discouraging. It’s easy to forget the source of the talent.
As I wrote drafts, I forgot the real author of my work. The anthology is a non-fiction work, and my contribution is based on a real life experience. My story, my words, my downfall. During the revision process, I became so discouraged with the process and getting the message right that I vowed to never write again. It was too hard. The burden was too great.
In Matthew 11:28 Jesus says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (NIV) It wasn’t until I stopped striving and put my work aside for time with the Lord that things began to work again. It was only a couple of hours, but it made all the difference. I’d prayed about the whole project before joining and before writing. Then I made my own plans and walked my own path. Surrendering my burden to God brought his message to my work.
Connecting with the Lord allowed me to tell the story he wanted me to tell. It allowed me to see the draft with new eyes. Taking time to spend with the Lord and let him carry the burden of this story helped immensely. So, wherever you are in the writing process, don’t forget to let the Lord carry your burden. He is inviting you to rest, even if for a few minutes or hours. It will make all the difference in your work.
Tamara D. Fickas works at a local hospital by day and pursues writing novels by night. She is Vice President of the Colorado Springs Chapter of ACFW Colorado. Tamara’s a contributing author to God’s Provision in Tough Times, by Cynthia Howerter and La-Tan Murphy. Visit her blog at www.rockymountainwriter.com