Join ACFW |  Forgot Password |  Login: 

Encouragement for the Discouraged

by Lindsay Harrel

As most of us know, this writing journey can be filled with a lot of valleys.

Experiencing writer’s block.

Being stuck at home when everyone else is attending the big conference.

Feeling like you’re on the outside of publishing circles.

Receiving rejections.

Trust me, I’ve been there! But I also was blessed enough to receive some great advice at the beginning of my writing journey – advice that has shaped my perspective, especially when I’m tempted to be discouraged.

A fellow author encouraged me to write down all the positives of my writing journey as they happen. And I mean ALL the positives, whether they seem big or small. Essentially anything that feels like a victory.

What’s great about this method is when you begin to feel discouraged, you can go back and look at all the ways you’ve progressed along the writing road – even when you feel like you’ve been standing still for ages. Or worse, backtracking.

The awesome pattern that I started to see when looking back over my writing journey is something that can only be described in three words: God’s got this.

Because so many of my positives were things I didn’t do myself, connections I didn’t set out to make.

For example, little did I know when I found the blog of a writer girl from Iowa (her name is Melissa Tagg and she’s amazing!) and contacted her to say hello that I would be meeting my future craft partner – someone who totally gets me and encourages me more than I could imagine possible. But God knew.

Little did I know when I joined a group called My Book Therapy that I’d learn more in one year than I had in several years combined before that. But God knew.

Little did I know that by being on Twitter and starting a blog, I’d receive editor and agent requests out of the blue! But God knew.

Every step of the way, God has been there on my writing journey. In fact, last year in the ACFW conference prayer room – just before my first pitching session ever – He gave me a promise that quickly became my life verse: “There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears.” (Philippians 1:6)

Friend, God is in control of every aspect of this life, including your writing journey. No matter where you’re at, you can benefit from this truth.

And by looking back over our victories – and remembering who’s responsible for them – we can have peace and hope in knowing that He holds us and our writing in the palm of His hand.

Your Turn: Do you keep track of the positives on your writing journey? What’s one victory you can rejoice over today, however small? Let’s share and celebrate together.

Lindsay HarrelLindsay Harrel has a bachelor’s in journalism and a master’s in English. She is a 2013 ACFW Genesis Finalist (Contemporary Category) and is published in the Falling in Love with You anthology from OakTara. She works in marketing as a copywriter and has worked in the past as a business writer and curriculum editor. Lindsay lives in Arizona with her husband and two golden retriever puppies in serious need of training. Connect with her on her blog or via Facebook or Twitter (@LindsayHarrel).

Share
This entry was posted in Advice, Authors and writing, Encouragement, Fellowship, Friends of ACFW. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Encouragement for the Discouraged

  1. Thanks for sharing this, Lindsay. I’ve struggled with frustration at my seeming inability to finish my WIP (first-ever), but your post reminded me to rejoice in the fact that after a lifetime of dreaming about writing, I’ve now actually written 97,000+ words of the novel that has been on my heart for several years. That, all by itself, is a victory for which I’m grateful.

    Thank you.

  2. Congrats, Laura! That is huge!!!

  3. Melissa Tagg says:

    Oh my goodness, best post ever, Linz. I started today pretty discouraged–as you know–feeling trapped by a schedule I can’t keep up with. But the reminder that God’s got this…it’s a game-changer. Thanks, friend!

  4. You’re welcome, Mel! So glad it encouraged you. :)

  5. Jill Kemerer says:

    I’m with you, Lindsay! God DOES have this! So many positive things on my journey–so many God-moments. Too many to count. The best ones had less to do with writing and everything to do with connection. I’m so blessed to have met you and all the other amazing friends I’ve made!

  6. Ruth Douthitt says:

    Great post! Oh so true. I have had the ups and downs on this writing journey, but God has shown me so much these last 2 years since my book came out. I have much more to learn about the business and about platform, etc. And many more conferences to attend but I am excited!!

  7. Really timely post, Lindsay!

    Can never be reminded enough that God is in control. So happy to hear about your journey too!

    Happy Monday, friend.
    -raj

  8. Jill, I agree. I’ve experienced so many “divine appointments” and met so many amazing people who encouraged me along the way — you especially! So grateful I’ll be seeing you soon.

    Ruth, isn’t it awesome how much we’ve learned and grown since that first tiny conference we attended together? :)

    Raj, I’m with you. I have to constantly remind myself that He’s got a plan and it’s WAY better than any I can concoct. :) See you soon (right?)!

  9. Pingback: Writers Need Encouragement | kelly sumner