by Kathy Harris
What do you do when you see a fork in the road?
You pray. Hard. And then you take a step.
How many times have we all faced a difficult decision? A roadblock? A detour? Not knowing which way to turn. Wondering what God has in mind for us.
How many times have you felt that way about your writing? Maybe you’re not as far along the path as you had hoped you’d be by now. Maybe you’re wondering if you will ever realize your dream of being published.
Over the past two years I’ve interviewed more than a hundred Christian writers and musicians. Each has readily admitted to experiencing a detour (or two or three) in his or her lifetime, and most of those were related to the dream they had hoped to achieve in literature or music. Yet, there they were, sharing stories about their successes.
Despite the barricades, the sidetracks, and sometimes even the about-faces, with God’s help, each person had realized the desire of his or her heart. But it didn’t come without sacrifice. It didn’t come without planning. And it didn’t come until God’s timing was right.
The same is true for all of us. While we can’t control our future, we can control how we prepare. If you want to become a published author, no matter how far you are from your goal, all it takes is one step at a time.
Be willing to sacrifice. Most professional authors will tell you that they gave up something, a favorite television show, their lunch break at the office, or an hour of sleep each morning-often all of the above-in order to further their career.
While writing isn’t life, it is a choice. One that’s sometimes sacrificial.
Have a plan. At a recent meeting of my local writers group, Middle Tennessee Christian Writers, multi-published author and teacher Kaye Dacus spoke about the difference between dreams and goals. Stated simply, goals are dreams with marching orders. If we don’t set goals, or actionable steps, our dreams may never be realized.
Just as Kaye challenged us, let me challenge you. If you have a dream-whether it’s to be a writer, a professional musician, or to become a better Christian-set long-term and short-term goals. Be willing to take baby steps, write those steps down, and make yourself accountable for sticking to your plan.
Wait for God’s timing. Psalm 37:4 tells us to ‘delight in the Lord, and He will give us the desires of our heart.’ Psalm 27:14 reminds us to ‘wait upon the Lord.’ Time seems to pass slowly when we’re waiting for the desires of our heart. And one of the best ways we can occupy ourselves each day is by serving others. Start a blog and promote other writers. Volunteer to serve the ACFW or your local writer’s group. And, perhaps, most importantly, seek to encourage others, reminding them-and yourself-that the joy is in the journey.
Kathy Harris is an author by way of a “Divine Detour” into the Nashville entertainment industry. She blogs regularly at www.DivineDetour.com. Her debut novel, The Road to Mercy, will be released by Abingdon Press in September 2012.