Called to Write
27 Nov 2011
SunlightI was having lunch with a writer friend of mine, and she didn’t seem like she was in the best place emotionally. “I’m starting to question whether this is really my calling,” she said.
“Why?” I asked.
“Because some days… it just isn’t fun.” (She said this with a straight face.)
“Hmm,” I said. “Is your marriage fun everyday?”
“Mostly, but…um, no.”
“Every time it’s not fun, do you question the entire marriage? Do you consider divorce?” I asked.
“Of course not.” She rolled her eyes.
“Well, I think your calling as a writer is similar,” I told her. “Every time it gets hard, you try and figure out if you’re doing something wrong, but you don’t question the whole darn thing. Every time you have an argument, the whole marriage doesn’t fall apart. Every time you have a bad day writing, you don’t have to question your entire calling.”
“But…” she argued, “I thought God is supposed to give us passion for the things He calls us to?”
“Are you passionate about your husband?” I asked.
She laughed. “No, not everyday. I get your point.”
Your calling to be a writer is bigger than a feeling that shifts with the wind. Once you decide that this is what you’re supposed to be doing, you have to avoid using every roadblock as a reason to question it. Instead, look at whether your calling is being confirmed.
What are some ways to know you’re on the right track?
* You’re taking little baby steps toward possible publication.
* You know that your writing’s improving.
* Someone important has given you encouragement.
* Rejection letters are getting nicer and more complimentary.
* Your critique group is saying good things and they know what they’re talking about and you don’t think they’re blowing smoke.
* You’ve published something smaller like a magazine article or a contribution to a book.
* You’ve got an agent interested in your work.
Unless you have a total lack of anything resembling confirmation… stop questioning your calling and get to work!
Have you questioned your calling as a writer? What led to the questioning? How did you resolve it?
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