The other day I looked at my computer and read something so very, very, VERY discouraging. These things happen. And they’ve happened to me more recently.
There’s just something about putting your work into the public that is vulnerable-making. Especially with this one reality:
Not Everybody’s Gonna Dig It.
My writing style isn’t for everyone. The books I’ve written aren’t 100% loved by all the readers in the world. In fact, I’m sure that out there is someone who sees me as a hack. Somebody who fell on this publishing novels thing due to some fluke.
That I’m not as good as another writer.
Guess what. They’re right. I’m no Shakespeare or Steinbeck (swoon). I’m not going to write as well as Austen or…well…the list could go on for a good long time.
I’m not the best writer in the whole world.
I’m learning to be okay with that.
What I’m not okay with is the feelings of inadequacy. That little voice in my head that says,
I HATE that little voice. Because it doesn’t stay quiet long. It crescendos until it’s no less than a scream. A banshee of discouragement. It makes my fingers seize up. My brain shuts down. Creativity cowers in the corner. Inspiration shrivels.
You’ve had that happen to you? Oh. Isn’t it good that we aren’t alone? Isn’t it refreshing?
Let’s be a different voice for each other. How does that sound? Let me get a sip of coffee. I’ve got something to share with you.
In fact, you’re better than good enough. You, my friend, are fearfully and wonderfully made. You were handcrafted in the Image of the most creative Artist and Author in all the world. And He’s promised to keep working on you to make you even better. Every single day.
And all of the good promises of God come true. He never goes back on them. He is honest.
Part of that constant work is that He helps you realize that good work that you were made to do.
Are you a teacher? An artist? Accountant (thank you for being an accountant. I would be in HUGE trouble without accountants)? What is it that you DO that makes you feel fully alive?
Do that. Teach. Create. Account (please account…or whatever it is you money geniuses call it). Put all your all into it. Do it as worship. Prayer. Life lived for God’s glory.
Banish the Banshee.
Seek out the Voice of the Good Shepherd who says,
Oh. And listen to the voices of those who speak His words. Those friends who encourage. Offer hugs. Speak truth in love (even when it stings a little or a lot).
Remember, not everybody’s gonna dig you or your work.
Because your Abba Father thinks you are pretty fantastic. And He loves you enough to keep making you even more of who you are meant to be.
* sigh…. My first inclination is to reiterate to you- YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH!!! But I know that until YOU believe your good enough, all the words poured out won’t convince you. It’s Kind of like when you are shopping and try on an outfit and ask someone else what they think about it- but you really only make a decision based on what you believe in your heart- and they only think you listened to them if whatever they said agreed with what you already believed in your heart.
This is what I will say though. I was so blessed by the books you have written. The truth is that I am a non-fiction kind of girl. I pretty much have always thought of fiction as a waste of my time. But I had endeavored in my heart to read your two novels because I wanted to be supportive and finally had some reading time on my hands. And, what the Lord revealed to me in that time spent was that fiction (the right fiction) is very much NOT a waste of time. He was able to use what you had written to speak to my heart- encourage me- and remind me of truths that already lived within. Certainly nothing in that resembles a waste of time.
So, will everyone love your books- probably not. But I sure will- and so will countless others who will be ministered to through what the Lord pours through you utilizing your splendid gift to be both salt and light in a dark and dying world. Susie flavored Jesus poured out on paper.
I am thankful you are willing to share your gift with the rest of us.
Oh, Tanya, thank you so much. You encouraged me so much.
You’re so right! We need to come to believe things for ourselves. That is a life lesson right there!
I love your books. My Mother’s Chamomile deals with real life and real life is not always pretty, or fun. Real life makes you into the Velveteen Rabbit. But that is good, because when our fur is loved off and our eyes fall out and our stuffing is gone, we are real. I think Jesus likes real. Hugs!
Thank you, Suzy. So much.
YES! Jesus likes real. And He really likes us! A whole lot. Isn’t that fantastic?
amen sister! Preach it!
Oh how I have struggled with this same thing for the past five years (because those people who “don’t dig your work”, well, some of them can be cruel). But you are SO right! We belong to the Creator. The One who has given us the gifts and desires to do…whatever. So long as He is pleased that is all that truly matters.
Yup. Some people can be cruel. I’ve not been able to figure that out yet. Why do they need to be mean? Anyway, you’re right, Kristine. We just have to be about the work God gives us!
Bless you, dear FinkFriend… I walk in this every stinkin’ day, not only wanting to quit, but (being the newly-hatched write I am) not even wanting to continue starting. Thanks for reminding me what my writing really is – a place where the Lord and I get together for the healing of my mind. It doesn’t really matter if others come along for the ride, as long as I show up, listen, and write.
Again, thank you.
Cal, you keep on writing. Don’t quit.
The other day I found this quote from Vincent van Gogh that especially encouraged me. I hope it speaks to you as well…
“If you hear a voice within you say you cannot paint, then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.”
This was encouraging to read. And Susie, you are so good enough! Thanks for writing like you do. I can assure you that you’ve encouraged and entertained more people than the few stinkers that want to get you down!
Thanks for sharing the struggle with us all and way to put the inner-critic in her place!
Thank you, Sweet Lex. I’m so glad that I’ve been able to encourage others. I’ve had so many who have encouraged me and I long to do the same as often as I am able.
Ah. The stinkers. There are always stinkers. But the good friends far outnumber them!