Jan Cline encourages NCWA in our writing journey.
My husband and I stayed in Lewiston, Idaho recently. We drove down the Snake River along the Washington side, heading toward Hell’s Canyon. The farther we traveled, the more interesting the terrain. I couldn’t help but notice the tenaciousness of the river—carving its way through the canyon with determination. There is something about nature that teaches us truths for our lives, our dreams and ambitions, don’t you think?
I was reminded of a quote by Oswald Chambers:
“A river is victoriously persistent, it overcomes all barriers. For a while it goes steadily on its course, then it comes to an obstacle and for a while it is baulked, but it soon makes a pathway round the obstacle. Or a river will drop out of sight for miles, and presently emerge again broader and grander than ever. Never get your eyes on the obstacle or on the difficulty. The obstacle is a matter of indifference to the river…”
Isn’t this true of our writing journey? Our imagination births an idea and we write it. But the path we take after that is sometimes daunting. We flow along, winding down the canyon until we meet an obstacle. It may be a manuscript rejection or a harsh critique, or a disappointing reaction from a loved one who read our latest masterpiece. That boulder of discouragement looks like it will block our path—dam up the whole process.
Then we find a way around the obstruction by learning from the rejections, critiques and emotions. We keep going, making our way to the ocean of our dreams. Our mission is to become like the river—undaunted by the obstacle. The twists and turns we make are part of the path we are meant to follow, even when we don’t know which direction we’ll go next.
I never could have imagined that I would detour my writing journey to become founder and director of a writers conference. It was a bend in the river that took me by surprise. But I knew it was my chance to facilitate other writers to fulfill their dreams. My personal journey has profited in the process as well. The most important lesson I have learned along the way is that God will often place boulders in our path. At first they look like barriers or stop signs. But after prayerful consideration, we may find they are merely tests of faith. We are stronger for having accepted them as part of the flow of our journey. Our writing is better because we have pressed on.
I hope you’ll imagine yourself to be a river of words and imagination. Don’t let the obstacles become barriers. Find your path around them and stay on the journey. The ocean is waiting to be fed.
Photo of Snake River by Northwest Voyageurs. Used by kind permission.
Jan is a freelance writer, aspiring author and speaker from Spokane. She has been a member of NCWA since 2010 and is director of the Inland Northwest Christian Writers Conference held in March each year. She writes Inspirational Historical Romance and non-fiction. Visit her website at www.jancline.net. The conference website is www.inlandnwchristianwriters.com.