As a writer, I believe God has given me the assignment of communicating truth through the written word. Some days I feel confident of my call. Ideas flow, and fingers fly across the keyboard. An editor accepts an article. A royalty check arrives. And a reader emails, “Your book changed my life. Please keep writing.”
Other days…well, other days the computer screen stares at me in silence. My fingers hover over the keyboard awaiting a divine download. I pour a cup of coffee. A rejection hits my inbox. More coffee. I check my Amazon stats, and I entertain thoughts about getting a real job.
Sometimes I feel as though accomplishing this assignment borders on the brink of impossibility, and I think of Moses. How did he feel when he stood on the shore of the Red Sea with more than three million people depending on him for their well-being? His was a God-given assignment, too, but as waves wet his feet perhaps he questioned his ability to fulfill it.
I stand on the shore of my own Red Sea wondering how to best tackle a task fraught with challenges including…
How can I ensure my work passes the slush pile and lands on the editor’s desk?
How can I overcome the pain of rejection or disappointment?
What must I do to secure an agent?
What’s the best publishing option for my book?
What marketing and publicity strategies are most effective for my book?
How can I build my platform?
Writing for publication, especially considering the industry’s constant, rapid changes, is not an easy task. It’s vital that we, as writers, focus not on the Red Sea before us but on the One who’s able to part the waters and show us the way through them. Several weeks ago I discovered these verses, and I’ve found them encouraging in this context:
“When the Red Sea saw you, O God, its waters looked and trembled!…Your road led through the sea, your pathways through the mighty waters—a pathway no one knew was there! You led your people along that road like a flock of sheep, with Moses and Aaron as their shepherds” (Psalm 77:16-20).
God gave Moses a seemingly impossible task and then made the way to accomplish it. He’ll do the same for us as we seek to communicate messages of hope and healing to a hurting world. Let’s be faithful to do what He’s called us to do with excellence and enthusiasm, and let’s trust Him to make a way through the publishing industry’s Red Sea so that our messages can reach those who need them most.
At NCWA’s Renewal Conference, Grace will be teaching: “Build a Successful Writing Ministry/Career: Break into Publishing” (continuing two-part workshop for the newer writer). Click here for details.
Grace Fox is the published author of hundreds of magazine articles and five books including Moving from Fear to Freedom: A Woman’s Guide to Peace in Every Situation (Harvest House). In partnership with Stonecroft Ministries (www.stonecroftcanada.org), she recently produced a 7-part teaching DVD and Bible study to accompany that book. Grace is also an international speaker and national co-director of International Messengers Canada (www.im-canada.ca), a non-profit organization that specializes in creative career and short-term ministry opportunities in Eastern Europe. Visit Grace’s sites for more information. www.gracefox.com, www.fb.com/gracefox.author