Writing is surely a God-given cherishable gift, and what we make out of it is our gift to God. Whether we write to sell or write for mere pleasure, the words we put on the paper or onto the computer screen have the vigor and longivity to last beyond our time and expectation.
Imagine a world without writers and the thought itself would turn us, the avid readers to function like zombies. A night sky without stars, a garden void of flowers and butterflies, telephones without dial tone would equal such a world. Writers bring inspiration, enthrallment and enthusiasm that invigorate the soul to expand and explore the unknown. To realize that as a writer I play a part, however small or big that may be, in the grand orchestra of creativity, make me want to weep with joy and take my call seriously.
As writers, we are called to write first. Getting published and selling come later with effort and persistance. Sometimes, the fear of rejections, and failure in promotion prevent us from putting the pen onto the paper. Competition in the Writers' Market and elevation of some published authors to the celebrity level make unpublished and wanna-be -writers to easily give up on their dream of becoming authors.
King David, nor his son Solomon wouldn't have imagined to have their prayers, psalms or proverbs to be in print or for them to last till this century and beyond. They sought no agent nor researched any markets to get their work published. Neither did Oswald Chamber, the author of My Utmost for His Highest spend his time on promotional tours and book signing. He lived only for a short period of 43 years, but his book has endured far beyond the author's death in 1917. With God, anything can become possible.
I've experienced both the joy of seeing my work published and the frustration of seeing my work returned in the mail in my handwritten self-addressed manila envelopes in the past. There were days I sat glaring at the computer screen with words refusing to be released from my creative brain. And then there were days I had rolled out of my bed at dawn to note down the words that were rushing down from the same side of the brain. Weeks of no writing, but all reading had occurred at times when inspiration seemed like estranged spouse living distance away. Acceptance from editors and deadlines for submissions only coaxed me to sit and write in the past. But not any more.
In the past five years, I haven't submitted my work for any publications other than the devotional column for Fellowscript until 2010. However, the written pages of my journals testify that the writer in me is still alive, even if it chooses to hibernate for days from time to time. In the recent months, I've got into the habit of amusing myself by writing out my reflection on scriptures into poems. I doubt anyone with a poetical eye would consider them as real poems. Yet, that wouldn't stop me from writing for my pleasure and God's.
It has been an year since I started a writers' group for the women at our church. The short span of my writing life makes me no expert to lead the group with admirable writing talents. Yet, with God's strength and guidance from the book, An Introduction to Christian Writing, I, as a fellow rider on the writing path, try to lend a hand to pat, motivate and to share what I've learned from my writing experiences.
The women in the group love to write, but lack the time to write like any other busy moms working full-time outside home. Motivation to write rather than critiquing their work is all they need at this time and I try to do that in the best way I could. Their writing more than mine becomes my priority in this season of my writing life, and when I do that, I find myself motivated to write more and write better. It's truly a double edged blessing.
It took awhile for me to admit to myself I'm a writer. Now that I'm convinced that as a writer I play a part in the vast arena of creative world, I can't quit, but keep on writing whether my work sell or not.