“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8 ESV).
If anyone knows the importance of patience, it’s the writer. We must be patient with others, with ourselves, and with the process itself.
Kindness goes hand-in-hand with patience. Being kind to fellow writers, writing-related professionals, and readers is crucial. But we must remember to be kind to ourselves as well.
Do you feel yourself getting fidgety? Who among us can’t think of other writers we’re envious of? Rather than letting envy take root, we can look to these writers for inspiration and motivation. If we’re deliberate in our efforts, it will become easier.
There’s a difference between boasting and effective marketing. It has to do with focus. Boasting draws attention to the writer. Effective marketing considers how a writer can pour into the lives of their readers.
Just as there is a difference between boasting and effective marketing, there is a difference between confidence and arrogance. Confidence says, “I have something important to say and the skills to communicate effectively.” Arrogance says, “I am a more capable communicator than so and so.”
Rudeness and arrogance speak the same language. (Just an aside … we can disagree with someone and communicate our perspective without being rude—and without compromising our integrity. This takes great skill and much practice.)
Writers must resist the temptation to develop a “my way or the highway” attitude. After all, there’s always more to learn.
One need only glance at their Facebook newsfeed to become irritated. The temptation is to react with our words rather than respond. In most cases, this will only inflame the situation. A thoughtful, prayerful response will usually go a lot further in getting our point across.
Again, the focus of resentfulness is self. Instead of exhorting and encouraging, words written from a place of resentment will likely discourage and dishearten.
Rejoicing in Wrongdoing
Life and writing are full of tension. One of the challenges facing writers is how to maintain authenticity and honesty in the darkest times while not glorifying the darkness.
Rejoicing with the Truth
As writers we can celebrate truth whether we’re writing fiction or nonfiction. As we make that truth accessible to our readers, we have achieved something important.
Bearing All Things
Laundry. Dishes. Vacuuming. Illness. Heartache. Depression. Whether it’s the day-to-day or those unexpected realities of life that we don’t see coming, as writers, we must bear what comes our way—and keep on writing. In fact, these are often the things that fuel and enrich our words.
Believing All Things
If God has called us to write, we must trust that He will guide our steps—when the path ahead is well-lit and clearly marked and when we lose sight of it because it is hidden in shadows.
Hoping All Things
Writers are familiar with hope. We hope that we’ll be able to craft something worth reading. We hope that someone will be blessed/challenged/entertained by our words. We hope that the wellspring of ideas won’t run dry.
Enduring All Things
From heartbreaking criticism to five-star reviews. From flying high to plummeting to Earth. From plain old hard work to free-flowing streams of creativity. Writing and endurance go hand in hand.
There is always more to read, more to learn, and more to write. May we all continue to press on.