When I wrote the last post I had finished talking with three different editors who were very discouraged. I was dealing with my own problems and about as discouraged as I've ever been.
Understand please... that the kind of discouragement I'm talking about isn't the kind that keeps you from working or distracts you so much that you can't write. I continued to press on and meet my daily writing goals. The type of discouragement I felt was like the little black cloud that seemed to hang over Charlie Brown. I had heard so much negative talk and had so many personal problems that writing was a chore. For the first time in my writing career, I wasn't excited about putting words on paper. I still had the ideas, still had the thoughts...I just didn't have the desire to write.
I'm feeling better now. My personal problems haven't disappeared. In fact, they have probably intensified. So why am I feeling better? Check out my Family Tracks blog to see what I've been doing the last two months. It's very exciting. Yet, I've discovered that acquiring a lot of exciting writing possibilities isn't why I'm feeling better.
I found out what I crave and need in this profession is interaction with people who are going through the same situations I have. My Dad is a minister and in our denomination we used to have a thing called, "Testimony Services". Every so often on a Sunday evening, Dad would open with "Testimonies". He would pray a simple prayer and then sit down. One by one people in the audience would stand and share something they were going through and give a short "testimony" about how God was helping them cope. Sometimes they were funny or sometimes they made you cry. Sometimes they were short and sometimes Dad would have to stand by the pulpit and give his comments to hopefully shorten the process.
I remember one older woman (in her 80's) that always gave the exact same testimony. She would use a cane to stand. She would steady herself and then smile. "The Lord is my shepherd and that's all I want." She would look around the room to be sure she had been heard. Then as if it were an Amen, she would tap her cane loudly and sit down.
As I talked with other authors and professionals this month, I began to understand how important "Testimonies" are. By sharing my feelings, I learned what other - more successful authors have done to fight those same feelings. If you are discouraged or having a difficult time with your writing - reach out to other writers. Share your concerns with them and be open to their wisdom. When we stand together and share our Testimonies, we will be stronger and our tasks will be lighter.
And yes....we will all come to understand that "The Lord is our shepherd and that's all we want."
If you have a writing testimony you would like to share, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. I would be happy to post it.
God loves you and has called you to write,