I’m participating in a blog hop with other ladies from Pelican Book Group. I’m late, I’m afraid–everyone else put their work up yesterday. Since I already had plans for yesterday, I’m putting my post up today. A rare Thursday post.
We were asked to write Ten Commandments for authors, and I had to think a bit to come up with things the others hadn’t already said. Then I got to thinking that what the others said was universally true, so it certainly doesn’t matter to repeat a few of them.
So, here goes:
1. Pray before you start to work. For whatever strange reason, this one had never dawned on me before, but now that I’m taking my work more seriously, I think this is vital.
2. Study diligently to improve your craft, so the gift you give Him is your absolute best. Study, and seek help from other professionals.
3. Pray for the message you carefully weave into your work, that it may glorify Him and reach those He wants to call to Himself. We are the sowers of His seed. Pray that it lands on good soil.
4. Pray for the readers of your work, that your message finds a home in their hearts, and their hearts find a home in Him.
5. Pray for a stockpile of patience–to be patient with yourself when things don’t go right, patient with others when they interrupt you, patient with God when He has other things in mind for you.
6. Pray for a joyous spirit when another author succeeds. Jealousy can eat away at you until it shows up in your writing. Comparing where you are in your career to someone else’s path is a serious waste of energy.
7. Pray for an accepting and open heart when critiques and reviews come in. Not everyone is going to give you a glowing report. Pray for discernment–those whose critiques are informative, even if severe, are worth your attention; those whose critiques are vicious are probably having troubles of their own. Or, if this prayer doesn’t appeal to you, pray for the tough hide of a rhino–or the waterproof feathers a duck.
8. Be diligent about your health and pray about it also. Sometimes we writers get slack about exercise and careless about what we eat and drink. I have to constantly remind myself that authors do not live on caffeine alone.
9. Be thankful for the little successes. Wordcount goals achieved, marketing campaigns designed, positive reviews, even just finding the right word–be thankful.
10. Be thankful always for this God-given talent and desire, and remember to hold your position as an author with humility. Good reviews, positive responses, words of praise from peers and friends and readers can make us forget Who got us started in the first place.
“Enter into His gates with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him and bless His name, for the Lord is good.” (Ps 100:4-5)
The 10 Commandment for Writers Team:
Paula Mowery on Creative Christian Writers Crank Up
Delia Latham on Write Right!
Clare Revell on The World Can Wait
Jayna Morrow on JaynaMorrow.com
Brooksie on Groovie Brooksie
Lilly Maytree at http://www.lillymaytree.blogspot.com
Julia M. Toto on JuliaMToto.com
Therese M. Travis on Paperfaces
These are great, Linda.
My writing life improved when I started each writing day in prayer. I found that it got even better and more regular when I created threads on a couple of Christian writing forums (you know one of them) and prayed for all of us writers. For some reason, I found it easier to remember to pray for my own writing when I’m praying for others as well–as if everyone is out there just waiting for me to start praying. (chuckle)
Now the praying happens throughout the day and throughout the projects. Including God in projects I intend to be for His glory has been key.
I wonder what took me so long to learn something so many others already know.
Amen to all ten. #8 is one I’ve been thinking about a lot lately (going through some minor health difficulties this winter). It’s so easy to let health concerns slide in the face of the busyness of writing and marketing. But as they say in The Princess Bride, “If you haven’t got your health, you haven’t got anything.”
Sorry to hear you’re having problems. I should’ve mentioned something about Carpal Tunnel in #8. Don’t know if that’s what’s getting to you, but it’s a hazard for all of us who spend too much time on the keyboard.
Beautiful, Linda…just beautiful! I feel bad now that I didn’t include #1 in my 10, since that’s always been part of my writing routine. Sometimes the things we do routinely happen without thinking, don’t they? Maybe that’s why I forgot it lol It’s one of the things I always advise when I mentor another writer. And #8, of course, I certainly need to think about a lot more…
So glad you joined us, Linda. You’ve been a blessing!
Thanks for the invitation, Delia! #1 is the one I learned just recently. I was looking at my work too much like a hobby to bother God with, but He has shown His interest, and that just encourages me to pray more!
Love these, Linda… my favorite is #4. How often we forget how important those prayers for our readers are, as it just might be the first time anyone prayed for them, and thus opens a door for the Lord to work in their lives. Wonderful post!
Thank you, Lilly May. That’s another one that didn’t dawn on me until recently, when I was writing about the different audiences Christian writers reach in *Writing in Obedience.* Those of us who write Christian Fiction need to be aware of who we’re writing to.