I'm not a financial success story yet but the story is certainly a valid lesson.
I was in prison when I had my first real encounter with Jesus; and yes, I do mean a real prison. I found the chaplain services to be very lacking when it came to meeting the spiritual needs of inmates. Sure, they visited but rules, regulations and time restraints made it nearly impossible for them to be effective.
I believe the entire idea was God, but I started a prison magazine called 'The Jailed Pen'. I wrote personal stories about my journey into faith, my struggle with facing up to my past and my fears about the future. One other inmate also did the same and I edited his content.
It started as two sheets of paper printed on both sides going around the local inmate population. It exploded. It ran for five years, became sixteen pages and in a snow storm of miracles it ended up going into prisons around the world; in countries like Zanzibar, Belgium, Spain, England and even the U.S.A. I had become a writer and editor.
When I got out of prison I really wanted to become a full time writer, but life and needing to rebuild it got in the way. About two years ago I thought I was ready and joined FW. I got a rude surprise. I wasn't ready at all.
My writing was nowhere near good enough and all those well meaning folk (family, friends and church members) who told me how great I was were leading me up the garden path. I needed to go back to school and learn punctuation, sentence structor, spelling (pun intended), what makes a good poem and all about how stories flow etc. etc. etc.
I couldn't afford school but got lucky. FW became a great place to learn. This has been my schooling and has helped me to get ready for the market. Entering the Challenge, getting constructive critiques and, most powerful of all, one Dr. Dave Walker (the best writing buddy I could ask for) have been the keys to learning and improving my skills.
I'm close to launching my own website (been playing with it for awhile) and also have three books that are also close (one fiction, one poetry and one study on ancient Hebrew). But I haven't released them due to constant improvements as I learn.
Financial success isn't what it is about (although it would be nice) but it is about thanking my Dad, that is my real Dad who got me through the jail experience and gave me the ability to write, and serving His Kingdom. Everything becomes second to that.
Summary - making sure that your writing shines is really important. It is a competitive world, this world of writing, and we must never stop learning, improving and sharpening the pencil (pun also intended).
FW is a great place to do this and an important part of the pathway to success.
May we all get eyes to see and ears to hear,
A Revelation of His Word, crystal clear.
Admitting our need to be drawn in,
Less of self, more of Him.
My prayer for us all.
God bless us with the Revelation of His Word, Grahamhttp://www.shekinahcloud.com/page/page/8464330.htm