Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: The Writer's Challenge (NOT the FaithWriters Challenge) (06/10/10)
TITLE: Writer's Progress
By Brenda Shipman
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She’d traveled the path of reading for many years. Reader’s road had been easy – basking in beauty, heartache, conflict, heroes and heroines’ plights and triumphs, humor and quirky characters…ahh, what a trip it had been. So much so, that one day Reader decided she wanted to be one of those who create these unforgettable characters and worlds. So she stepped a tentative foot onto the Writer’s Road.
In the beginning, Writer’s zeal and fresh energy compelled her to purchase a new computer, reams of top quality paper, an exhaustive thesaurus, a Christian Writer’s Market Guide, and about a dozen books on writing everything from children’s picture books to mystery novels. Yes, Writer was now equipped and eager to begin her journey.
During the first leg of her pilgrimage, Writer sat for hours in front of her blank Microsoft Word document….thinking, pondering, digging … for something, anything to write about. She became frustrated sitting there in the void and it slowly dawned on her that she had forgotten one thing, one very important thing for her journey - Inspiration. She knew she had a story to tell, the only problem was, she didn’t know where to find it. So she prayed…
And God provided…through memories, desires, fears, senses, beliefs, emotions, God’s Word and experience. Creativity began to spring forth like a stream in a desert as she tapped into these areas, asking God to bring them to life. God also sharpened her observation of people, providing characters from her everyday encounters: the waitress down at the local diner, an elderly couple in line at the grocery store, a child in the doctor’s waiting room. Her writing took on new life; and so she continued to walk, grateful for fresh provisions.
Writer finally completed her first magazine article and sighed with contentment as she pushed the “send” button. Two weeks later, Writer saw a response from the magazine editor in her inbox. Her face fell, however, upon reading that her article “did not meet their editorial needs at this time.”
Well, what’s one silly rejection? she decided. She submitted the same article to five more journals, and received five more rejections. This was not fun. She read somewhere, however, that even Madeleine L’Engle’s "A Wrinkle in Time" had been turned down 29 times before being picked up by a publisher. That gave her courage to continue to submit…submit…and submit some more.
At last, a non-paying e-zine was interested in one of her articles. Joy, oh joy! A published author at last! She felt bolstered, empowered and plowed ahead with new writing ideas. She started a non-fiction book for women, and often added tidbits to this growing file. In the meantime, she did get published in a print magazine, which was tremendously encouraging.
After several years of writing, however, a dry spell began to settle in around her. Dust bowl winds blew away her stories and characters, and eventually her strength and enthusiasm. She grew weary in her efforts, tired of the day-to-day routine, the frequent rejections, and the loneliness. Writer wanted to quit. But God shouted Galatians 6:9 above the noise of the wind, “Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.” She asked God to help her not lose heart, and to trust Him for an eventual harvest. God answered her prayer, while she joined an online writer’s support group.
As Writer progressed along the Writing Road, flashing neon signs blinked in her peripheral vision, and she became distracted:
SURF THE NET … YOU NEED A DONUT … TIME TO WATCH THE NEW NETFLIX MOVIE … ONLINE SCRABBLE WOULD BE FUN RIGHT NOW … PAULA DEEN’S COOKING SHOW COMES ON IN FIVE MINUTES …
The neon lights were so enticing, it would only be for just a few minutes; besides, she needed a break. But … NO! She firmly recited Proverbs 13:4 outloud, “The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, but the soul of the diligent is made fat.” She pressed on.
Writer’s Road finally ended at the gates to a new beginning. She laid all her writing at the King’s feet and said, “Lord, thank you for being the Word, and for giving us words. I hope I have handled all these words well. Please take what is gold and I will gladly say goodbye to all that is dross. It’s been great traveling with You along the Writing Road!”
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
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