Doing anything professionally forces you to sit down and think about whether or not it’s something that you really want to do. For me, this moment has come at an ironically late point in the game. I’ve been a writer since I mastered Z’s (I wrote them backwards for the longest time). I’ve wanted to be an author since just after that. It’s strange that with four novels, a stageplay, and numerous publications under my belt that now I should finally be coming to the point where I wonder, is this something I want to fight for, and is it really what I want to do?
If you were to ask me this on a surface level, I would say, yes, of course. I’ve been working towards this for years. I’ve combed through Machine (the first draft just turned five yesterday), put in countless hours, heck, I even joined Twitter. It would seem that this is the thing that I really want, and really, storytelling is something that is incredibly near and dear to my heart.
But there are a lot of ways to tell stories and writing is certainly not the only one.
Likewise, getting published seems to take an exorbitant amount of work. This is not a new idea to me. I was aware it would be difficult, but if we’re being honest, which I aim to be, as someone who has been (or at least thought of herself as) the proverbial big fish in a little pond for the larger part of her life, I have only recently started to realize just how hard of a journey it is. People aren’t knocking down my door for my book, I haven’t been declining offers of representation or publication, and I certainly haven’t been published by the age of fifteen like I’d hoped, nor even nearly a decade after fifteen.
Furthermore, I’ve had to give things up for this. I’m having to make decisions about how and where I spend my time, I’m having to trim down hobbies, I’m having to hold back friends or family. I realize as I write this that these are the decisions adults make. These are the steps to build a career.
And I have to wonder, is it worth it? Is this what I really want?
The answer is, I don’t know.
I’m not always sure this is what I want. It frightens me to commit. What if I put in all this work and the book flops? What if nobody loves these characters? What if people do, and I become a crazy, fame-thirsty lunatic? Or go on TV and mess things up? I tell people I don’t care about money, but what happens if I get famous and suddenly have lots of it? What if it sucks out my heart? These are questions I sometimes ask myself, but also, what if this isn’t what God wants me to do? What if pursuing writing takes the place of pursuing Him, the living God?
See, the thing is, I don’t want becoming a full-time writer to supplant my relationship with God. I don’t want fame or pleasing agents or gathering followers to be my one and only. And based on conversations I’ve had with some other people and what I see of the world around me, this is not the way that people live. They don’t get published by worshiping God, they don’t get agents by reading their Bible. This is not to say that there are not Christian authors, or that people of faith don’t get published, but for someone who is writing not just for the Christian market, telling an agent that my marketing plan includes trusting God to bring me the things I need on a daily basis and trusting His will, I don’t think that cuts it. And to be honest, if I were pitching to a Christian agent with a Christian book, I don’t think that would cut it either. Because we live in a practical world, and that includes taking practical steps. It is work to get published, and just because I believe that God will bring me what I need everyday doesn’t mean that I can just sit back and watch the flowers (well, snow drifts) grow.
This also is a new concept to me. This balance of work and worship.
I think I often feel as though to do one means I cannot do the other.
I don’t think this is really true.
My work is an act of worship. Using the talents he gave me for good is a good thing.
Balancing where I fit into it and how I approach the career steps and the whole process and how much I do in comparison to how much I rest and wait is a difficult thing. Recognizing God in the process is a difficult thing. Knowing where to walk practically when I know somewhat where to walk spiritually is a very difficult thing.
But I think it’s worth the shot, and this is what I’d like to do.
Thanks for reading.
P.S. How do you balance work and faith, and when do you know when to commit? Any other tips? Let me know in the comments. I’d love to hear your advice. Thanks!