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Encouragement

Overcoming Discouragement

 

Discouragement can stop us from accomplishing the tasks God has, in His infinite wisdom, given us to do. As a freelance author, editor, and writers’ conference speaker and director, I’ve learned that staying motivated can sometimes be a struggle.

You see, most people think writing a book is easy … until they actually try to write for publication. It’s such a long process, filled with discouragements and distractions, setbacks and rejections. Sometimes it would be a lot easier to quit writing than to keep at it. But when God has called you to do something, you can’t quit. His gentle nudging keeps bringing you back to the path He designed for you.

On days when I’m not feeling very motivated, I think about the long-range effects of the tasks God has called me to do. Whether I’m writing something myself, helping a client edit a manuscript, working with writers at a conference, or helping freelance editors develop their own businesses, I’m a small part of a big team of people that God put together to get what He wanted to be written into the hands of the people He knew would need to read it, at precisely the right moment.

What if Jesus’ followers hadn’t written the Gospels? You know, Luke opened his book by saying that many others had already written narratives about Jesus’ life, and they were eyewitnesses. Surely Luke must have wondered whether he should bother writing yet another account of the same story. But if he hadn’t, we would not have Luke 2, that beautifully written account of Jesus’ virgin birth.

The only other gospel that even mentions Jesus’ birth is Matthew. And he doesn’t say anything about Mary and Joseph traveling to Bethlehem and finding no room in the inn. Nothing about a manger. Or shepherds. Or heavenly hosts. Without Luke’s writing, most of our favorite Christmas traditions wouldn’t exist.

God touches hearts and changes lives through the written word. I love being part of the behind-the-scenes work that brings about that miracle.

Wherever the Lord has placed you, He has you there for a divine purpose. Keeping that purpose at the forefront of your mind can give you the motivation you need to overcome discouragement.

Kathy Ide is the author of Proofreading Secrets of Best-Selling Authors and the editor/compiler for the Fiction Lover’s Devotional series. She is a professional freelance editor, director of the SoCal Christian Writers’ Conference and the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference, and co-owner of the Christian Editor Network. You can read her blog on her website.

 

 

 

One reply on “Overcoming Discouragement”

I sat here today feeling discouraged as an author. I never realized it until after the fact, but being an author is much more than just writing a book and getting it on a shelf. Writing a book is opening all the windows to your soul, and you are in an extremely vulnerable place in doing so. I recently published my fourth book, a novel. It is an expression of beauty, crafted in a way that speaks volumes from the rooftops in a way subtly underwritten in God’s silver thread. I suppose we have expectations as authors. We expect everyone to run to the shelves and do nothing with their time and energy but read our books. When reviews don’t come in right away, when it takes people a while to read our novel, we become eerie because our soul’s windows are open and we aren’t receiving feedback like we hoped. But writing is not about us. Writing is about joining God’s hands to other people’s and giving them a chance to meet in private. Thank you for writing this post, as it gave me inspiration today. Luke did exactly what the Holy Spirit instructed him, no more or no less. We need to do the same. Thanks for putting this out there so that people like me can keep their heads pointed in the right direction. Thanks.

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