I am not a confident person. However, I’m the daughter of an Army Ranger and I have always respected and appreciated strength and courage. Because I consider my personal lack of confidence as a weakness, I’ve always stood up to it and done things anyway with strength and courage, even though the entire time I am nervous and apprehensive and certain that failure is in front of me.
My mission statement as a writer is: To prayerfully craft stories as modern-day parables to uplift fellow believers and minister to seekers in our fallen world.
Writing is a terrifying career. I spend weeks or months crafting and creating, writing with my mission statement in the forefront of my mind. I pray before every writing/editing session. I take long walks every day communing with God and letting my mind empty so that I can be still and hear God’s direction in my stories. And then it’s time to take that creation that was pulled from my very soul and lay it out there for readers to consume and, often, critique.
I’ve published 32 books, and, still, on release day, I’m a wreck. I’m certain it’s the worst thing that’s ever been published, that the reviews will pour in and be filled with condemnation and criticism. It’s never happened, but there’s still time (heh).
The super duper cool thing is, though, that whenever I get overwhelmed with doubt in a way that paralyzes my writing (which is more often than I’m willing to admit), every single time I will get an email from a reader. In that moment. I’m not kidding. I have gotten so many emails over the years from readers that specifically address the way one of my books has encouraged her faith walk, her marriage, her relationship with Christ, her relationship with family. They come when I start stressing about what I’m doing and why I’m doing it and what if I can’t do it anymore — then I’ll get an email with words like this one:
I just wanted to say “thank you” for providing me with reading that is a positive use of my time and allowed for additional thought and reflection in my own spiritual life (through your characters).
I say all this to say — as readers, if we ever feel the compulsion to reach out to our authors and send them a note of encouragement, we might possibly be getting a nudge from the Holy Spirit to lift up and encourage a writer who is struggling with doubt. I want to encourage you to go ahead and send that email or that card. It’s entirely possible that the words you have are exactly what that authors needs in that moment.
If you have done it, on behalf of authors writing with God in the center of their mission statements, thank you. You have no idea what an impact you have.
How do you garner encouragement? One commenter will receive an autographed paperback of my latest release, Alexandra’s Appeal.
Alexandra Fisher and Jonathan Dixon meet in a honky-tonk outside of Nashville and instantly share a mutual attraction. That night, Alex decides to take control of her life while, simultaneously, a horrific news story sends Jon back into a tailspin. They both make bad decisions that result in permanent consequences. Back home, Alex stands up to her father and finds herself alone, pregnant, and cut off. She journeys to Atlanta, hoping Jon can help. Arriving at a mutual understanding of faith while looking through very different worldviews, they cling to each other, uniting as one, and learn to connect with God. But will family strife and all their baggage destroy their marriage before it even gets off the ground?