The journey to become a real, live, bonafide author is anything but uncomplicated. Last year I had the incredible privilege of attending She Speaks conference in North Carolina with 699 other excited women of faith ready to offer God their talents in the areas of speaking and writing. Though the conference organizers and speakers did an amazing job of encouraging us with wisdom about trusting God and letting him direct our paths, they also informed us.
They taught us things about the necessity of public platform and the process a book takes to be published. They taught us about all a potential publisher wrestles with in her/his mind before they even take your proposal to look at. Things like what audience you’ll reach and how well this could sell. Things like all the books they have sitting in a warehouse that didn’t sell and whether your book is going to join those.
I can tell you my friends it is an overwhelmingly terrifying abundance of details! It can suck the creative life right out of you.
I made friends there with amazing women—gifted women from Texas, Minnesota, Iowa, Colorado, and so many more places. Several of us have been wrestling together with the overwhelming realities of publishing in this social networking age. How do I create a public platform? How do I pitch my idea for a book sufficiently to convince a publisher I’m a risk worth taking? How do I get enough followers on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and a blog so that they see I have a persona resonating with the public?
The process of becoming a published writer is not simply about being a good writer anymore. It is so much more and can be so overwhelming.
As my friends and I have tried to build this thing called platform and figure out how to balance that with our everyday, time-consuming, budget-strapped lives, we’ve shared our journey. We’ve asked for prayer for God’s direction. We’ve encouraged one another with reminders of things we learned. We’ve experienced the power that comes in taking leaps of faith and learning to trust God for next steps.
Ah. Therein lies the answer.
Time and again we’ve returned to the encouragement we received at the conference from amazing authors and speakers. These quotes are from my notes:
“God’s trust in me will take me further than anything.” – Christine Caine
“God chooses. You don’t have to strive when you’re being led by the Shepherd. All I have to do is prepare.” – Christine Caine
“I have already got what it takes to be who he created me to be and do what he has called me to do.” –Renee Swope
“Never underestimate the power of how God wants to use the offering I bring.” –Renee Swope
“Share universal faith with the lens of your own life.” –Kathleen Kerr
“Provision follows God’s plan.” –Lysa Terkeurst
“You aren’t seeking the spotlight on yourself. You are seeking to be a vessel that shines the amazing light of who God is through you.” –me encouraging an introvert writer
I’ve taken a few leaps of faith lately. They simultaneously are terrifying and exhilarating. A few times I’ve gotten answers beyond what I expected; answers that made me cry and thank the God who will open doors I couldn’t possibly imagine.
So to any Christian writers out there, don’t lose heart. To my fellow She Speaks alum and those planning to take that leap of faith and go this year, take heart! If you are praying about going this year, ask the God of all Provision to make a way. It’s worth it.
When we surrender what’s in our hands to the God of the impossible, he does amazing things. When we let him take the lead, he will direct our steps to places we couldn’t have anticipated. God can be trusted. His view of the journey we are on is so much better than ours. Trust him and take that next step.