Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Those Crosses

Some of the aspects of writing and getting my latest book out have been annoying this last little while. I'm only going to use this first paragraph to summarise them all so here it comes. There's the loneliness, the expense, the misunderstandings with production people (which I might write about another time), the difficulty in sales, a certain lack of recognition and feedback, the constant re-writing, the time-consumingness of it all and the occasional reluctance to sit down and get on with it. And there are so many millions of other people out there who are writing excellent books, which begs the question does it even matter if I don't add to the glut? Without going on at length about any one of those, they've been enough to make me seriously consider whether it's worth going on with. A few times over these past few weeks I've thought I might throw it all in and say it's all too hard.

But then I remembered the great things about it. The fun of the creative side, the characters, the feedback that does come my way and the possibility of influencing and inspiring others. If there's anything that really makes me feel as if I'm doing what I should be doing, it'd have to be writing. And I remembered that when we don't do what we truly believe God has planned for us to do, then it's a sin of omission. There's too much good about it to consider giving up after all.

Sometimes, as Christians, we talk about 'bearing our Cross' and then when we have crosses to bear we just want to be rid of them. I know people who associate 'bearing our crosses' with standing up for our Christian beliefs in the face of persecution and even martyrdom. I think it covers this and even more. When Jesus spoke of cross-bearing in the gospels, he seemed to cover the inevitable annoyances that come with living your normal life and doing what you believe God wants you to do. "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take his cross daily and follow me," he said in Luke 9: 23. "Anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple" he added in Luke 14: 27. So all of that annoying stuff I mentioned in my first paragraph in regards to writing Christian fiction is simply part of what Jesus warned about, and a very small part I might add. If we want to pursue any dream we simply can't escape the inevitable frustrations that are bound to come with it. I think Jesus said this about crosses not to make us feel gloomy but to encourage us to simply remember what He said and deal with them.


  1. Your words speak truth of the creative process.

    I think there are some interesting metaphors for the comparison you've made. If only one person is moved by your work, it is like as comforting as Veronica wiping Jesus' face on the path of the cross. And you also do get some assistance (Simon) with carrying your cross, although it is still yours to bear. It may not be recognized in this lifetime in the way we would like it to be received, but creativity does need to be released for the benefit of all people.

    Peace and Laughter (and hugs for your hard days--they are appreciated),

  2. But sometimes all those little things can feel like a pretty heavy cross. Why is that? Sometimes I think that Satan uses those to keep us off course in our walk.

    Thanks for giving me something to ponder. I will be praying that you will have encouragment, wisdom, and direction.

  3. It's good to take your discouragements and turn them around - God definitely didn't promise us an easy life. And I think you are correct in stressing "daily" cross - meaning exactly that. Our daily struggles to live as Christ wants us to.

    Definitely don't give up the dream. Each person makes a difference in what they contribute to this life. There will come a time when you truly feel it is time to move on to a different path instead of writing (or not!) but I still think you have a lot of good stories in you that need to be told! Once you get through all these publishing trials and you hold that book in your hands, I'll bet the stress melts away. At least, that's how I look at it! Is that realistic? Is that how you felt with your other books? I hope so. I always focus on the end product, which is why I loved being in the pre-printing part of publishing. I loved finishing a typesetting/paste-up job and sending it off to be printed. I would often get back the finished results, for my files, and it was such a thrill. Made all the work worth it. And if the customer was pleased (and paid me!) it was even better.

    That's one reason why housework (for me) can be so discouraging. There's seldom a finished product to be proud of. I have to look for ways to feel accomplished.

    Anyway, enjoyed this post. And I'll pray for you.

    Take care!