If I’m honest, there are times when I wish this writing dream would die.
When I began blogging several years ago, I dove in with both feet. I had no idea what I was doing or how many people would read what I wrote. All I knew was how good it felt to get the words out there. There was no middle man, editor or someone who deemed whether the syllables I strung together were good enough to print. It was just me, the laptop and the reader.
And I liked that.
But to pursue dreams and goals, we can’t remain in one place. We have to keep challenging ourselves to step outside what’s comfortable.
So I looked into the publishing world. I bought a writer’s market guide, took online classes and talked to successful writers. I learned what it took to get a publishing house to notice you, and I got my first taste of disillusionment with the industry.
Platform. Numbers. Followers and email subscribers. At first it seemed easy enough, until I heard numbers far exceeding anything I’d imagined.
I looked at other writers around me and thought I had to keep their rhythm and pace. Then I wondered why I was frustrated. I wondered why something I used to love felt heavy and burdensome.
I wanted my dream to go away, but it wouldn’t.
Every time I was tempted to close my computer and never see that cursor flashing again, a message would pop into my inbox. Or a comment would show up on my blog. A note of encouragement. A reader saying the words reached her at just the right time.
I knew this dream was so much bigger than me. I realized it wasn’t about me at all, really.
It was about the One who placed it in my heart. It was about the readers He brought here. Some close, and some in continents I may never step foot in.
A couple of weeks ago, I watched an Amazon original show that follows the life of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s wife, Zelda. Or as he called her, “Z.” She was his muse, his inspiration, and the woman who kept him going when he was temped to give up.
In one of the opening episodes, Zelda’s father, who is a well-to-do judge in Alabama, drills Fitzgerald about his writing, asserting that it is not a viable career. Fitzgerald fights back, saying Mark Twain was a millionaire.
Zelda’s father laughs.
“So you’re going to be the next Mark Twain?” he jokes.
“No,” Fitzgerald says. “I’m going to be the next F. Scott Fitzgerald.”
And he was. He was a writer in his own right, with his own voice. He didn’t have to be anyone else, because his message was recognized as unique. It stood on its own.
Now, I’ll be completely honest. I am not an F. Scott Fitzgerald or The Great Gatsby fan. (astonishing, I know) But I have a fascination with these classic, early 20th century writers. I’m captivated by the fact that they would pursue something most people thought was completely absurd. That they were willing to go against the status quo and take a risk.
As I reflected on the scene from “Z,” what I felt like God was saying to me was this:
“You don’t have to be like anyone else. Just be Abby. Just be the writer I created you to be.”
My job is to put the words to the keyboard. God’s is to do what only he can do.
So to you, dear reader, I deliver this message:
- When you’re tempted to look in the other lane, remember only you can run your race.
- When you’re tempted to give up, remember your pace may not look like the person to your right or your left.
- When you’re rejected, remember He can use each “no” to lead you to the perfect “yes.”
Your journey won’t look like anyone else’s. Because your journey was assigned by a limitless Creator.