Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Writers, Ask Yourself the Hard Questions by Diana Flegal

With the permission of my Pastor, Nick Honerkamp, I want to share points I gleaned from a message he gave us at New Covenant Church a while back titled, The Meaning of Work.

Consider the key principles in Acts 7:13 Key that tie our work to our calling.

Every human has a 1) vertical calling (intimacy with God), 2) a common calling (love one another), and a 3) specific calling (work). Unfortunately, you cannot turn to a specific verse that says you are called to be a plumber, mechanic or artist. Number 3 is dependent upon fulfilling numbers 1 and 2.

If you submit to communion with God (vertical) and communion with your fellow human beings (common or horizontal) you will then find your identity (work). It is impossible to find this without the Holy Spirit illuminating it.

As they fasted and prayed, the Holy Spirit told them to separate Paul and Barnabas out for a specific purpose.

When God calls us, it is by name and specific (unique). God put in us a need to eat, which forces us to work. We then discover our value.  Note: Age never disqualifies us. Till our last breath we can be useful.

Work: provides us with meaningful activity, shows us what we are good at, and gives us clues to our calling. All of our struggles with work are good.

My struggles showed me a lot of things about myself. I now know; for me to enjoy my work there must be a mission attached to it. I am a ‘helper’ and ‘reformer’.  (A recent personality test I took confirmed that for me.)

In the past I was determined to please others with my work.  And in that determined effort I lost, to a large degree, the quirky unique person God made me. It was hard to deny who I was ,and there certainly was no joy in it. I am now in the process of regaining what the enemy has stolen. Perfectly positioned in Asheville, N.C. to do that. 

As with most helper/ reformers, I also want you to find your sweet spot, your unique gifting that will take your writing to a higher level, or lead you into your specific unique calling.

As a writer, that struggle might be placing your WIP (work in progress) in the night stand drawer and writing the story you know you are meant to write. Regardless of what others tell you will sell. Then rewrite it, and rewrite it, until it is polished.

For someone else it means you need to acknowledge you are a reader and not a writer. Like myself. I am an appreciator of words. And I have found a way to work with that.  An agent helps writers find a publishing home for their polished work. Another one like me might become a professional book reviewer, or a social media expert who promotes writers in the market place.

Struggle. Listen to the constructive criticism.

You desire to tell/write your personal story. After several failed attempts, it could be you are to hire a ghost writer. Same desire, better outcome.  

Bottom line. If something is not working, try something else. Bob Newhart keeps it simple here with his advice: Stop it! PLEASE take a moment to watch this entertaining video. It might change your life’s path.

Your square peg was never meant to be pounded into a round hole.

If you know you are a writer, then keep at it regardless of the rejections or what your Uncle Louie says. But if you are not succeeding, allow yourself to ask the tough questions. Maybe it is a misplaced desire or perhaps you are in the infancy of your writing journey and have much to learn before you will be ready to publish.   

You can view and listen to Pastor Nick’s complete message here. I highly recommend it.




Wendy L. Macdonald said...

Diana, I can relate to your words,"must be a mission attached to it." This is why I chose to write Christian fiction. And I love your desire to help writers find their "sweet spot...unique gifting."

Yesterday I watched both the links you included, and then I reread part of Bird by Bird.

Now I'm praying that God leads me and my writing "peg" to the right fit for me, according to His will.

Anne Lamott rewrote a manuscript she believed in when rejection helped her tap into her passion (sweet spot). Yet, in Little Women, Jo needed to write in a completely different genre to find her publishing path.

Let the adventure begin.

Blessings ~ Wendy ❀

Diana Flegal said...

Wendy, Bird by Bird is such a great writing resource. One of my favorites. Glad you enjoyed the links and found them helpful.

Linda Glaz said...

Amen, square pegs in round holes. I think most creative folks are def square pegs and our live would be so much easier if we would listen early on to our callings. It would make life a much better fit.