Trust—in yourself and in your calling and in God—is the fourth pillar of the writing life.
Years ago, my wife and I planned to drive from Rhode Island to Fort Worth, Texas so we acquired Trip Tics from AAA. These booklets plotted out every mile of the drive. When we moved to Fort Worth, one of the first items we bought was a Mapsco book of street maps. Now we have Google Maps and Map Quest and GPS systems built right into our cars.
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Awhile back, I had a revelation about the similarities between God and a Garmin GPS. Each has a plan to get us somewhere, but they only reveal it one step at a time. With God, I think it’s because, if we saw his whole plan laid out before us, we would run the other way.
So we need to trust. First we need to trust in our own writing. We must recognize that our writing isn’t perfect and it never will be. We also need to acknowledge that it doesn’t stink.
It needs to improve and it can get better when we seek out others to give us feedback. For me, being very insecure and easily derailed by negative comments, this meant learning to trust critique groups and developing close relationships with my five writing partners.
I had to trust God and his plan for me. I had to trust he would bring the right mentor and writing partners across my path to guide me into being the best writer I can be.
I learned to believe I can do this—I can write—even when I’m sure I can’t. When it feels like I’ve lost the ability to put two sentences together never mind a 100,000 word novel. Even when I question whether I ever had the ability to put two sentences together. (And this only happens on days that end in d-a-y now.)
Trusting my writing and my calling is an every day decision. Even on days when I want to throw a pity party every ten minutes. Even on days I look up to heaven sand say, “Remember, this was your idea.”
His response is usually along the lines of, “Yeah, and your point?”
At this stage in my writing career, I know that I know that I know I am called to the writing life. I will never be satisfied or happy doing anything else.
It’s one day, one step, at a time. And it’s a step of faith in him and his plan and in what he has gifted me with. It’s a journey I don’t want to miss one single day of.
When did you know you were called to write? What confirmed it for you?