What Keeps Us Going?

Earlier today I was preparing a topic for an online discussion group. The topic asked about moments when readers told us our writing affected their lives.

Over my years of writing I’ve received many compliments about my stories and my characters, about how my fiction entertained and sometimes presented stuff in ways the readers hadn’t seen before.Thank you 2

Others have complimented me on insights they received from my blog posts. Sometimes it was my writing on the craft and the business of writing. Other times it was about my posts on my spiritual journey, which paralleled theirs in some way.

The most profound and touching piece of feedback came early in my career. Prior to the publication of my first novel, I asked several people to be beta readers (or first readers) of the draft manuscript.

In the draft was a scene in which the characters spoke about the Shalom peace of God—the concept of nothing missing, nothing broken in our lives, of how God’s peace leads to restoration and wholeness of our entire being.

One of the readers wrote to me and thanked for me including the scene and urged me not to cut it from the book because it brought her closer to God. As I pondered hPersistence 1er comment, I heard in my spirit: “If this novel is never published, it has still achieved My purpose—it brought her closer to Me.”

Like most writers, there are seasons when I hit times of discouragement in my writing, when the devil is shouting all his negative thoughts about what a deluded, no-talent hack I am, when he screams “You’ll never be published again.” I’ve grown some. Now these moments only come about once a day.

When I’m tempted to listen to the devil and dwell on his words, the memory of that beta reader’s words and God speaking into my heart remind me it’s all worth it.

There are many things in the writing life I can’t control.

Persistence 3The one thing I can control is obedience to God’s call to write because if my words reach only one person and change her life, I have achieved God’s purpose.

And that’s what keeps me going.

How about you? What keeps you going in the face of adversity and the devil’s attacks?








4 Responses to What Keeps Us Going?

  1. Linda July 15, 2015 at 4:26 pm #

    Your dedication and persistence are an inspiration. Keep going!

  2. Henry July 15, 2015 at 4:27 pm #

    Thank you. I intend to keep going until God tells me to stop,

  3. Diane Bohannan July 21, 2015 at 2:54 pm #

    Thank you so much for keeping at it, Henry! Your blog posts are encouraging! There are times I feel like I have absolutely no reason to write. I have no talent, and should stop. I should do something else with my time that is more productive or lucrative. But the stories keep coming. I can’t stop a new idea from popping up, and if I don’t write, I don’t feel like me. So I keep at it. I find people who encourage me. I pray for wisdom and guidance. And most of all, I enjoy the process! I’m learning, not perfect. I can always improve! 🙂

  4. Henry July 21, 2015 at 2:56 pm #

    I so admire your perseverance, Diane. You are an inspiration.

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