For years I’d sensed a calling that God wanted me to write fiction. But I feared every aspect of the process. I did nothing except dream about writing, conjure stories in my head, and claim that “someday I’m going to write a book.”
How sad to hold onto a dream, know it is from God, and yet have too many fears and doubts to take a leap of faith.
The husband dare
One day my husband said, “Stop telling me you’re going to write a book. Just do it! Quit your job and see what you can do.” I’ve never been one to turn my back on a challenge, so I took him up on his challenge and began gathering the tools needed to learn the art of writing.
No more excuses
This became my new full-time job. I began reading books about the craft and novels by authors I admired in the genre in which I wanted to write. I joined /conference/”>writing conferences.
I wrote every day—whether I felt like it or not. I prayed for guidance, wisdom, and to overcome my fears. Note the number of “I’s” in this list.
- I had to do the work (with an understanding that God would work through me)
- I had to be willing to pay the price, and
- I would, through the help of God, reach publication. Success required determination.
In the first year I sold magazine articles, short stories, and devotions while working on my first novel: a historical romance. Two years after my husband’s dare the historical novel was released by Barbour Publishing for their Heartsong Presents line. I never went back to my old job.
Today, I have more than 50 books in print, which have sold more than 1.5 million copies.
Are you ready?
If you’re just beginning your writing ministry, I recommend diligence. Approach writing as a job. The Bible says to work as for the Lord (Colossians 3:23), and that means giving your best.
I remember struggling and needing answers and guidance, so I now have a passion to help others improve. As you begin (or continue) your journey, remember that the mentors and staff at the Guild are here to encourage and guide you.
DiAnn Mills is an award-winning author and the Craftsman mentor for the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild. Her website is www.diannmills.com.