Getting Published Will Not Make You Cool

You may be called to write for your children, your grandchildren, your church newsletter, or other local venues—not the world. Anyone who writes is a writer.

What are your dreams?
But maybe just being a writer is not enough for you. You want to be published. But if you think being published will make your dreams come true, think again.

The reality is, life will go on pretty much as it did before. People who know you well are likely to view your work as a nice hobby. People who view you as a star either don’t know you or don’t know what being a writer is really like.

Once you’re published, doors do not always open easily, fans do not routinely flock, people unrelated to you do not stand in line to praise your work. Getting your foot in the door is hard; keeping it there is even harder. You will have to grow, sweat, and strain to keep improving.

Don’t believe your press
If you become published, you will receive letters from people who say your book is the best thing they have ever read. You will also receive letters from people who say you’re the worst writer alive and could not possibly be a Christian.

If you’re lucky, you will also receive letters from people who gently point out where you may have erred. Take those letters to heart, for they may be God’s way of correcting you.

Keeping your focus
If your book does not do as well as you’d like, you will be tempted to become critical and envious of others’ success—to complain about your editors, your marketing department, your reviewers, and bookstores.

Life is a never-ending struggle to walk in obedience to the Lord who called you to follow Him. Marketing plans, promotional gimmicks, and best-seller lists are strong distractions. Cast your dreams of million dollar sales on the altar and realize that if God calls you to write books that sell 10,000 copies, that is infinitely better than selling a bazillion copies of a book not written in obedience.

We must keep unity in the bond of love (Ephesians 4: 2-5). Other writers are our co-laborers, whether they write in our genre or not, whether they sell alongside us or not. Christian writers are not competing with each other. We are all pulling the same yoke, straining for the same purpose: to honor God with the talents and abilities He’s given.

Writing is like anything else—if God calls you to do it, do it wholeheartedly, as unto the Lord. When glory or praise is given, it belongs to Him, for creativity springs from the Creator.

Photo: Angela HuntAngela Hunt is writing in obedience. If you like her books, give the praise to God—then visit her online.


  1. Telena Contreras says

    What an encouraging and truthful message. I think sometimes when I’m not careful my focus can unintentionally drift off kilter. This is a great reminder of the purpose to which I am called – to glorify Him! And also of the effort that is required – my diligent best. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Dianne Davidson says

    I’ve heard it said that promotion and prosperity is a greater test than bad times. We are all flops without Jesus. Thanks for the reminder.

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