Great Writers Series: Prepare

~~ Colossians3:23 (NIV84) ~~  Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men

by Carley Cooper

It’s day five of the 15 Habits of GreatWriters challenge.  Just to recap for those new to this series:
  • On day one the assignment was ‘Declare’; that is to tell the world that ‘I am a Writer’. 
  • Day two, was to Believe that ‘I am a Writer’.  The most important thing I need to do this is faith; in God, so that my fears can be overcome and His blessings will be free to flow. 
  • Day three, was to Initiate that big dream project; such as a book.  For me, though, I found that it also meant initiating a part of myself that I’ve always kept hidden.
  • Day four was the day to Practice sharing with the world the words we put on paper.  Sometimes, this kind of practice is more about having faith in God to carry us through than it is about what others think about our writing skills. 
The fifth habit of great writers Jeff Goins says is to ‘Prepare’.  The challenge in that item was to ‘ship’ something out by taking what we have written already, ask someone to proof read it, give “brutally honest critiques”; then to take that advice, make changes, rinse and repeat.  This is where I get nervous.  I’m not done ‘preparing’ enough to ask for feedback.  Jeff says:
You have something you want to share with the world.  Maybe it’s a book, a play, a piece of art, or something else.  Whether you have ten novels under your belt or you’re scared to start a blog, there’s work you’ve yet to create.  And for some reason, you’re still preparing for it.  Still waiting for your shot, telling yourself you’ll get to it… some day.  But the truth is you won’t.  Not really. Admit it: You’re stalling. Waiting for perfect, all the while letting good pass you by.
I read this in the article for today’s assignment.  As I read the part about “But the truth is you won’t”, I was shocked.  I actually said, out loud, while I’m sitting here alone in my apartment “What?!  Huh, where’s the faith in that?  What about that faith speech we got last week?”  Then, I realized; he could very well be right.  I keep working, and coming up with excuses why I’m not further along in my book writing project than I am.  He says that:
You know you’re preparing when:
  • You’re getting better every day.
  • People keep asking you, “When are you going to publish X?”
  • You’re building measurable momentum.
So on that note, and as I look back, I can see that I am making progress.  I do keep writing;
  • in two book projects (one is on the back burner as a secondary project but it’s there and slowly it’s also coming along.  The other is my ‘big project’; the one that has my whole heart in it.)
  • on blogs - Worship Melodies and Tin Roof Sundae; plus one on SparkPeople that I share with that community for the support that I need for my healthy living journey. 
  • in my journals.  They’re private, but I still know that it’s good writing practice and I am growing from those also.  
I get keep publishing articles on my blog sites.  I know from the feedback that I get:
  • that I’m getting better in my writing.
  • AND, that I am growing in my journey with God. 
  • I do get people asking me about my book projects; and they’re wondering how far along I am to completion.  I do have faith that God has a plan for this book, simply because I know that He is leading me in this journey, not only to do the project but what to write.
  • that I am building some measureable momentum because as I go back and read past articles, I can see my progress in the writing and in my journey with God.  I get quite a bit of feedback from followers giving me encouragement and telling me how much I’m inspiring them.  I am so overwhelmingly grateful for you, my followers, because quite often it is you and your feedback that motivates me to keep writing. 
My preparation, though it may be slow according to the timeline of some great writers or publishers, is moving along continually.  Though, it may seem sometimes that I am not as far along as I could be or should be, I am certain that I’m perfectly on track with God’s schedule.  I will indeed ‘ship’ my biggest book project for feedback  when it is ready.  There are portions of it that I need some feedback on very soon in order to continue writing.  I will be looking forward to the feedback on it.  I’m rather excited to hear what assessments that I will get.  I want to improve, and this kind of opinion is just the thing to help that happen.  It is the preparation that I’m doing for God, though, that is what will lead me to be the greatest writer that I can be.  Without God, no amount of success according to the worldly parameters of quality writing, numbers of books sold, or sales figures; on any project means anything.  Everything I do, I want to be for and about God.  The real preparation is about getting ready to spend eternity with Jesus. 

~~ Dear God ~~  Thank You the preparation that You are doing for me, with me, and in me so that I will, not only be blessed in this world by helping others and bringing glory to Your name, but also be ready to spend eternity with You .  In Jesus name, AMEN.

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