In his article, How Important Is Talent to You as a Writer?, twenty-one time New York Times bestselling author, Jerry B Jenkins, refers to himself as a journeyman, as opposed to a superstar talent in the field of writing. Wow. Okay, this means there’s hope for the rest of us aspiring writers.
“Regardless where you start, your work ethic will determine your success.” -Jerry Jenkins
Worthy pursuits cost something. They often require hard work and take long term investment to reap a good return.
“Who are you as a writer, and what are you willing to invest in your dream?” -Jerry Jenkins
I am a journeyman, the least of these. I love God and I love writing. So yes, I write for the love of God. I love people too. Except for when I can’t stand them. Just kidding; I love them anyway. Even when it’s hard—help-me-Jesus. 😉 God loves us all in spite of ourselves and calls us to care for one another accordingly.
I am a member of the Jerry Jenkins Writers Guild, and of a local writer’s group. I have a summer reading list. Sometimes I forgo other activities so I can invest time to learn the craft and write.
Talent is a seed. A seed hidden in my pocket will not take root, mature or bear fruit. It must be planted in good soil and nourished.
My neighbor and I planted the same kind of trees simultaneously. He planted three foot trees; mine were seven feet tall. But in a few months, his surpassed mine in height and vigor. When I consulted my gardener friend, Robert, he smiled and said, “Buy the $2 plant, but put it in a $20 hole.”
I am the $2 plant, but I am rooted and established in the priceless soil of the Gospel. The most important investment I will ever make in my life and my dream, is to maintain a vibrant relationship with Jesus through prayer, reading the Bible and seeking His direction. I can’t give to others what I don’t have. I can’t water the seed God has given me or the lives of others if I fail to first draw and drink from the well. I will not have the strength to carry sustenance to others if I don’t first nourish my soul. Only then will I bear fruit and have anything to offer. Whatever I do will flourish in direct proportion to how much I invest in my relationship with God. My writing will be an outflow. God will give the increase.
Sometimes I get discouraged with my writing. It seems like a mountain I will never be able to climb. I wish everything didn’t take so long:
- Being heard in this noisy world, and building a following
- Submitting my work, and someday actually being published
- Jesus, I just want to make you smile, and touch other lives for You
But life is a marathon, not a sprint.
“Slow and steady wins the race.” -The Hare and the Tortoise, Aesop’s Fables
I have a responsibility to tend the seed God has given me. Edward Bulwer-Lytton said, “The pen is mightier than the sword.” I am blessed with an awesome gift. My job is to continually develop my skill, and life has a way of providing abundant opportunity and inspiration.
What seed of talent has God given you?