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I was curious how you'd answer these questions:

 

“Am I really called to be a writer?”

“Is writing worth my time when most writers fail?”

“How can I write when work, family, and other responsibilities fill my schedule?”

“Can I achieve excellence and stand above the crowd?”

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"Am I really called to be a writer?”

*When I became ill with fibromyalgia 21 years ago, the Lord whispered to my heart to write for Him. That has been my passion ever since.

 

“Is writing worth my time when most writers fail?”

*Has to be. I have to obey the Lord’s call. I just have to work at being my best for Him.

 

“How can I write when work, family, and other responsibilities fill my schedule?”

*I’m still ill. I rarely go anywhere, especially now. Well, except to the doctor for my hand. I do what I’m able to do around the house. I have plenty of time to write and take care of whatever else needs to be done.

 

“Can I achieve excellence and stand above the crowd?”

*That’s the aim, isn’t it? Always striving for excellence. I will only stand out where and as the Lord decides.

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There was a day when I thought I had answers for everything; I seem to have forgotten most of 'em. Maybe the memory's the first thing to go, or maybe I'm learning to look more carefully at the questions. This is a thought provoking batch: the kind to mull over long after I think i wrote out some answers on some website...

 

19 minutes ago, suspensewriter said:

“Am I really called to be a writer?”

 

We try our best to determine God's plan for our lives, though He can be secretive... I suspect I need to learn trust more than I need to know The Definite Answers, so I'll just keep on trying. My best answer is that I really think I'm called, but try to stay aware of His leading. If I'm doing the best I can to listen and follow, it's enough for now. If I'm willing to make a course correction if a clearer understanding of His leading should require it, I think I'd be willing to do so.

 

19 minutes ago, suspensewriter said:

“Is writing worth my time when most writers fail?”

 

There can be many purposes to writing. While i may have a goal of seeing my work in print, that may or may not be God's purpose, and I need to accept all possibilities, even as I work toward specific ones. There are many kinds of success that do not include selling lots of books, though that's a goal I pray and work toward. In the mean time, I'll do my best to bless others, encourage, enlighten, entertain and amuse them. In doing this, I'm not sure I see failure as an option, though I can't say whether my particular goal will be the destination I'm intended to reach.

 

I'll appreciate the adventure along the way.

 

19 minutes ago, suspensewriter said:

“How can I write when work, family, and other responsibilities fill my schedule?”

 

Most of us will have spent time with people who've almost reached the end of their lives. If any have regrets, it will have been wishing they'd danced more, played with more children, enjoyed their friends more, and appreciated their families more. None wish they'd spent more time doing any sort of work, and maybe that includes writing, but I'm not sure. Point is, there are people who will someday seem real important to me if they don't already. I'm going to appreciate them while i can. Real responsibilities must also be handled. I do have some spare time that I may or may not use wisely, and that's on me. I will do the writing activities where I can, and not miss the time that was never going to be available, anyway.

 

19 minutes ago, suspensewriter said:

“Can I achieve excellence and stand above the crowd?”

 

In my writing, I've already developed skills that have been useful elsewhere. I've managed to touch other lives, and encourage other people. I'm enjoying what I do. Excellence takes many forms, and I'm striving to achieve it in various places, and that's important. I don't think that whether or not I stand above the crowd is as big a deal, though I'd like to pass through that place, on the way to my destination.

 

In the end, I'm writing to advance the Kingdom of God. I think that my journey, lived correctly, makes a start in doing so. I think that I've written materials that will also help in some way. Whether it ultimately sees publication for profit or not is uncertain, though I'm willing to work hard to see that happen. I am also willing to eventually give it away, if that turns out to be the only alternative. I intend that others will see it, one way or another...

 

I have no key to the future, but I have right now, and right now, I have prayer, hard and careful work, and the chance to enjoy the journey. It's more than enough.

 

=========================

 

These are really, really really excellent questions. While I may be done with them here, I'm by no means done with them...

 

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“Am I really called to be a writer?”

I have no idea.

 

“Is writing worth my time when most writers fail?”

Who is to say a writer has failed? That they didn't achieve popularity? That they didn't make a lot of money? It's true that in our culture, the measurement of success or failure is... money. And money is not why I write. I write because: a) there's something I'm burning to say; b) I found during the process of writing that first novel that I enjoyed writing; and, c) if I weren't "wasting" time writing, I'd be wasting it doing crafts, watching television, reading, etc.

 

“How can I write when work, family, and other responsibilities fill my schedule?”
Each person has to determine for themselves what their priorities are. When I was younger and raising a family, I couldn't have set aside time for writing in addition to all the other activities. Now that I'm retired and am a widow, I can choose what I want to do.
 

“Can I achieve excellence and stand above the crowd?”

I can strive for excellence, and that's the best I can do. And... "stand above the crowd"? For me, writing is not a competition. I can enjoy what I do, and I can (and do) celebrate with other writers when they are pleased with what they've accomplished.

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11 hours ago, suspensewriter said:

“Am I really called to be a writer?”

 

Well, since I've already put in the hard work to publish, it would be more than a little embarrassing to say at this point that I didn't feel a call. But I think it can also be "seasonal." Sometimes my time and focus on writing is much greater, and other times I struggle to carve out a little time for writing.

 

11 hours ago, suspensewriter said:

“Is writing worth my time when most writers fail?”

 

The way I see it, you're guaranteed to fail if you never try. Writing is a big risk. It requires a large investment of time and energy with no guarantee of success, and yet you can't know if you'll be successful without first putting in the investment. 

 

11 hours ago, suspensewriter said:

How can I write when work, family, and other responsibilities fill my schedule?”

 

My biggest issue at present. I haven't found an answer to that, unless it's just to accept that seasons change, and that sometimes writing has to take a back seat for a while.

 

11 hours ago, suspensewriter said:

“Can I achieve excellence and stand above the crowd?”

 

That's a tough one, because one can knock themselves out producing a great, well written story that ends up going no where while some reality-star celebrity publishes a piece of garbage that roars to the top of the best seller list. A depressing scenario, but one that shows us that the marketplace can be very difficult to figure out. A lot of times I think it's like trying to predict where lighting will strike.

 

What is excellence in writing, and is it required to stand above the crowd? That's probably a long and complicated answer, if anyone can accurately answer it in a marketplace that's in constant change.

 

For me, all I can do is my best and leave the rest up to God. That's no guarantee of "success", because often times God's idea of success dosen't line up with our dreams of being on the best-seller list.  

 

     

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13 hours ago, suspensewriter said:

 

“Am I really called to be a writer?”

Don't have a clue. This is all up to God.

 

13 hours ago, suspensewriter said:

Is writing worth my time when most writers fail?”

Still don't know. I do it because I feel I should, no matter how good, or bad it is. Then I know I've done my part and the rest is up to God. 

 

13 hours ago, suspensewriter said:

How can I write when work, family, and other responsibilities fill my schedule?

I don't even try, if I have time and an idea I write it down. 

 

13 hours ago, suspensewriter said:

Can I achieve excellence and stand above the crowd?

This isn't up to me, I do the best I can with what I know and the ability I've been given. Use to the best of my ability the information provided. After that it's up to God, not me. If it's supposed to be shared it will get shared. Because maybe it's just to teach me something. And I've a lot to learn. 

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3 hours ago, Accord64 said:

Well, since I've already put in the hard work to publish, it would be more than a little embarrassing to say at this point that I didn't feel a call. But I think it can also be "seasonal." Sometimes my time and focus on writing is much greater, and other times I struggle to carve out a little time for writing.

 

You're going to make it big time, @Accord64! Trust  me.

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15 hours ago, suspensewriter said:

“Am I really called to be a writer?”

I think so. Then again, I've never been good at knowing things like that. 😄 

15 hours ago, suspensewriter said:

“Is writing worth my time when most writers fail?”

Yes. Even if I were the only one who ever read my writing, God has still taught me a lot of things through the process.

15 hours ago, suspensewriter said:

“How can I write when work, family, and other responsibilities fill my schedule?”

I just try to remember that family comes before writing. And, yeah, sometimes I mess up. 😄

15 hours ago, suspensewriter said:

“Can I achieve excellence and stand above the crowd?”

I do my best work and leave it in God's hands. That's really all I can do in anything. 🙂

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13 hours ago, Tommie Lyn said:

“Am I really called to be a writer?”

I have no idea.

 

“Is writing worth my time when most writers fail?”

Who is to say a writer has failed? That they didn't achieve popularity? That they didn't make a lot of money? It's true that in our culture, the measurement of success or failure is... money. And money is not why I write. I write because: a) there's something I'm burning to say; b) I found during the process of writing that first novel that I enjoyed writing; and, c) if I weren't "wasting" time writing, I'd be wasting it doing crafts, watching television, reading, etc.

 

“How can I write when work, family, and other responsibilities fill my schedule?”
Each person has to determine for themselves what their priorities are. When I was younger and raising a family, I couldn't have set aside time for writing in addition to all the other activities. Now that I'm retired and am a widow, I can choose what I want to do.
 

“Can I achieve excellence and stand above the crowd?”

I can strive for excellence, and that's the best I can do. And... "stand above the crowd"? For me, writing is not a competition. I can enjoy what I do, and I can (and do) celebrate with other writers when they are pleased with what they've accomplished.

 

A lot of thoughtful answers to my question.  Thanks, @Tommie Lyn!

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1. “Am I really called to be a writer?”

2. “Is writing worth my time when most writers fail?”

3 “How can I write when work, family, and other responsibilities fill my schedule?”

4. “Can I achieve excellence and stand above the crowd?”

 

1. If you mean did the Lord call me to be a writer, I wrote because it was for me more than others. So in a way yes. I think the Lord was giving me the help I needed.

2. Yes, I wasn't writing to succeed in some field of endeavor.

3. I tried to make it all fit and somehow it did.

4. Never was my goal in the first place.

These are all questions I have had to come to grips with at one time or another.

 

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“Am I really called to be a writer?”

I'm called to be saved, to be a daughter of the King of Kings and sister of the Messiah, to love my hubby and be his helpmate, to love my brothers, sisters, and enemies, and to give in whatever way I can. Writing is a way I can give. It's my comfort zone, so I suspect it's a God-given gift that I work on, as I can.

 

“Is writing worth my time when most writers fail?”

No idea how most writers can fail. The bar isn't that high. Writing includes thank you cards, complaint letters, business reports, resumes, filling out a job application, instructions, love notes, a to-do or shopping list, and texting. It's a method of communicating without using our mouths. (Unless you act it out verbally, like I've done... including my to-do list. 😬) We might not be great at all that stuff, but is it failure if it does what it's supposed to do -- communicate?

 

The article writing, prose, poetry, fiction, non-fiction, calligraphy and such are all a different type of writing. The definition of success depends on what our plans were. And we have to get to the point of only looking back, because there is no future, to decide if we succeeded or failed.

 

So is it worthy it? I haven't been able to write much in the last five years, but I'm finally getting back to it. I'm only on Book Two in a 7-book series, but, hey! I just finished the first draft of Chapter 7 in Book Two of a 7-book series. Cool, huh? AND, if that's not enough, I'm back in Spaulding's world, mentally enjoying the company of characters I've spent no time with in the last five years. I may, or may not,  ever become published. I may, or may not, finish the series, but one thing will happen some day. Some day, some kid, (preferably more than one kid), will meet Spaulding and his buddies and enjoy them as much as I do. I may be dead when that happens. OR it may never happen. But this I guarantee, (because God promised), I get eternity with the LORD to love and enjoy him. Success guaranteed on that one. Meanwhile, I have fun in this world.

 

“How can I write when work, family, and other responsibilities fill my schedule?”

Often I can't. (And I don't even work or have kids.) Oh well, since that is the stuff the Lord calls me to do.

 

“Can I achieve excellence and stand above the crowd?”

I don't want to be above anyone, once more a crowd. I'm a helper, not the main event. Even picked out a a good pen name so no one will know it's me if it does go big. (I want to go grocery shopping in peace. ☺️) If I waited to be excellent, I'd die waiting. "Good enough" was my goal. Having queried my first book and getting a couple of close-but-no-cigars, I know I'm "good enough." Now I work toward "better." 
 

I have one very-large, good story for middle-graders. My goal is they enjoy it. Not big on the patting-my-own-back part. I don't even want them to know who I am. (And, I suspect the only ones who will ever know are the ones who meet my characters. After all, many of my characters are also my stuffed animals.)

Just so you know, I did get what you were asking. I started writing this book series ten years ago, when I was 55. Not like I ever planned this as a career move. 😊

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59 minutes ago, Darrel Bird said:

1. If you mean did the Lord call me to be a writer, I wrote because it was for me more than others. So in a way yes. I think the Lord was giving me the help I needed.

2. Yes, I wasn't writing to succeed in some field of endeavor.

3. I tried to make it all fit and somehow it did.

4. Never was my goal in the first place.

These are all questions I have had to come to grips with at one time or another.

 

Wonderful answers, Darrel!

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This is one reason why I value the forum- it’s a blessing to hear the stimulating questions and encouraging answers and responses to answers.

 

“Am I really called to be a writer?”  Yes. I knelt on that battleground so many times just getting up the nerve to post my first piece a couple years ago. And since then, the many times I’ve questioned again, I’ve sat down with Jesus and had the question settled again. I read that the Greek root of “faith” is persuasion. Persuasion is a mysterious wonderful thing. Similarly to going out to share the gospel, with writing I also have to keep remembering that the message- not the response of the audience, is my work and offering. Though I value a positive response, the value motivates me to great concern with how to fashion the message to reach hearts. When my persuasion of whether I should even write takes a hit, I often recall that I once believed it was God’s pleasure that I write. Then I muse about His pleasure and then I gradually become re-persuaded in my pleasure in writing to please Him.

 

“Is writing worth my time when most writers fail?” I learned that I cannot compare myself to failures or I will appear to myself to be a non-starter. But did you know that the Hebrew word in Genesis 39:3 for “succeed” (ESV) means “to push forward” according to Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries? [Potiphar] “saw that the LORD was with [Joseph] and that the LORD caused all that he did to succeed in his hands. That definition of succeed was a game changer for me. To this day, God has caused me to push forward.

 

“How can I write when work, family, and other responsibilities fill my schedule?” I thank God for being in strict COVID restrictions in my host country (which is not Afg) much of the past 14 months. I learned that even though I’m a morning person, I can write any time of the day when I can manage the time between other responsibilites. I did take an unforeseen trip to the States when my youngest daughter was in a life-threatening wreck and I had absolutely no time to write for several months. (Now she has quite a story to write some day!) The short answer to the question is that God is sovereign in all these things. I didn’t have peace to take time to write more than short pieces until all my children launched out on their own exploits with God as adults. Since then it’s been strategic plodding for me.

 

“Can I achieve excellence and stand above the crowd?” I’ll do my work as unto the LORD and let Him decide where to take it. His own excellence and pleasure in excellence is another motivating value.

 

Thanks again for the stimulating questions and answers in your posts.

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Just like with anything that God calls us to do, success is not my aim. God has called me to write. He has given me stories to tell. My part in the process is obedience. Will I be obedient in responding to this call that God has placed on me?

 

Whether or not God ever chooses to make it grow is not on me. I hope that He will. I hope that this thing I do for Him will bring Him glory and that He will be blessed by it, but what God is most interested in is my obedience.

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2 hours ago, Paul but not THE said:

Writers are artists.  Do it because you like to do it.   If you like/enjoy your art, it's good.  When it gets un-fun, quit or take a break.  If God's truly called you to do it, you can't get out of it.  Ask Jonah.

This was what I needed to hear today, @Paul but not THE.  Thank you for these priceless words of wisdom that I am now going to screenshot and save.  Slowly, every so slowly, my desire to write again (or at least try) is trickling back.  Bit by bit.  I'll get there, when the hour is come.

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14 hours ago, Grey_Skies said:

my desire to write again (or at least try)

I know what direction I want to take my characters, but round-tuits to write those transitional scenes just aren't coming.  I see the events happening in my head, but they're not getting to paper.  BUT, I don't have a deadline.

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Posted (edited)
On 5/22/2021 at 9:58 PM, suspensewriter said:

I was curious how you'd answer these questions:

 

“Am I really called to be a writer?”

“Is writing worth my time when most writers fail?”

“How can I write when work, family, and other responsibilities fill my schedule?”

“Can I achieve excellence and stand above the crowd?”

 

Callling. When I was about eight, my mother asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I answered, "An engineer or a rock star". I sang throughout my school years and even toured Europe one summer with a Christian choir. I never did become a rock star. However, I have been a software engineer for about 35 years, and good one at that. Even so, I still write poems and songs. A well-crafted computer algorithm delights the mind, but a well-written song delights heart and soul. To your first question, I would say:

 

I am free to be a writer.

 

And writing sets my heart free. I can express what is inside, discover what is inside, and sometimes improve what is inside by shining God's light there.

 

As a child, all I wanted to do was read. It brought me the greatest pleasure in the world. The flip side is this: if you become a Christian, you begin to put selfishness aside and become a lover of people and you want to give good gifts to them. If what gave me the greatest joy as a child was to read great stories or books about the wonders of the world, then as an adult, I can't think of a better gift to give than words that I have carefully assembled.

 

Failure. As to your second question, I have failed a lot. Even in software, I have lost a lot of jobs. I tried to become a pastor, but gave up that when I realized I wasn't called. I tried to become a misisonary, but gave that up, too. After seventeen years of writing and five books published, how much did I earn in royalties last year? Not enough to pay for one dinner for my family. However, through my research and writing I have come to know the Bible better than ever. I have learned much about myself. I feel closer to God. Is it worth it? Nothing in this life gives me more pleasure than knowing God, and nothing brings me closer to him than the patient study of his word that only happens when I write. Explaining the faith to others clearly requires that I undersrtand it deeply.

 

Time. As for the third question, about time management, that is a constant struggle. I began writing when my youngest was two. Now she is eighteen. It has gotten easier. I remember writing at McDonalds play places while the kids ran around, at an indoor playgound where they have slides and climbing structures, and before dawn and after midnight. I remember ducking into a hotel lobby on the way to or from work to jot down a few paragraphs. Once I got my first iPad, I started writing on the train and bus I rode to and from work. My life is simple. Our family never had the money to go on fancy vacations - I have had six one-week away from home vacations in the last 27 years. I used to play guitar, create board games, ski, rollerblade, play racket ball, and other hobbies. Now I just write. 

 

Excellence. I write the best I can. I have read many books on the craft. I seek God often in prayer, asking that he help me discover and remove errors in my ideas and awkwardness in my style. In recent weeks, something changed. I have been writing about the historical psalms. I was disappointed with what I wrote. But this time the reason for my disappointment was different. I confessed to God that His Word is glorious but my words about His Word are not. Yes, my pride gets in the way of things all the time. I want to write well so that others will think highly of me. Even so, this time I was not asking for help writing to puff myself up, but so that He would not be robbed of His glory through by lack of insight. God graciously gave me more to say, because goodness and generosity are not things that He hoards. I only hope that I remember in the future what true excellence is and its source.

Edited by paulchernoch
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