From the time I was very young, I wanted to write. In response to that, I usually got the question of, "But what will you do as a real job?"
Can you relate? If you are a writer, a painter, a photographer or any other creative/artistic based soul, there is the expectation that you won't be able to make a living doing that, that you'll have to do something else as well.
Today, for Holley Gerth's God-sized Dream Team, we are supposed to write about the biggest risk or scariest part of following our dreams.
For me, it's the fear of failure and everybody being right that perhaps I am a little crazy.
I've gotten off track more than once on these past six months because I got caught up in a) what's the next best career move and b) how to make my writing lucrative.
I know that sounds so crass doesn't it? If you are a true artist then money shouldn't matter right? Well, the truth is, when you have bills to pay or kids that need braces or your car needs repairs, money becomes a little more important. I remember romanticizing the idea of being poor for my art, but the reality is, that gets old pretty quickly.
Besides the money aspect of pursuing my dreams, there comes this fear of failure. What if I pursue this with my whole heart and then find out I'm not good, or nobody wants to read what I write, or there is nothing that really sets me apart from the million other wanna-be writers out there. Who am I to think I can make a worthwhile contribution?
I think the idea of "being good enough" is something all artists of all stripes face at one time or another. Art - whether it is through words, paint or a camera lens is very personal. It's a reflection of our inner selves given to the world. Criticism of it feels uncomfortably close to criticism of who we are, not just what we do.
Another risk for me goes back to that old question - "what is your real job?" Or, to put it another way, is this worthwhile in the scheme of eternity? While I believe in the power of story to change peoples' lives, I don't necessarily believe in the power of MY stories to change peoples' lives.
As a former English teacher, I can run down a list as long as my arm why reading fiction is beneficial, but for some reason, I have a hard time translating that into me writing fiction being beneficial to the readers out there.
It all comes back to two things: trust and obedience.
Do I trust God's direction? Obviously, while I am perfectly capable of going on a wild goose chase after the unimportant, GOD isn't going to send me on a goose chase. HE is the one that created me to write, to be creative. Sometimes, I wish He'd made me to be a nurse or a doctor or with some other very obviously beneficial skills than writing. The benefits of writing stories isn't always tangible and I often don't see the rewards until much later - if ever.
But I can trust that God's plan for me is perfect and worthwhile.
That means, if I can trust God's plan, then the only question left for me to answer is will I be obedient? Will I walk out what God has for me to do? Will I be a faithful steward of the skills and gifts He's entrusted to me? Will I trust enough to obey and leave the results up to Him?
My answer is YES! Yes, because to do anything less is to miss the grand adventure God has for me. Yes, because I don't want to be like that steward in the Bible whose master comes back to find he buried his talents instead of using and multiplying them.
Ultimately, when I write, I'm not trusting and relying on MY gifts and abilities. Instead, I'm laying them at Jesus' feet and trusting Him to use them for His glory and for His purposes.
Are you willing to let go and let God use the gifts He's given you? Do you trust Him enough, even when the result doesn't match the world's definition of success?
~ Blessings, Bronte