Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Cut Your Wrists

Cut your wrist and bleed into the work . . .

“What’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten as a writer?”

Cut your wrist and bleed into the work . . .

That was it.

First of all, it’s still surreal when I get these questions, any questions about being an author. I’m not sure I deserve them, have earned them, know how to answer them. But that aside, I do know that that one phrase my agent said struck me, made me rewrite chapter one of Snow Angel with the wrists wide open and the blood (figuratively) flowing.

Writing without the safety valve on feels very scary, exposed, raw and real. But that chapter went from two dimensional, cardboard characters to something that breathed on its own, something that could touch a chord from my heart to the reader’s heart, something transcendent. The truth is, though, it was hard to go there. It cost me something greater than myself.

My mind turns to Jesus. He “died on the cross for our sins.” The phrase has been said so many times it’s almost a cliché. But if you look at His life . . . He never lived for Himself. He always bled out His life for others, way before the ultimate sacrifice of the cross. I complain sometimes and get discouraged that I don’t have any more to give. But then I look at His example and know I have to give everything.

You want to be a great writer? Here’s my advice:

Don’t be fake. Don’t say what you think you should say. Don’t compromise to fit in. Don’t care who you please except for pleasing Him. Cut your wrist (figuratively of course!) and bleed out what God put you on this earth to share with others. You might be rejected. You might be reviled.

You might be crucified.

We were never promised multi-book, thousand dollar deals. But we were promised eternal life with all the rewards that obedience to Him will give us. This life is just a moment. We are all flowers fading. Find what He wants you to write and then live your destiny with the assurance that you have followed in the footsteps of our savior. Jesus.

People might not recognize your genius until you are long gone. :-)They might not ever validate you and who you are. But this life is just a glimpse of reality.

We might spend eternity discussing your genius!

So bleed into your work. Be real. Be honest. Be who He has called you to be. And then expect nothing but His smile and the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” Someday, those words will be all that matters and they will ring throughout eternity, never growing old, never fading in meaning nor worth, always validating our sprint here on earth.

I can’t wait to someday read the words written on your heart.


  1. So, writing is painful? :)

    I wrote like that once. Then, I burned every single manuscript before I went off to college....

    Probably burned my bestseller. Or maybe it was sweet incense for better things to come?

    Painful, but wise advice!

  2. Jamie, you wrote: "Don’t be fake. Don’t say what you think you should say. Don’t compromise to fit in. Don’t care who you please except for pleasing Him." GREAT advice! But sometimes hard when doing so doesn't get "you" the publisher you'd like. But hey, I'm "hanging in there," and am grateful for reminders like yours. Thanks! :-)

  3. Crystal! You gotta dig those stories back out from your heart. Bestseller or not, (I'm voting for yes) they're pieces of you and deserve their moment in print!!

    Millie, Keep going! God's timing is so hard sometimes, but He has a reason for it and it's got an eternal value. I pray you are guided by Him, encouraged by Him and while you are on this journey, don't forget to enjoy it! I love Joyce Meyers advice about enjoying the journey cause that's most of life. Getting there only lasts a minute. Then there is some other goal to reach, etc. When I wrote this blog entry I was preaching to myself!! I get caught up in so much angst about what to write next, how to get to the next level, it doesn't stop with your first pub deal. So my prayer for us is that we see things from an eternal perspective and then live our lives full of love, peace and joy!

  4. Jamie, your comment back to me is just as encouraging and inspiring as your post! Awesome! Thank you and thank God! And you're so right -- I am enjoying the journey (as I pray for patience) even tho' so far it's a self-published one. But hey, I'm out of books again and getting ready to print more this summer unless a publisher "snaps" (HA!) me up, God willing. . . Weekend blessings and JOY! :-)