photo credit: flickr creative commons
I wonder when I'll get the big gig. You know, the mammoth contract that enables me to shuffle around in my house slippers, sip chai, and call myself a professional writer--the one that justifies the hours I've spent tip tapping keys in moonlight, kissing sleep goodnight.
For, once I'm recognized, I'll churn words into a New York Times bestseller. My hubby will rejoice over every conference fee, craft book purchase, and hour spent watching our two boys in support of "mommy's writing hobby". I'll never be a poor writer again.
I pull my head out of the cumulus clouds and realize my miniscule writing job stares me in the face like a homeless man. I'm losing spare change. To make matters worse, my article's final home is in the newsletter of obscurity and zero readership.
So, I desire to write something fast, for I'm convinced the publication will be tossed out anyway. Besides, I'll do my best work when I'm a professional, when I'm in the limelight.
I write a sentence. Hit backspace. Rewrite. Hit backspace again. After fifteen minutes, it's just me and the blinking cursor.
My mind is on a downward spiral, and my thoughts akin to a tornado. I realize I haven't prayed. I need God to reorient my thinking--my writing.
"God, please forgive me for looking at the size of the audience and dollar signs. Let me write each piece as if I'm writing for Christianity Today or The New York Times--as if I'm writing for you."
This prayer opens my eyes to the reason I write, and shortly after I utter the words, God brings to mind a quote from one of my favorite Charles Dickens' novel, David Copperfield, where David says he "reads as if for life" (Chapter 4). He later says, "...whatever I have tried to do in life, I have tried with all my heart to do well; that whatever I have devoted myself to, I have devoted myself to completely; that in great aims and in small, I have always been thoroughly in earnest" (Chapter 42, emphasis mine).
David's statement reminds me that regardless the size of an assignment, I'm writing for the greatest audience--the Creator of the universe, and even if I write for the magazine of anonymity and modest circulation, God will find my words.
Perhaps, if I'm faithful in the small things, God will entrust me with larger tasks? Yet, if He decides my authorship is best left anonymous, I'll let Him have His way.
So, what does it matter if my name is never mentioned, or I only make ten cents? God's "well done" is the greatest reward.
And today's assignment is my test.
A rush of inspiration runs down my fingertips; My words chase the cursor. I write until I experience carpal tunnel; I punch out my deadline. There is a song on my lips, a tune in my heart, and the piece I'm writing may as well be for a major publishing house.
For, I'm writing as if for God.
How do you view your art? Would you continue writing even if you never made a penny?
Melanie N. Brasher is a full time mama of two boys and wife to an incredible husband who understands her bicultural background. She moonlights as a fiction and freelance writer, crafting stories and articles toward justice and change, and contemplates faith, family, and writing at her personal blog. Though she’s an aspiring author, she’ll never quit her day job.