I’ve been dealing with discouragement in my writing. The novel I’m working on is taking much longer than I intended and all I hear is how hard my genre is to sell. But I’ve also had this Bible passage that has been really encouraging through these months and I want to share it with you.
In Luke chapter five, Jesus borrows a boat from some fishermen who had just come in from a night out working. He takes the boat out into the water a bit and teaches the crowd, then comes back and tells the fishermen to go and put out their nets again.
Okay, these guys had worked all night with nothing to show for it. They’d cleaned their nets and they were ready to go home. I can imagine how tired they must have been, maybe frustrated. The thing that they were supposed to be good at wasn’t going so well.
Have you ever felt that way? It’s how I’ve been feeling for months. But you know what? The story doesn’t end with them laughing it off and heading home to sleep. Simon Peter knew the power of doing what God asks. He admitted he wasn’t sure it would go any better than the night they had, but he’d do it anyway. The Bible says in Luke 5:5, “Simon answered, ‘Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.’”
Even under the shared banner of fiction, we write different things, in different genres, with different perspectives. But one thing we have in common is that God has placed a love of words and stories in us. He’s called us to write. And when He says to do something, you can be sure it isn’t for nothing. Good will come out of it, even if it’s hard. Maybe we won’t achieve the world’s definition of success in a literary career, but there’s a reason God has brought each of us to write.
Those fishermen pulled in a catch they couldn’t believe. It wasn’t a normal night’s work and it wasn’t something they could take credit for. God had used their faith and willingness to step out and do what He asked. And I believe He’ll do the same for us. Even if your writing career isn’t going the way you thought it was supposed to, there’s definitely a reason to keep writing. God has something in store for you.
If you’ve been struggling in this area at all, I encourage you to look back at the last few posts here at Hoosier Ink, too. They are so good, with both practical tips and wonderful encouragement.
Abbey Downey never expected her love for writing to turn into a career, but she’s thankful for the chance to write inspirational romance, with two books published under the name Mollie Campbell. A life-long Midwestern girl, Abbey lives in Central Indiana, where her family has roots back to the 1840s. She couldn’t be happier spending her days putting words on paper and hanging out with her husband, two kids, and a rather enthusiastic beagle.