publication–the prize

Time for honest confession here. I know this post is longer than my usual blog posts. But I hope it speaks to someone in cyberspace.

I’ve been writing for publication for almost 15 years. God has given me little bits of publication and I am grateful. But, for those years I have agonized over needing more.

I keep telling God and others that I don’t want any glory for my writing. I say I only want to glorify Him. And I truly mean it! But, over and over again I have internal battles with my desire to succeed at this and everything I attempt.

I’ve also had another spiritual battle for most of my adult life. Pride. I have tried to call it by other names. I’ve reminded myself 1,000 times that God’s Word tells us to humble ourselves. I keep trying. But I have struggled with it for probably 35 years. A couple of years ago I thought this war had been won. VICTORY!

The past few months I’ve been battling my need to succeed again. I reprimand myself. I repent. I beg God to help me overcome this tremendous dread of failure that I possess. It’s a spiritual, emotional, mental, and even physical battle for me. It rages for a few weeks or months. Then I get it under control and feel at peace for six or eight months.

Then the Enemy breaks through the lines and the battle rages again.

Will I ever learn?

I’ve been playing the wrong game!

A few weeks ago, I participated in an online writer’s conference. I really didn’t hear anything I had not heard several times before. Until a speaker delivered a class on branding. I almost decided no to watch and listen. Just the word “branding” makes me feel ill. And the speaker was a person I didn’t care to listen to. But I decided to do it anyway.

I’m truly glad I did for two reasons.

  • The speaker took a totally different tact on the topic.  I heard ideas I had never heard anyone else express relating to branding.
  • God spoke to me through this workshop about my struggles. Actually, God held my chubby little cheeks in His hands, drew my face close to His, and said, “Are you hearing this, Little Girl?”

One of the speaker’s points was that I should know which game I’m playing. Huh? He explained that we play two kinds of games for fun and relaxation. One type has as its objective winning. Being the last one standing, taking all the toys. The second type has as its objective surviving. Staying alive until the game is over.

It hit me that, with writing and publication, I’ve been playing the wrong game. I have been unaware that I play to win! I want and need to succeed by winning the prize of publication. If I don’t get the trophy I crash emotionally. I’m devastated because not winning is the equivalent of failing. And I have NEVER been okay with failing at anything. I asked myself, “Why?” God twisted His mouth and looked at me sideways. “You know why. Pride.”

I’ve been a Christian for 50 years and I never fully internalized that my fear of failure and my need to succeed were the result of pride.

God wants me to play to survive, to last, to continue faithfully to write and seek publication. Success for me shouldn’t mean publication. Success for me should mean finishing the game with integrity.

You might be thinking, “Duh! She didn’t know that?”

Well, yes, I think I knew it in my head some of the time, but, I guess, not in my heart.

When the speaker gave this analogy, the Holy Spirit turned a floodlight on in my head and my heart. I think—

I think this is a turning point for me. I hope so because I’m so desperately fed up with my repeated struggles.

Thank goodness that desperation is the path to God and His wisdom.

12 Comments on “publication–the prize

  1. Thank you for sharing this, Jean. I’ve struggled with pride too. It’s one of those tricky sins that so often slips under my radar until God mercifully makes the weight of it too hard to bear.

    Your insight is so powerful. It reminded me that as long as we branches are clinging to the Vine, He produces the fruit through us. His fruit for His glory. My job is just to cling.

    • Yes, Annette. Cling to Jesus–especially when we are losing our grip!

  2. Thanks, Jean,

    It’s nice to know my struggles and doubts are not unique unto me.

    I have been in situations where I knew it was God’s Will for me to be there. It didn’t result in what our society would refer to as a win. I remember a still quiet voice whisper;” I told you to run to glorify Me, I said nothing about winning.

    This doesn’t mean I don’t study, stretch, and strain toward the goal of writing a picture book. I attempt to filter my words through His Word.

    Sometimes I wonder if I’ll be like Noah? It took him 120 years. I’m aware I have fewer years than he did.

    For now, I continue writing.

    God Bless and be with you, Jean


    • Thank you so much, Becky. I guess our sin-cursed souls will continue to struggle until we stand complete before God.

  3. Jean, you are not alone. I also struggle with pride. Your article and heart bears the fruit of humbleness. Keep growing. Keep writing. That’s the most important thing we can do for God’s glory right now.

    • Thank you, Linda, my sweet friend.

  4. Jean, I can relate to your struggles spiritually in regard to writing and publication. Maybe all authors do at some point in their lives. 🙂 TO be reminded of choosing a focused goal for our writing IS so important, isn’t it? Much to reflect on today in your article. Thanks for writing it for us!

    • Thank you, Diane.

  5. Jean, thank you so much for writing this message. I can relate to your feelings. I have felt that way, too. I pray before writing and ask God to give me words He wants me to share. Then, when a piece I have written is rejected, I am sad. But, am I sad for the wrong reasons?

    • I feel for you, Melissa.

  6. This is very insightful, especially coming from a faith based central point. You have described each of our struggles with the gifting s Abba has placed within each of us . I am an artist who was tied in knots until I realized and praised Him for the paint brush He has used named Vicki… I am His and He uses all that He has created in me as He wishes. This is the joy and peace even if I only see one heart pushed a little bit closer to Yeshua through the yielding of the gift . I love you Jean ! Thank you for making yourself so vulnerable to us in this wonderful journey in your gift.

    • Thank you, Vicki! I love you, too, my friend.

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