Writing a book is a risky endeavor. Ultimately, you have the success or failure of the book for the public to see. There will be reviews or lack of reviews from people who do not understand you or even care. You will have the emotional vulnerability of: putting your thoughts, feelings; perceptions; and, ability to remain objective or tactfully offer opinions, when appropriate. You ask
• Is it worth the risk of investing time and resources?
• What are my goals?
• Am I attempting to bring attention and glory to myself?
• Am I an empty vessel seeking to be filled and refresh others?
These are consideration the writer should pray about and seek His guidance. When it comes to taking risks the teachings of Jesus indicate He prefers for you to trust Him and take the risk, rather than avoid the risk and hold back due to fear or self-reliance.
Remember the story of the ten talents? Talents were a form of monetary currency, but for the sake of a parable could also imply actual human talents and skills. Jesus gave one man five talents to invest; another man two talents; and a third man one talent.
Writing a book was similar to investing one talent. If you wrote the book and did nothing else with it, you were like the person with one talent. You looked at the coin, maybe shined it a little, got personal satisfaction out of it and buried it in the back yard where it was safe.
If nobody reads or hears your message, you are placing your lamp under a bushel basket. If you are given two talents, you wisely invest them and enjoy the returns. You write the book, make constructive efforts and wisely participate in time and resources to publish and market the book. Or finally, you were given five talents which might include: your message; your diligence in writing it; insight into marketing; amplifying your efforts; and building your platform.
You say, “Wait a minute! All I wanted to do was write and submit it to one of the ‘Big Six’ publishing houses, or a Christian publisher to get the message out and earn my reward. What is all this talk about marketing and amplifying?”
To the servant who was given five talents, the Master doubled them. He ordered the servant with one talent to give his to the one with ten talents. He said, “To everyone who has, more shall be given, and h will have an abundance; but from the one who does not have, even that shall be taken away.” (Matthew 25:27 NASB)
The parable was not about God gifting some more than others. He equipped each of us uniquely. He provided resources to those who invested what He has given them. Investing was an act of trusting in Him. To do otherwise was to fear and trust only in your ability and limited wisdom.
Pray for your message and your mode of expression. Ask for the faith to carry it out. He will inspire and empower you to carry the project through. Is it your message or God’s message? You are not the one that is really at risk by putting God‘s message out there. You grow in the process.
Just like any learning situation, the more you learn about writing, the more you realize you need to know. Writing is fascinating because you are able to study so many topics and connect the dots for others. You also learn to observe, listen and understand before attempting to help others understand. People dream about being successful at a lot of endeavors: doctor, lawyer, teacher, professional athlete or business entrepreneur. A lot of these successful people also dream of being a writer. Most writers dream only of being better writers.
You not only convey information, you connect with the reader. You lose the attitude of, “I put it out there. They should have gotten it.” You gain an attitude of how you can make your message visible. “Wisdom makes knowledge acceptable.”(Proverbs 15:2)
About Jerry Slauter
Jerry is a retired teacher who loves to work in his wood, metal and leather shops. He released Woodcutter’s Revival, a historical fiction novel last fall, available on his web site and Amazon. You can also find Revived: Story of Publishing a Christian Novel on Amazon.