Wednesday, January 16, 2013

No guts, no glory

No guts, no glory.

I've always hated that phrase. It's sort of gross, and not exactly girlie, and I'm, well. Girlie.

But it has some truth to it! Most things in life worth doing are scary. For example, change is scary, even though it's not always bad. It even seems like most of the time, that thing we dreaded changing actually worked out for our good. (God's awesome like that)

Writing takes an infinite amount of courage.

We have to be brave enough to be transparent on paper. We have to have the strength and vulnerability to bleed our hearts onto the page, then send that stained page off for review, critique, criticism, and rejection. Then we have to retain our courage, even in the face of acceptance and a contract, when we go through the cutting lines of edits and revisions and galleys. Then, as if we have anything left, we have to muster enough moxie to withstand negative reviews and the sometimes downright scathing words of readers.

Writing takes an infinite amount of courage.

So how do we get it? How do we find this never ending well of courage inside ourselves to survive all those steps required? How do obtain the "guts" needed for the glory of a positive connection with an agent, the glory of a contract, the glory of a pleasurable review, the glory of knowing we did our best and God did the rest?

First of all, we must ask - where does courage come from?

The Lord.

Think about it. He tells us over and over in the Bible "do not fear". This doesn't just apply to hell, or death, or war or other "big" things.  It applies to you, today, as you hunch over your keyboard and wonder if you have what it takes. The Word says "Fear not, for I am with thee." The psalmist said "What time I am afraid I will trust in You." And "God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind." And "Greater is He who is in me than he who is in the world" - meaning God wins over the devil. Bam. Victory :)

There it is. God says don't be afraid. So why should we?

I know its easier said than done, but meditate on these verses in regards to your writing journey. Write them on stickies on your computer and BELIEVE their TRUTH and POWER.

He equips us. Just ask God today to equip you and remove the fear. Fear is never, ever from God. And if it's not from God, it's useless.

Start writing. Stop fearing. Find your guts and your courage and your moxie in Jesus. His strength is made perfect in our weakness. Even in the weakness of a failing story. Even in the weakness of writer's block. Even in the weakness of sagging middles and flat characters.

His grace is sufficient for us! And for your story :)

So keep writing. Start trusting. And fear not, Writer!


  1. Great post! It sounds like the Courageous movie for writers!!! :)

  2. This has been like to be a mantra for me in recent months. heehee...

  3. I defintely feel like it takes guts to write. Especially hearing the voices of not having good enough ideas or talent to write a story. There are days it stops me om writing an days guts win and I push through.

    1. It takes guts for me to stick with a story. Everytime I think about trashing my current MS which is like every few days. I realized last Friday night though that constantly tossing my stories will never help learn. I'll only learn from writing through ALL the steps.i have a first draft so I might as well rewrite and edit it instead of trying to write a other first draft in hopes of that one being better.

  4. Definitely, Tonya! :)

    The process of finishing a book really helps, even if it's not one you decide to pursue afterward. It teaches us discipline and pacing and plotting and characters and themes and the plain ol' craft of writing. It's never wasted.

    Don't approach a new story with the pressure of "This has to be one that gets me published" (not saying you are, I don't know - but if you are, or if anyone else reading this is...don't ::grin::) Approach a story with fun, excitement, and "what can I learn from this"? "What will this story teach me?"

  5. Thanks, Betsy! This is exactly what I needed to hear today. I've been dealing a lot lately with my fear of failing, which makes me not want to push through and finish what I've started. I know that's not from God, but it's so hard to get past it sometimes. Time to kick that fear to the curb and get back to the story I'm supposed to be telling. :)