I have two unpublished novel manuscripts that I’m about to revise yet again. With most of the publishers who handle Christian fiction based in the US, it’s hard for a Canadian or other nationality of writer to get accepted. (And do we really fit into a market largely aimed at a culture that’s at least subtly different from our own? But that’s another story or post… or rant.)
After a critique session at Write! Canada, one of the faculty graciously offered a phone-coaching session to help me see the bigger picture for my fiction. Where do I fit? What’s my target audience? My purpose? My message?
As we talked last week, some of that came together, but afterward I felt totally frustrated and out of my depth, ready to chuck it all and just write for fun. I’m not a big-picture person, my brain isn’t wired that way. How am I supposed to come up with this stuff?
Wait a minute, this was the same discouragement I’d carried with me to Write! Canada this year—where God set me straight to seek Him first instead of the work. Where I repented and thanked Him and renewed my joy.
No way am I going back there again. Instead, I prayed.
My thoughts flashed to Moses’ “Must we bring you water out of this rock?” (Numbers 20:10b, NIV*) where he struck the rock and blew it big time.
Moses-style frustration has been my problem before. This time, seeing the connection broke the pattern and helped me get back on the path.
God knows the target audience for my fiction, if there is one. I don’t have to supply it, I just need to ask Him. He knows the best genre for me too, and He can help me recognize any signposts He has for me along the way. It’s not about me, and it’s not up to me alone.
Note to self: Stop trying to do God’s job.
Seek Him first.