Making His Name Famous
By: Cindy Sigler Dagnan
“Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.”
I was on my way to speak to a writing group about crafting pieces for the Christian market, still unsure about my opener. Once in the parking lot, I dug in my purse past gum wrappers, receipts, dry Cheerios and unidentified melted goop, pulling out an envelope from the day’s mail. Aha.
Going inside, I unfolded the letter and held it aloft in front of the group. Grinning, I explained. “This is my 29th rejection slip from this particular publication. Notice at the bottom the handwritten line – ‘By the way, I really enjoyed your book.’”
Groans and laughs rushed up to meet mine. A community of writers gets used to this. There are so many ways to be rejected these days: e-mail, snail mail, text message, forward from your agent.
Sometimes the rejections come with encouraging words.
“Well written, just not for us.”
“Liked your piece, however it doesn’t fit with our current theme/we ran out of room.”
“Try again. Seriously.”
“Use this letter for the cat litter box.”
Like most of you, I’ve been told not to take it personally. And yet, how do we not? It’s part of us. Our souls on paper. A glimpse of our hearts in a sentence. Our thoughts assembled in structured paragraphs and our flights of fancy in story.
As Christian writers, that rejection can be magnified, for if we are doing this right, our goal is to make His name famous. His alone.
Yes, we need a platform. Sure, we have to market. So how then can we approach this goal?
1) Be Vulnerable. For all our talk of agents, writing getaways, conferences, deadlines, plotlines and proposals, the truth is, writing exposes us. We want to play our worries close to our chests. But we need to get real and stay real. Share your struggles, for when you do, your writing community can identify, empathize, and later, rejoice with you.
2) Be Accountable. Challenge yourself to create a 1-2 sentence mission statement that clearly captures the ultimate goal for your writing. I’m not talking about a word count, but clear direction that focuses on God. A mission statement is best if simply stated. For example, the theme park Silver Dollar City has this as its mission statement: “To create memories worth repeating.”
Have a writing partner who will hold you to that higher purpose and keep you from straying from that ultimate goal.
3) Be Teachable. Having a humble, teachable spirit means two things: having a right perspective – we don’t know it all now, and we never will. There is always something we can learn. Secondly, it means giving credit to the proper place. If we have been blessed with talent, it is God’s doing. To Him alone be the glory. All accolades should be humbly & sincerely reflected back to Him.
“Now, Lord…enable your servants to speak your word with boldness.” Acts 4:29
The Greatest story ever written happens to be in the Greatest handbook for writers, God’s Word. Creativity comes from His hand. We learn to write boldly, but with grace and truth. Success comes from our hard work and His blessing. May we be bold. May we be reflections of His glory. If we are, then we can be genuinely happy when we embrace a colleague and say with joy, “Congratulations on that contract! I am thrilled for you. May you make His name famous.”