A Land of Milk and Honey? Contentment in Writing
by Amy Dagit
“Isn’t it enough for you that the God of Israel has separated you from the rest of the Israelite community and brought you near himself to do the work at the Lord’s tabernacle and to stand before the community and minister to them?”
(Numbers 16:9, ESV).
Several years ago, I quit my job with the dream of writing a novel. In my first NaNoWriMo, I hit the 50,000-word mark with pride. I resolved to finish the novel in 10 months so I could present my book to agents and editors at a conference. During the editing stage, I slashed my word count and stressed over scenes. My novel remained incomplete when the event arrived. Even after the conference, I poured time and effort into the same pages. I rewrote Act 1. I drafted alternate endings. I wrote new scenes. All to no avail.
Discontent suppressed my creativity and motivation. I fantasized about throwing my manuscript out of the window and the freedom I might find as those pages floated away. Since I’d saved my manuscript electronically, I could not follow through with this thought.
I had declared the completion of a publishable novel in a single year as my “land of milk and honey.” My focus on this goal drove me to discontent. Despondency urged me to rethink my call to write and I changed my attitude.
I set my original manuscript aside and worked on other ideas. I wrote travel devotionals, short stories, and random bits of verse. These endeavors, especially devotional writing, have returned me to contentment. As I studied God’s word, my faith journey restored the joy of putting words on a page.
I now pray more often for my writing. Instead of pursuing my objectives as the promised land, I seek his plan for me as a writer. When I allow God to lead my steps, fulfillment awaits.
I encourage other writers to pray over their calling and discern whether their goals align with God’s plan.
God has called you to write in this place, at this moment. Though many circumstances can attack our hearts on this writing journey, a focus on Christ brings unconditional joy. Each moment with him places me in a true land of milk and honey.
Dear Lord, when discontentment strikes and steals away our joy, help us to keep our eyes on your call and be content with every step along our writing journey. Amen.
Amy Dagit is a writer and copyeditor from East Central Illinois. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. Besides editing and writing, Amy has a fondness for travel and photography. Her writing has been published in The Wanderlust Within and 50 Haikus. She blogs about editing, writing, and travel on her website, amydagit.com.