By Andrea Merrell
I will always remember the day I heard a multi-published, award-winning, best-selling author say, “Even with all the books I’ve written and all my success (she said using finger quotes), sometimes I still feel like a fraud.
Have you ever had that thought? I have, many times.
At my very first writers’ conference, waves of insecurity washed over me until I feared I would drown. Then I heard, Look at all these people. They’re all somebodies. You’re the biggest nobody here. You should just pack up and go home. You don’t belong here. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t silence that negative voice in my head.
Fast forward thirteen years. My resume now consists of three published books, hundreds of devotions and blog posts, contributions to over a dozen anthologies, and numerous published articles. I’ve taught classes at conferences from Kentucky, to North Carolina, to New Mexico. I’ve served as a general editor for Lighthouse Publishing and Iron Stream Media, as well as a professional freelance editor.
Why am I telling you all this? Certainly not to “toot my own horn.” It’s because at times, even with all my success (note the finger quotes), I still feel like a fraud.
I can vividly remember sitting in a room filled with other writers—some seasoned and some hopeful—at the end of a conference. The keynote’s objective was to encourage and strengthen us for the journey ahead. “God has a plan for you,” he said. “A purpose for your writing that is uniquely yours. If you’re faithful to your calling, He will use your words in ways you could never imagine.”
I sat there, looking around, hearing the lie that those words applied to everyone in the room—except me. I listened to the lie and went home discouraged and defeated.
I share this to remind you that when the Lord places a calling on your life—no matter what it might be—the Enemy will always try to derail you. He will whisper lies that tell you, you’re not good enough and never will be. You’ll never make it. You don’t have what it takes. You might as well go ahead and quit. There’s no room in this industry for you anyway.
They say anything good is worth fighting for. As writers, we need to learn to persevere. Obstacles and setbacks will happen. Rejection and criticism come with the package. To succeed and keep moving forward, we must develop that tough rhino skin and let things bounce off. We must keep learning. Keep growing. Keep moving forward. Most of all, we must keep trusting the Lord and allow Him to guide us on our journey and open the doors only He can open.
One writer says sometimes we want something because it looks good in someone else’s life. We should never look around with envy or compare our gifts with others. Our eyes and heart should always remain focused on the Lord.
If God has called you to write, be faithful to that calling. You are not a fraud, my friend, you are a writer.