Marcia Lee Laycock is the winner of the Best New Canadian Christian Author Award for her novel, One Smooth Stone. Her devotional books have also won awards. Visit http://www.vinemarc.com/
The colour green had never seemed more beautiful. Across from our house the freshness of new buds bursting delighted the eyes. Perhaps it seemed all the more wonderful because it was a long time coming. We’d had a cool spring that year, with big fluffy flakes of white stuff piling up on our lawn even into May. But even though the days were cool and the nights frosty, you could see the change happening in the trees and bushes all around. I found myself delighting in it each day as the willows turned red and the grey poplars darkened, moving steadily toward maturity in spite of the weather. Though the days were grey, the sap was stirring. When the sun finally arrived the trees burst out with new growth. Their time had arrived.
It made me think of the long process toward maturity as a writer. The road can seem hard and the desired end result a long time coming. But like the trees around us, there is growth and progress even though the environment doesn’t seem to be cooperative. Rejections give us further resolve to work harder. Friends give us the encouragement that keeps us going when we are discouraged. And those wonderful moments of accomplishment give us a sense of awe and even humility as we recognize the hand of God in it all. And we keep going. We keep writing.
One of the instructors at a writers’ conference I attended made a statement that has stuck with me. She said – “the only unsuccessful writer is the one who quits.”
I needed those words because I had come dangerously close to wanting to do just that.
Just a few days before, as I had wandered in a tired daze at Canada’s largest book fair I felt overwhelmed and despaired of ever making a mark there. As my first book was about to launch into the Canadian market place I realized what a small pond that is. It would, perhaps – and I’m not entirely convinced of this – be nice to be on the best seller’s list. But there is a lot to be said for the small pond. If a book or an article or a poem or a paragraph changes a life, what matter that it is not read by millions? It has done its work in one.
I’m a firm believer in the significance of the unobtrusive, the power in the hidden talents that appear like the blinking of a firefly – briefly, but so beautifully lighting our world. In the grand scheme of things even the classics are brief candles.
God’s hand is moving us along the path toward becoming a mature writer as surely as he is directing the course of the seasons. The blossoming of the trees and flowers is never late, in God’s timing. Neither is the timing of our “arrival” as writers. He is in control. It’s for us to keep moving forward, persevering as we learn the craft, and rejoicing as He uses our gifts to His purposes. And taking joy in the journey.