I Don’t Want to Hear About Your Story Anymore

by James L. Rubart, @jameslrubart

When God spoke to me about being a novelist, it was a supernatural, lightning bolt type experience. I was pretty pumped when it happened, so I of course told my great friend Jim Rubstello about it, and described the story I would attempt writing.

He celebrated with me, told me he had no doubt I could do it, and encouraged me to dive in.
Three weeks later I talked to him again about how I felt my destiny was to be a novelist and once again he smiled and inspired me with words of support.

A month after that we sat together at the Texas Barbecue having lunch. The day was fun of sun and as we sat outside at one of the deep red picnic tables, I brought up my story.

“I’m so pumped about this story, can’t wait to get started. I really think God is in this writing thing.”

“I don’t want to hear about it,” Jim said, then focused on his sandwich.

I frowned and looked up from my pulled pork sandwich. “What?”

Jim put his sandwich down and lasered me with his gaze. “I’m done hearing about your story.”

I studied his face, waiting for his laughter, assuming he was kidding. He wasn’t.

“Did I miss something?”

When Jim speaks, he never raises his voice. He doesn’t need to. His words and wisdom slice to the core of a man without any need for assistance.

“You’ve been talking about your story for almost two months now. How much have you written?”

I started to give him an excuse—I had at least 1,500 for why I hadn’t started—but caught myself and simply said, “Nothing.”

He nodded. “That’s what I thought. Until you do write something, I don’t want to hear about it. I don’t want to hear what you’re going to do, I want to hear what you’ve done.”

That conversation, from a friend who had the strength to speak the truth, was a pivotal moment for me. It kick-started the journey of writing my first novel, Rooms.

I don’t know where you’re at in your writing career. Maybe you’re just starting. You might be 40 novels in, but wherever you are the message is still true. Write. It’s what you’ve been called to. It’s your passion, your desire, your destiny. So write.

There’s nothing wrong with dreaming about writing, talking about writing, reading about writing. But in the end, the real question we must ask ourselves is did we sweep the excuses-be it time, or fear, or pressure, or a thousand other things—and just write.


James L. Rubart
 is the best-selling and Christy award winning author of ROOMS, BOOK OF DAYS, THE CHAIR, SOUL’S GATE, and MEMORY’S DOOR. During the day he runs Barefoot Marketing which helps businesses and authors make more coin of the realm. In his free time he dirt bikes, hikes, golfs, takes photos, and occasionally does sleight of hand. No, he doesn’t sleep much. He lives with his amazing wife and teenage sons in the Pacific Northwest and still thinks he’s young enough to water ski like a madman. More at www.jameslrubart.com