An Open Letter to Writers

by Cindy Sproles, @CindyDevoted

Dear Authors,

Publishing is double-edged sword. It brings us great joy and equal frustration. Daily publishers, post information about the terrible state of the industry, driving us to ask the question, “Why do we bother?”

It’s this question that prompts my letter to authors, both new and seasoned.  Quitting is not an option, but strength, determination, and wherewithal must supersede that which discourages you. Follow this wisdom and know that despite the odds you are called to a task. You are trained to move ahead – groomed to withstand the wait.

*Do not let your heart be troubled . . .(John 14:1 NIV)  for you are called to a mission by a power far greater than that of a publisher. When rejection storms your heart, do not cover your face, but open your arms and embrace it. Rejection spurs us to hone the craft – to strive to be better. A troubled heart cannot speak clearly nor can it work effectively, but when that worry is placed in the hands of the Great Writer, it will flow effortlessly and it will touch deeply.

*Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him . . . (Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV). When you take success upon yourself, your eyes become clouded by selfishness and greed.But when you trust your ways to Him, you are – in essence, acknowledging your work was inspired and gifted to you as the tool through which it is to be presented. Write the words. Write them to the best of your ability. Show an attitude of willingness and teachable spirit as you work with editors and publishers. Then trust the work back into the hands of the Great Inspiration and let Him do with it as He sees fit. After all, it was His to begin with. He simply chose you as the best communicator of the story.

*There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens . . . (Ecclesiastes 3:1 NIV). Keep in mind the publishing industry is a huge wheel. Placed around the wheel are genres, articles, and needs that slowly rotate. Today your work may not be at the top of the wheel, but implore patience and trust, and the wheel will spin, eventually landing on your time . . . your work . . . your season. This is when your work begins to take wing and fly. Your work grows from rejections to rewriting, editing, and honing. With each revisit, more and more improvement is made. And when your time rises to the top, it will be . . . amazing.

*Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!(Philippians 4:4 NIV). When success comes your way, do not forget from whence it came. Rejoice in the success of the completion of your work but do not claim credit when the praise belongs to the Great Chooser – for He chose you, gifted you, and blessed you. Do not allow the praise of good work make you haughty, but remain of humble spirit, filled with kindness and giving the glory to Him who chose you to complete His work. Remember if you cannot manage to become a servant then leadership and success is beyond you

*Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalms 37:4 NIV). Your passion and desire is infectious and when you work with an attitude of happiness and giving, the Lord delights in you and He gifts you according to His will, the desires of your heart. When you put forth your best effort to write compelling pieces, then what you craft can be used to touch hearts. Grasp hold of gentleness for the words you are gifted may be tough words and you must be prepared to extend compassion to those who do not understand. Write truth. Do not preach it. Write it in love and tenderness and the One who touched your senses with this idea will bless the task. Be an imitator of the Father, sculpting words and phrases that touch and inspire others. Do not fall prey to the world’s standards. Instead, lift your standards and beliefs high. Raise the bar so that you do not stoop but so that others must stand on their toes to touch your level.

*May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord my Rock and my Redeemer (Psalms 19:14 NIV). Remember He knew you before you were formed in your mother’s womb. He knows the plans He has for you. So trust. Practice. Learn. Share. Give of yourself. Be faithful and intentional as you write the words He places on your heart. Remember it is not about you, rather what you can do to expand the Kingdom. Stand firm in the words you write. Not that they cannot be improved upon, but that they maintain an air of praise. Let your writing be like an incense to Him. Allow the Great Gifter to inhale the essence of your glory for Him.

Sometimes words of wisdom are hard to endure but, dear writer, the Great Author will work through you and your skills of writing – be it fiction or truth.Show the world the light of Truth because the Light is where the world needs to look. These are words written in love to guide you through discouragement and temptation and point your heart toward Him. Now use your gift. Write with the pen of the Great I Am and change lives.


Liar’s Winter

Lochiel Ogle was born with a red-wine birthmark—and it put her life in jeopardy from the moment she entered the world. Mountain folks called it “the mark of the devil,” and for all the evil that has plagued her nineteen-year existence, Lochiel is ready to believe that is true. And the evil surely took control of the mind of the boy who stole her as an infant, bringing her home for his mother to raise.Abused and abandoned by the only people she knows as family, Lochiel is rescued by a peddler and given the first glimpse of love she has ever known. The truth of her past is gradually revealed as is the fact that she is still hunted by a brother driven to see her dead. Unsure if there’s anyone she can truly trust, Lochiel is faced with a series of choices: Will she continue to run for escape or will she face her past and accept the heartbreaking secrets it reveals? Which will truly free her?

Cindy K. Sproles is the cofounder of Christian Devotions Ministries, a best-selling author, and a speaker. She teaches nationally at writers conferences as well as mentoring new writers. Cindy serves as the managing editor of SonRise Devotionals and Straight Street Books, both imprints of Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. She is a contributing writer to The Write Conversation and Novel Rocket.com. You can visit Cindy at www.cindysproles.com.