“Can you believe it?!” I screeched at my husband, “I didn’t even get a mention! Not even a thank you!” anger rang through my voice but hurt was etched across my face as I shook a book in front of him. I was holding the published work of a client’s book that I had spent many hours over a few months editing/rewriting pro bono as they couldn’t afford my services but I really believed in the message of the book and felt led by the Holy Spirit to help them out. I had just read the acknowledgement section which had listed everyone from family members to the illustrators and cover designers, listing their websites and contact details but there was no mention of my name or a thank you for my help anywhere on the page. My husband just looked at me matter of factly and asked, “Who are you writing for?” I stared blankly back at him, what did he mean who was I writing for? Again he asked the question and then the light bulb switched on – “For God.” I sighed. I didn’t mention the book or incident again.
Fast forward a few months - I was eagerly awaiting an email reply with a critique to a manuscript I had sent in, I was so proud of this piece of work, as a writer I am my harshest critic but this one I was actually satisfied with, I had first sent it to my critique group and they all loved it, I made a few edits according to their suggestions and then sent it off to the publisher. Not once did I have a nagging feeling that I should dissect and re-write it a million times (isn’t this what most writers do with their work?). The email finally popped up but WHAM it was like a whack in the face; “We suggest you tear this up and partake in some studies of your craft before you write another story again!”
“This has to be some sort of cruel joke.” I thought to myself. I’ve been writing professionally for seven years and some of the books I’ve ghostwritten have been number one bestsellers on Amazon within the Christian market and now I’m being told that I’ve got no talent! I’ve received rejection letters before – it comes with the territory but this time I burst into tears, again I ran to my husband, he listened sympathetically but when I told him I was quitting, that I had had enough he asked; “Who are you writing for?” I knew the answer first up this time, “God!” I sighed again. I sat quietly and asked God what He thought of my work, there was no denying His presence and I sensed His face smiling down on me.
I didn’t tear the work up and I didn’t quit writing, I went straight back to the keyboard and started on a new piece of work. As writers we are often told to write for the reader; publishers have specific requirements which pertain to their readers buying habits but through experience I have noticed that if you write from your heart and dedicate your work to the Lord there will always be readers who will genuinely praise your work for speaking into their lives and there will always be sales but even better than this you will experience the satisfaction of the Lord’s smile upon you. He has gifted you with penmanship, He will guide your work and His praise is far more worthy than anything received here on Earth. Be encouraged to follow your dream and write for God!
Natalie is a freelance copywriter and ghostwriter servicing the Christian market. She is also the co-owner of Flowers To Remember. Natalie proudly supports Compassion through the Child Advocate Network and volunteers for the Street Chaplains in her free time. To connect with her on various social networks please visit her website www.nataliemcnee.com