Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain.
Psalm 127:1aI keep telling myself this so I can go to sleep. I'd like to hammer it into my head with a thousand nails to make it stick.
Have you ever done something that you knew was good work - an essay, a piece of art, a project? Something you stepped back from and said, not with arrogance, but with satisfaction, "I've done this well. I worked hard, and it paid off. This is something worth reading/viewing/studying?"
I'm in the final stage of my novel, and I think I've done something well.
It has been a (literally) life-long dream to write a novel and see it published. In the dream, readers from all over discover an author whose work they become inextricably sucked into, that sparks life and energy in their mind, and that opens up a grand vista to a world they never began to dream of.
The books I most loved did that for me.
I should stick to the point, though - I think I've done something well, something that has real potential to be published by a respected publishing house.
This thought moves me profoundly. I began my first full-blown "novel" in the sixth grade. I unwittingly fell in love with writing when I was six. Now, I'm twenty-three, and I'm almost ready to find an agent and send my first real, adult novel out into the frightening publishing netherworld. I'm so close to seeing an actual "dream come true," I can taste it.
Of all the writing I've done in my life, this is my best. I opened up this post with the verse I did because I have to remind myself that my best is all I can do, and the rest is in God's hands. Just because I wrote something well does not mean that it will get published. My writing will be judged based on my skill, yes, but much of the judging also depends on the whims of publishers.
When I imagine my dream coming to fruition, it nearly brings me to tears. Call it cheesy, but fill in the blanks with your own dreams. Powerful, right? Now, the real challenge is trusting God's sovereignty in the midst of something so very personal.
As I come to the end of my second draft (and the final "writing" draft, if you will) and start thinking about cover letters and summaries and sample pages and agents, you can pray for me that I will trust the Lord, and love and enjoy him ever more than the gift of writing that he's given me. For I build nothing in life - not even this - without him. I have to remember that, and rest.
85% done and counting...!