I picked up a great little book a couple years back at a writer’s conference called “The Art Of War For Writers” by James Scott Bell. It’s filled with short readings that have been a spur in my side as a person who wants to write. I wouldn’t mind tracking through his book with you wannabe artists out there.
His first point is this (and it’s kind of crass): “Write this down: It’s about money. The publishing business is a business.”
His lesson is that if you intend to do more than just hobby-write, then you can’t be blind to this reality. All the great writing we can produce is fine, but if it can’t gain a readership, then you’re really just writing for you and God. Again, there’s nothing wrong with that but…if a writer writes in the forest and nobody reads it, has that writer produced a word?
How is this thought helpful? For me, it encourages me to continue sharpening my saw. To improve my skills. And to keep writing. Too many Christian artists, recognizing that God has gifted them, stop right there, assuming that God will do the rest of the heavy-lifting. Their talent will just naturally be recognized because ‘God gave it to me.’
But this isn’t how life works. He gave us Eden, but expected us to cultivate it. He gave you a body, which you must condition. To some he gives marriage, which then must be nurtured. And if he puts the spark of the artist in you, then your journey has only just begun. It’s time to roll up your sleeves, and get down to work.