Being published has been a goal of mine for over a decade. I've worked toward it every year, and I've learned a lot. But through it all somehow my focus got skewed. I allowed myself to be consumed with all kinds of writerly things---research, blogging, connecting. They're all great and important. But they aren't going to do me any good if my heart grows hard, if I lose focus of what inspired me to start.
Jerry B. Jenkins is one of the most humble writers you could ever meet. You can just hear it in his voice, and see it in his writing. (Pick up a copy of Writing for the Soul for a taste of what I mean.) He's a hugely successful writer, but his heart is in the right place. I want to be like him. I want reaching people with the Good News, with hope, with stories of forgiveness and love to be what motivates me more than anything. I don't want to be ruined by being published.
When I pray about my writing, lots of times I'll pray about God opening doors, favor, and publishing opportunities. But maybe I'm praying the wrong thing. Maybe I should start praying, "Lord, prepare my heart to be a published novelist."
Something else to ponder. I came away from the conference realizing I've probably made getting published an idol in my life. Not a huge one, but an idol nonetheless. I'd lost a bit of the passion I had when I first started. I want that back. Lord, help me to focus on You above all.
What's your life's idol? I'd encourage you to recognize it and surrender it to God. He needs to be #1 in our lives, and I hope I remember that.