RLH: Do the Work
At one time or another, all published novelists are asked questions about their inspiration. "Do you wait to be inspired to write?" is not an uncommon one. My response: "Well, only if I don't want to pay bills or eat until I'm inspired.
"I acquired a "write anyway" philosophy many years ago. I need to write when things in my life are going great, and I need to write when things in my life are going not-so-great.
Inspiration is a wonderful thing. I love it when ideas are flowing like a rushing river. Unfortunately, sometimes my river of inspiration turns into a trickle. I need to write anyway.
1 Chronicles 28:20 reads: "Then David continued, 'Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Don’t be afraid or discouraged by the size of the task, for the LORD God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. He will see to it that all the work related to the Temple of the LORD is finished correctly.'" (NLT)
I have altered the verse and taped it to my computer. It reads thus: "Be strong and courageous, Robin, and do the work. Don’t be afraid or discouraged by the number of words you need to write, for the LORD God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. He will see to it that all the work related to this novel is finished correctly." (RRV, Robin's Revised Version)
In my pre-writing life, one job I held was as a bookkeeper. My employer didn't care if I was inspired to keep the financial accounts in order. He just wanted me to do the work he hired me to do. The same is true of writing. My job is to write. My ministry is to write. And so I write.
I won't pretend that it's always easy. I've had a rough time keeping my thoughts focused when life throws me a curve. And sometimes I feel like there is an entire baseball team throwing curve balls at me at the same time. Sometimes getting words on paper is like pulling teeth. Ouch!
But God's word tells me not to be discouraged. God tells me to be courageous. Most importantly, He tells me to "do the work" that He called me to do. He called me to write. It's my job and my ministry. I write in obedience to Him. If I am strong and courageous and DO THE WORK, He will see that it is finished correctly.
Robin Lee Hatcher (Diamond Place, Hart’s Crossing Book #3, Revell, April 2006) has been doing the work for 25 years and in October 2006 will celebrate the publication of her 50th release, A Carol for Christmas (Zondervan).