A Joyous Writer is a Successful One

Photo by basketman

Most of us have heard the notion of the tormented artist. We even fell for the myth that there was something romantic about this person's self-desctructive habits, that it made for better art. After all, how prolific can a happy person be?

We're led to believe that a bleeding heart stands out, yet it's also recognized that contented people consistently produce good, yes, even great, work.

This past Sunday, I was watching a series called Finding Sarah, a show that chronicles the Duchess of York's journey to uncover her self-worth after years of sabotage and being fodder for the tabloids. As you may know, Sarah Ferguson is a former member of British royalty whose scandals led her to face divorce and a slew of financial and personal problems.

In one episode, Sarah speaks to an editor at Simon and Schuster in attempt to get her writing career back on track. The editor wisely tells her that her children's stories and autobiography cannot stand on their own until she learns what it is she wants to convey to the world. Is she going to be positive and bring new things to the table, or forever be stuck paying a pyschological debt for past mistakes, all of which show in her writing?

Photo by a454 (This person is not Sarah, Duchess of York)

Celebrity woes and docu-drama aside, here was a woman with absolutely no knowledge of her worth, trying to validate herself through writing. It saddened me when she ran to a church to pray to God, only to emerge with more self-abusing thoughts.

What's my purpose in mentioning a former member of the British Royal Family? In the context of Sarah's writing, the tormented artist bit didn't bring her success with a major publishing house. It's true that if you can't find peace in other aspects of your life, then your writing will suffer. All anyone will be able to see is your unhappiness and repeated trips around the mountain of sorrow and regret. Even if you have an impressive title of Duchess of York.

Writing is not for the thin-skinned. There can be notoriety today and obscurity tomorrow. Maybe we Christian writers won't be so dramatic as to die drunk and penniless, but we're not immune to the little things that thwart our confidence and make us question our worth.

If you're struggling with this, ask God to show you how valuable you are. Not just in your writing, but in every aspect of life. Ask Him to bless your family, home, and those who cross your path. Believe His promises to bless and keep you, especially on days when it seems the ship isn't coming in. You might just get a whole fleet instead.

Photo by Matt Banks

Then you'll be more than just a good, happy writer. You'll be a fulfilled person whose joy and depth of emotion illuminates from every page.

I enjoy books and shows about people overcoming the odds. How do you cheer yourself on?