**WARNING** The following blog is a vent session. If you’re allergic to venting or have the propensity to consider any public vent session as “whining,” then please do not read. I don’t want to hear you whining about my venting. Thank you.
Being an author is a fickle ambition. It is full of ups and downs…mostly downs, because it’s never exactly what one might expect after breaking the glass-ceiling of publication. And every time I get a glimpse at just how hopeless the career seems, it never fails that people come out of the wood-work to tell me to “remember why I started writing” or “remember who I’m writing for” or “it’s not about being successful, it’s about doing what God tells you to do.”
For those who have told me that at one point or another, allow me to respond in this way: Stop telling me to compromise on my dream!
And you shouldn’t compromise either.
Let me address some of those statements. Why did I start writing? Because I enjoy it. It’s something I’m passably good at. And if there is ANY WAY POSSIBLE, I want to be the absolute best I can be at it. Settling for second best doesn’t cut. Right now, I’m in a position where just becoming second best is a pipe-dream. But I don’t care. I write because I enjoy it, so why wouldn’t I want to pursue an ambition to be my absolute best? If I need to learn more, I will. If I need to write more, I will. I’ll not settle. Stop suggesting I should. Stop settling yourself. You’re better than that, and you deserve the freedom to pursue excellence in what you enjoy.
Who am I writing for? I write for my fans, of which God is the biggest. If it wasn’t for this audience, I would have given up a long time ago. I believe writing is one of the gifts God gave me in order to bring some form of hope and encouragement to others. And by doing so, God is pleased with what I do. Why wouldn’t I want to spread this to as many people as possible? Why would I want to settle for only a local or core group of devoted readers? I don’t. I won’t. Because my work having some meaning to someone is great, but it does nothing if it doesn’t reach someone new. Just as in doing any ministry work, sure you’ve knocked on a door and made a difference to someone’s life…but go knock on another and another. Because of my fans, because God is the biggest of those fans, I want to spread what I do to as many people as possible. Why would I not want that?
No…it’s not about being successful. Yes…it is about doing what God tells me to do. You’re absolutely right about that. But where in the Bible does it say we should settle to give God our mediocrity? It doesn’t. I want to give God my excellence. Period. Excellence in writing means writing good stories that reach the world. And I want to do that above and beyond…not for my own sake, but because God deserves me to do that. Stop telling me to give God mediocrity.
Do you have a dream? Don’t compromise on it. Don’t let others tell you to compromise on it. Remember why you do it…and then purpose to be the very best. Remember who you do it for…and then purpose to share it with as many as possible. Remember ultimately it’s about doing what God wants you to do…and then purpose to give him absolute excellence in what you do.
And if you’re one of those who have tried to console someone frustrated with their dream by being an enabler of compromise…STOP IT. Stop telling them to compromise their dream. Instead, you should be encouraging them and pushing them to never give up and to always seek to be excellent in what they do…regardless of how impossible it might seem.