I journaled this yesterday:

Articles are seeming like a waste of time with how much time it takes just to research to pitch let alone actually write the article. I’ve been trying to put together a query letter–just a query for the last week! I probably should just go ahead and write the article just for all the time I’ve spent on the idea. I wonder how much I would’ve gotten done on the novel in that amount of time? I don’t know. Right now I feel like I’m wasting my time.

What I read today:

If I were ten pounds thinner, I’d be tempted to put my suit on and join them. But not today. Someday soon.

I stopped mid-sentence. A light went on inside of me, revealing a dimension I’d never noticed before. I’d never noticed it because it’s always been with me, a part of me, like a heart or a kidney. It’s grown as I’ve grown.

Inner chatter. Negative inner chatter. A spoiler’s voice. Sentences that begin with, “When I _____” and end with then I will ________.” And “If I ________, then ________will happen.”

I mentally turned around in my brain only to see an invisible line stemming from that thought to a million others like it. What I couldn’t do. Why I shouldn’t do it. What wasn’t up to par. What wouldn’t ever be good enough or strong enough. So many random thoughts, and very few were life-giving or accurate. All of them caused me to live “edited.” Not to try. Not enjoy. Not to move with confidence. . . .

This had been life of late: the real forfeited for the imagined, the actual for the anticipated. I was sure that on some level this was all an insult to God. He gave me the “present moment.” I eschewed it in favor of something else, somewhere else. He gave me my body, anomalies and all, and I had somehow come to the conclusion that it wasn’t good enough. . . .

God created us all in His image. He created us individually to be a part of both a central and an individual purpose. When we feel uncomfortable in our own skin, it’s as if we are saying that God made a mistake. We are not right somehow. The end result is that we are then judging God–His handwork–and then we are God and He is not (Margaret Becker, Coming Up for Air, pp. 39-40).

What I journaled after the reading:

I relate to this. Actually I live this. The “When…then” and “If…then” commentary has been with me my whole life. Like Maggie I have no idea how many times I have let myself be robbed of something because of this thinking. This is happening right now in my writing. If I do a little more research….When I have two more experts…then I’ll send in the query. I just need to send in the query. I’ve done the research; I have experts; I know the topic–I just need to send in the query and put myself out there. I need to stop putting my writing life on hold. I have the talent; I have the skills; I have the knowledge–I just need to do it.

I knew this was going to be a lot of work and take time, but this is not the first time I’ve done something that takes a lot of time and is a lot work: college, seminary, ordination, working my way up from editorial assistant to associate editor.

I have always wanted to write articles as well as books. I’m just scared now, and I’m letting fear dictate what I do. With books I can put off possible rejection for another year. As soon as I send this query letter, possible rejection can happen in a few weeks. I know there will be rejection. In fact, I have one more magazine that I can pitch this same subject to with a couple of variations. It is time to stop being afraid and what I want to do. It is time to do what I am called to do. I have always been a writer from the time I was writing short stories on Mars in the third grade. It’s time to trust God, trust the gifts he’s given me, do my best work, send out queries, and see what happens. The query letter to Discipleship Journal will be sent today, and I will let you know when I send it.