Christian Writer's Market Guide
by Donna J. Shepherd
A heart at peace gives
life to the body, but envy rots the bones. - Proverbs
Recently I received a book by snail mail - a gift from an
author I met on-line. I took the book downstairs and
propped it up on the bookrack on my new treadmill. I
opened it up being careful not to break the spine. I love
the way a new book feels. I love the way I feel - excited
about the treasure hidden between the covers.
And what a treasure it was. The writer included an entire
book's worth of information in the first chapter. My
thirty-minute workout passed by before I knew it.
While I savored the spiritual morsels in the book, I had
to quash an uneasy feeling in the pit of my stomach -
something like literary nausea. Why would I ever try to
write another word? Who was I to think I could
communicate deep spiritual insights? I'm shallow.
As a first step to rid myself of this illness, I sent an
email to the author praising her book. Then I prayed. And
prayed some more. If I am to continue to write, I must
believe God has a message contained in this container of
clay that only I can write. I asked God to replace
jealousy with trust. I do trust in His plan, His will,
and His purpose for me, and my plea is for strength and
wisdom to build on His blueprint for my life.
Admitting my feelings represents a healthy step in
overcoming them. James wrote, "But if you have
bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and
lie not against the truth" (James 3: 14).
Soon it wasn't difficult to admit I would not have wanted
to write the book that induced such envy. Many tears and
heartache had been experienced before the author wrote
the first word. Deep insight came from passing through
deep valleys. Mountaintop highs resulted in magnificent
Paul wrote, "Let us not desire vainglory,
provoking one another, envying one another"
When I read beautiful writing, I desire to give genuine
compliments to the author and praise to God Who inspired
Do you ever find yourself in this same trap? Maybe the
ministry isn't writing, but singing or teaching or
preaching. Let us praise God at all times for His
goodness and His faithfulness to inspire beauty - whether
it comes though us or someone else.
I have green eyes. I don't want them to be green with
Shepherd just released her first children's book entitled
Topsy Turvy Land. She has published poetry in Guideposts
for Kids, Wee Ones, Whimsy, Kidvisions, and is a
staff writer for Inspiration Station. In
addition to her childrens writing, Donnas
writing is included in several books, most recently in Daily
Grace for Women, Devotional Reflections to Nourish Your
Soul, Honor Books, April 2005.
Contact Donna at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit her on the
web at http://www.donnashepherd.com