For all you writers out there, here’s the inspiration of St. Paul, according to Darlene Bogle. I have it framed and hanging in my office to remind me of my calling when I need a little balancing:
I beseech you, therefore writers, by the mercies of God, that you present your manuscripts a written sacrifice, typewritten, acceptable unto the editor, which is your reasonable service; and be not conformed to secular markets, but be able ministers, by the renewing of your lives, that you might present the good, acceptable and perfect manuscript.
For I say through the grace given unto me, to every writer that is among you, not to think more highly of himself than the manuscript he produces, and to be diligent in fulfilling the capabilities that God has given; for we have many authors in our midst, and not all authors have the same capability; So we, being many, are still one in Christ and members of one another.
Having, then, different abilities according to the grace given us, whether editing, let us edit according to our ability; or writing, let us write as a sacred calling; or he that sings as unto God; or he that teaches writers, let him do it with simplicity that beginners might learn and not become discouraged.
Let writing be done unto the honor of Jesus Christ and for no other reason. Be kind to all beginners, encouraging one another; for you were once a beginner. Not lazy in writing, preparing well your manuscript, serving the Lord.
Rejoicing in the persons ministered unto. . .Patient in hearing from editors. . .and continuing instant in resubmitting manuscripts. Not despairing in the necessity of rewrites, given to joyfulness in spite of rejection slips.
Bless them that encourage you. Bless and encourage in return. Rejoice with them who sell on the first submission, and weep with them who have not the courage to submit. Be of the same mind toward all writers and publishers. Don’t put editors on a pedestal or write off unpublished authors. Be not wise in your own conceits. Do not boycott houses for inefficient handling of your manuscript; provide them the opportunity to consider your work. As much as it is possible, speak honorably of all editors.
Fellow writers, again I say, encourage the beginner. Pray for all authors and allow the Gospel to reach every market. If the secular world is hungry, feed them the words of life; if they thirst, let them drink from the fountain of true wisdom. Do not write for a market, but to share Christ’s life in you. Do not be overcome with the urge to publish. Publish with the message of an overcomer!
(© 1980 Darlene Bogle, used with permission)