home meetglynnis books speakingtopics resources contact

Monday, November 15, 2010

Thank you to all of my sweet sisters who took the time to post a comment last Friday and over the weekend.  I loved reading them!   Thank you so much.  I picked a winner at random, and am happy to announce that Alycia Morales will be receiving the book, "Your Secret Name."  Alycia, I've sent you an email, but if it didn't go through, please email me at editor@proverbs31.org with your mailing address!

I've got lots of books to give away, so please keep reading in the coming weeks for other opportunities.

Speaking of winning books, earlier this year I won a book on Michael Hyatt's blog titled "Linchpin: Are You Indispensable."  The author is Seth Godin, and I happen to think he's one of our generation's most brilliant thinkers.  Basically, the book is about setting yourself apart in your chosen field ...  but it's more than that.  It's really about making a difference in a society where following the traditional systems doesn't work. 

Godin asserts that too many of us have been trained to wait for direction from someone else.  We are afraid to share an idea that might appear stupid or try something that might fail.  Instead, we let fear dominate and keep our potentially brilliant ideas to ourselves.  After all, it's safer to stay in a rut, where no one can tell us why our ideas won't work.

But what a boring waste of your God-given talent.  I see women all the time who have a dream in their hearts they nurture and protect by never letting it out.  And when they do, it's just for a moment, before it's safely tucked away where no one can label it "impossible."

Then there are those women who have dared to pursue a dream, only to face one obstacle after another.  What brave women those are, and they always earn my applause!   I see this repeatedly in publishing.  Writing a book is a heartbreaking dream to have, because to do it in the traditional way depends on many other people's agreement. 

Just yesterday I read a quote in the chapter titled "There is no Map"  that spoke to me.  Godin says:
"The challenge is in understanding when our effort can't possibly be enough, and in choosing projects and opportunities that are most likely to reward the passion we bring to a situation."
As I read this I thought of my publishing journey.  All my life I've loved to write, I got a degree in writing and have written professionally my entire career.  It seemed natural to write a book with all that writing experience.  And yet, the reality is that there's more to writing a book than just writing.  Authoring a book requires three equal parts: 1)  fresh & relevant ideas 2) excellent writing and 3) promotional savvy.  In today's publishing world, the author actually has more responsibility to sell the book than ever before. 

Some of my friends are inspiring, marketing-savvy and strong writers.  They've got what it takes to be a success as an author.  But what about those people who might have two of those three elements?  What is there for them?

That's where Godin's quote opened my eyes.  Maybe for some authors, the effort it takes to market a book is  too much given their personality or current situation.  Maybe, given the author's topic, no amount of effort will ever be enough to catch the interest of an acquisition editor.  And maybe, that author's passion would be better directed to another avenue than traditional publishing.  After all, that's certainly not the only writing of value, but the dream is hard to release.  Is there fear that in releasing the dream, there will be nothing left?

I wonder if some women are holding on to an old dream - not just of writing a book. Perhaps, given today's culture and climate, the fulfillment of that dream wouldn't have the same result as 10 years ago.  But the dream is still closely held.  And, in the holding of that dream for so long, the passion is diminished or even extinguished. 

Today I'd like to challenge you to consider if your passion and talents would be better directed to a different project, dream or opportunity.  Are you holding on to an old dream that, in reality, wouldn't be the same if you achieved it now?  Sometimes we have to let go completely of an old dream, in order for God to replace it with a new, custom-designed dream.

Hopefully these thoughts aren't too deep for your Monday.  But it's what's been weighing heavy on my mind since I read that quote.  Really, it's prompting me to think about what I really love about writing, and if I've truly pursued that which is the most effective use of my talents. 

What are your thoughts on this topic?  Have you ever held on to an old dream for too long, and missed out on other opportunities?  Or fulfilled a dream only to realize it didn't really satisfy, or use your talents in the way you thought it would?  I'd love to hear your comments.

In His Love,


L said...

Hi Glynnis,
I remember a while back when you mentioned Seth Godin's book and I went and checked out the audio version from the library. Thank you for that tip. Thank you also for sharing your thoughts today on redirecting our dreams. Lately God has been showing me that my dreams are not necessarily His dreams for me, that I needed to think outside the box. Fear is usually what holds me back more than laziness as you wrote about in last week's devotion. I recently interviewed for a job (first time in 18 years of child rearing) and realized that while I could do the job it wasn't really what I wanted to do. (There had to be some way of working from home while I still had my other young ones under our roof.) On top of that priority was the issue that I love being creative and this (the job) wasn't the place for it. So through a series of events, God has pointed me in a new direction that will train me in a craft that I can enjoy being creative in. While I may never find employment from it, I have the satisfaction of knowing this is where He wants me to delve into for now, pursuing the passions and talents that He planted in me so long ago. So this former math/computer science major is engaging in more artistic pursuits these days. I will still need to find work to help our family situation but I am happy to be where He wants me to be right now. And even closer to my heart is that I get a little more time with our kids.

Edwina said...

Hi Glynnis,
Thanks for a great post. For over 16 years, I have felt that God was calling me to minister to women - especially in the areas of divorce, and of truly knowing who they are in Christ. But nothing has come of that calling. I now wonder if I heard God correctly - maybe that's been my dream and not His. How will I know?? I feel as if I'm spinning my wheels.

Journal for My Daughters said...

Wow Glynnis, what a topic!!! :0)
I just sent this quote to my friend,"Don't look for God to fill in all the blanks. Don't wait for Him to remove all the uncertainty. Realise He may actually increase the uncertainty and leverage all the odds against you, just so you will know in the end that it wasn't your gifts but His power working through your gifts that fulfilled His purpose in your life."
Erik Rees
I think sometimes yes, we do have to let go of old dreams but I also think that when they are truly 'God dreams' then He will resurrect them. Also, I've known for some time that God has asked me to write, but I've had to let go of the hope that my writing might actually be published in the conventional method. And behind all of that hope was really the desire for a certain lifestyle that I've come to understand is an illusion.

Caroline said...

It is so, so hard to let go of an old (or even a relatively new) dream. But, like renewing our hearts and minds to Christ daily (minutely), it requires effort and trust.

My struggle with some of my current dreams is whether or not God is calling me to drop them or if I am just experiencing too much self-doubt. I tend to doubt myself in many ways and so I am often unsure if it's godly guidance or my insecurity.

With some dreams or ideas, I do ask myself (and pray about it): Will I regret it if I don't try? If the answer is a STRONG yes, then I need to just try. From there, I decide if that dream needs to be dropped through continuing to pray for wisdom and discernment.

In all of this, prayer and God's Word are essential.

Thanks for tackling this topic today.

Michelle said...

WOW.......funny how you post this very thing! I have held onto the dream of meeting my birth parents both or one either would be a dream come true! Would piece together the hole that is in my heart, people tell me every day to give up on it. When i hear God say let it go then I will but until then my dream awaits me. I am 38yrs old and still holding!

Alycia Morales said...

Hi Glynnis,
I'm so excited that I won the book! I look forward to reading it!

I find that I struggle with the opposite. I would tend to bury the talent in the ground and walk away, rather than chase the dream. In January of 2010, that changed. I'd been praying for God to reveal what it was He wanted me to be doing with my talents, and He called me to write. So, I'm writing. I keep peeking around the next bend in the road to see what He'll bring of it, trusting Him to lead the way. I've already seen His hand in my decision to follow hard after the dream. I believe when we put action to our faith, He is sure to answer and make the way.
~ Alycia