Has anybody found 2020 to be disappointing, discouraging, depressing, or all of the above?
So I'm not the only one?
I want whatever I do to be for God's glory, and not mine. Which leaves me struggling with the novel I started in '07 and am still trying to get published. Am I seeking its publication for God's glory or for me to have the sense of accomplishing something?
Even if it's for the former reason, is it what God wants me to spend the time writing and editing and rewriting and re-editing and submitting to one or two or three hundred editors/agents hoping I finally cleared the hurdle? Or is it taking the time from what God really wants me to be doing?
I feel the same way with my Facebook posts and even this blog. Is it impacting anybody? There are times when the response to my contributions is drowned out by the chirping of the crickets and even the noisy communication of passing by of a herd of giraffes. Oh, and a free zoology lesson - giraffes make no sound - they're mute.
I gave an alliterated adjective list above, and I could add a fourth - debilitating. Sometimes those concerns can paralyze me.
First, let me say that anybody trying to accomplish something feels the same way, be they a novelist, a non-fiction author, a musician, a pastor, a missionary. I have a hunch anybody reading this (all three of you?) occasionally asks the same questions. We all need encouragement.
Second, let me give one thing that helps me, and that is encouraging others, hopefully giving them an oasis in the desert of the 'd' adjectives previously mentioned.
Do you have a favorite author (fiction or non-fiction)? You can encourage them by corresponding with them. An Amazon review would also help - I try to write my reviews pointing out the specifics of why I enjoyed the book. So can mentioning it on Facebook and getting the word out. I've had the honor of being mentioned in acknowledments of books by Kerry Nietz and Donna Fletcher Crow.
Similar methods help with musicians and other artists. Tod Moses, a musician friend of mine, has commented that I remember some of his compositions that he's forgotten. If it's a local singer, make a request for something they've written. I also have brightened the spirits of artists like my church-planting painting friend Kerry Jackson by mentioning art by them that moved me.
The same is true with ministers. I have a hunch that pastors are blessed when they see someone take notes and then make comments or even ask questions as a result. (Another way is staying awake during the sermon, one which I need work with at times.) Also, missionaries are blessed by correspondence as well.
Are there various things you do to encourage others, including authors, musicians, ministers, and the like? Do you have any story of how you have blessed someone else's life, or how somebody else encouraged you?