Sunday, December 14, 2008

Turn Disaster to Writing Opportunities

"It is in periods of apparent disaster, during the sufferings of whole generations, that the greatest improvement in human character has been effected."—Sir Archibald Alison

By Scoti Springfield Domeij

Is this economic downturn motivating or demotivating your desire to write for publication? Although it seems as if financial and publishing doors are slamming shut, it's during hard times that people are most open to hearing about compassion, hope and God's promise to care for us—no matter our situation. I don't know about you, but it's depressing to hear via all forms of media how bad things are—over and over and over and over—with absolutely nothing optimistic sprinkled in between the dreadful news.

Enough Already! I Get It.

I'm pulling in my belt, hunkering down and looking for ways to save. However, this is not all bad. It just makes me be more accountable with what I have. My 89-year-old best friend, who died last year, gave me his tiny blue Ford Festiva. I preferred cruising around in my GMC Jimmy, which is big, comfortable, quiet, and a terrible gas guzzler. Little Blue Bomb is missing its entire muffler system, making it sound more like a monster dragster. The muffler quote I obtained to see how much it would cost to eliminate the embarrassing noise cost more than the car's blue book value. While gas prices were high, I switched to Little Blue Bomb and enjoyed the gas savings. I also stopped talking on my cell phone while driving. Why? Because of safety? Nope. Without the muffler system to quiet the roar, I cannot hear.

Perceptions or Perspective: Can You Hear Me Now?

The clamor of the bad news media also drowns out faith and hearing God's small quiet voice. When life looks the most pessimistic, that's precisely when writers need to tell stories filled with optimism, hope and that God will provide. A boss at a ministry often told me, "Perception is reality." His response always angered me. What he communicated to me was—truth isn't relevant. It's not important. I wondered why he preferred to believe innuendo, second-hand information and gossip. Following the company infraculture, he trusted accusations, intimidated the politically naive and questioned provable facts. His "perception mentality" didn't inspire confidence, respect, faith, or God's perspective.

What You See Depends on What You Look For

The bad news writers and thinkers want us to believe that perception is reality. Financial, economic, physical, political, or relational defeat in this life is often victory in disguise. Fear creates opportunities to reflect on priorities. The perception that times are hard is a faith test. Circumstances remind us that we are not in control—God is. Has this economic downturn made you question your calling to write? Keep pursing the passion God implanted in your spiritual DNA. Write. God—not editors, publishing houses, a lucrative writing platform, who you know, or the economy—is in charge of when and where we're published.

Cleanse seemingly closed doors and glass ceilings smeared with perception—bad economy, less opportunities, blah, blah, blah. Use your God-given abilities and passion to transform perceptions into perspective. Writers can give new meaning to hard times. Remind people of the veracity of truth. Point them to the source—the perspective balancer—God's Word. God is our protector and provider. His strength outlasts tough times.

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