Writer's Life: Glory

So far this week we've talked about two traits writer's have in common: Guilt and Guts. Today we're on to the final G of the writer's life: Glory, or should I say lack of glory?

Writers spend countless hours creating, writing, editing, re-writing, querying, crying, querying again, then writing some more. We all know there's very little monetary reward in the process. Often there are far too few compliments and even fewer pats on the back.

On the surface, the glory of the unpublished writing life looks nonexistent. And the published author's life doesn't sound much better. We hear stories of tight deadlines, writer's block before those tight deadlines, massive marketing pressures, a poor economy for selling books, very low financial returns.

The bottom line is that most of us won't experience fortune and fame. Of course it's fun to dream big, but the reality is that very few of even the best of the best end up with the next Pulitzer or best seller.

I'm realizing the glory of the writer's life doesn't lie in the outward glamor. Rather, the glory lies much deeper--it's a satisfaction in having created, having breathed life into something that's so much bigger than ourselves that has the potential to touch other lives.

Each of us finds some kind of pleasure in writing other than money or prestige or we'd have given up long ago. In the comments of the previous post, some of you shared the deeper reasons you write. Here are just a few:

Heather Sunseri: That's also how I deal with rejection or lack of 'praise or pay.' I write for God, first, and for myself second. And He and I want to know how the story ends.

Jeanette Levellie: Words are in my heart and my brain and my blood and my hair, demanding to be shared. I can't not write. If one life is changed because of something I wrote, and God is proud to call me His child, it will be worth all the stuff.

Sherrinda: I have not wanted to give up on a dream. . . To say I have done it. I wrote a book! To write something that would give someone as much pleasure as reading books has given me would be the ultimate prize.

Katie Ganshert: I love it waaay too much to give it up. Plus, I would probably go psycho. My brain would explode with too many words stuck inside.

Others of you mentioned that writing makes us happy, provides a creative outlet, helps us grow personally, fulfills us. These are the things that bring glory to the writing life. Sure, none of us will complain when we get a royalty statement someday, but ultimately, the real glory, the real fulfillment, is what happens deep inside us when we write.

To end on a lighter note, we all like to dream that someday we might get a little taste of the glamor of the published author life. What glory are you most excited to experience once you're published?


  1. Hmmmm, this is a great question. As a Christian writer, it may sound like a pat answer, but the REAL reason I write is to give GOD glory. Doesn't mean my prose is filled with massive dumps of beat-you-over-the-head Bible preaching, but I weave a spiritual element, usually something God's been teaching me lately, into each of my books. I pray over them, hoping that God will use them to HIS glory. I totally understand that in reality very few if any non-Christians will read my book, but if I help encourage or lift-up or minister to even one person, even a Christian that just really needs a boost, I think it's been worth it.

    Oh, and the other things like getting paid a little for it, being able to see my book on a bookshelf, those things are all fun too!

  2. Oooo! That's a fun question. What am I most excited about being published?

    Two things:

    Going to a bookstore and seeing my book on a shelf!!

    Getting an email or a review from somebody I don't know/never heard of and that person saying my book touched their life/moved their soul.

    I completely agree about writers not getting much glory. That's why, when I find a book I love, I always email the author and let them know how much I loved their book. I love encouraging others.

  3. I'm already experiencing the glory in that I've accomplished the creation of articles and short stories and one book. I've won awards for my writing as well.

    Most people will never read any of my writing, but for the few who have and written that one encouraging sentence of praise and support for my writing, it's all worth it!

    And if the almost impossible happens and my book makes it to the best seller list it will be the "icing on the cake". I'll celebrate and continue to write on.

  4. Nice post. And so true :) Especially with this economy. I'm a visualizer. I like to think if you visualize and dream enough, you can make it a reality, I find myself visualizing the call from the agent, approval of book cover etc. but the BEST part of my "big picture" is when I get an email or letter from a teen that says "Thank you for writing this. This book changed my life."

    That would be the biggest reward I could imagine,

  5. Good post. What am I looking forward to most? Holding the tangible results of my dream in my hand.

  6. The feeling of accomplishment. I'm terrified of failure. I love being able to say I have succeeded! There are few things that bring me so much joy. I know that's sad, but it far more important than the money, so it can't be that sad ;)

  7. That's such a great question, Jodi. I would love to have all of my writer friends over for coffee or tea so we could talk about it for hours. It's a shame we are so spread out.

    To answer the question - I would love to have one (or a thousand or two) person come to the lonely book signing table I've read about and tell me how a book I wrote made them consider a choice for God's grace (and that they loved, loved, loved the book I wrote).

  8. I think it would the coolest thing to hear from my readers what they gained from the stories. If they learned what I learned while writing it would be awesome, but if they gleaned something different then, wow, God would truly be using it to work for Him in a multifaceted way. That would be so cool.

  9. Well, lookie there, I got a blurb in your post! lol...I am honored!

    There are two visuals I have of glory and they are both mentioned above in the comments.
    1) To see my book on a bookshelf, facing OUTWARD for all to see. :)
    2) To get a response from a reader saying how much she (or he, though I'd be really surprised)enjoyed my book.
    Another great post, Jody!

  10. Jody: Thank you for the link. I broke out in goosebumps and tears as I read the other bloggers' comments. It's encouraging that so many have a heart to help others and glorify God.

    After publication? I dream of seeing my book on a shelf at a mainstream store like Borders or B&N, even someone at the check out buying it, telling the clerk they'd heard it was the funniest, most encouraging book ever.

    But I also dream of bringing my book before the throne of God one day and hearing HIM say, "Atta Girl!"


  11. Fun question and one that does not require too much thought.

    I long for the day when I receive letters and emails from people I don't know and probably will never meet. People who have read my humble musings and have been touched in some way, shape, form or fashion. To have someone, especially a lonely young girl, to tell me that she can get lost in my books and doesn't feel pressured to be anyone but herself.

    I will dance in the aisles at Barnes and Nobel (or anywhere else for that matter) upon seeing my book on the shelves. I'll even pose in front of my husband's camera, goofy grin and two big thumbs up as he snaps my picture with my surrounding hardbacks.

    Should I get further along than that, after I regain consciouness, I'll send up a dozen hallelujahs! Then, I'll keep right on writing!

    Happy Friday,

  12. I think only a small part of me wants the bigger things that come from publication, because my nature is to take the quiet and meek path, anyway. What I most look toward is finding an intimate following, and the knowledge that my writing reaches people.

  13. I'm looking forward to holding my book in my hands and remembering all that God has taught me and all I've learned about writing and people and myself in the process.

  14. I'm with many of the others. Glory is holding it in my hands. And I'm not necessarily talking about a book, just the story that comes from somewhere, the on that keeps haunting me, talking to me, until I get it on paper. That is Glory for sure. And, I believe, God is happy.

  15. I got a taste of the "glory" in college during a creative writing class. We were to pass our stories around to our classmates. When it was time for my story to be quietly read, I happened to be glancing at a reader's face just as she came to the crucial part in the story. Seeing her reaction had me hooked; knowing I could affect people, that I could draw them into a story through creating emotional scenes, that I could cause that kind of effect, is one of the reasons I've hung in here all these years. Walking into Barnes & Noble and seeing my book on a display, and watching people pick it up and read a while, also has been a thrill. But the biggest moment of glory is when I came to pick up my daughter from school and discovered she'd checked out my book from the bookmobile library-on-wheels. We had stacks at home, but she was so proud of her mama. In that sweet moment, all the hard stuff was worth it.

  16. I'd love to see my name on the shelves of a book store...or be recognized among my peers...or to be spotted on the street, "Hey,aren't you..."

    In all I write I try to bring glory to God, but it's fun to dream a little, too.

    Happy Friday.

  17. Jody, thank you so much for this post. There are so many things I hope to see from my writing and I love that you inspired me to sit here and appreciate all of them. So, I'm not going to share today but I AM going to reflect on your question and take time to thank God that he gave me such a wonderful gift to share with the world.

  18. Hmm...interesting. Our posts are similar again today. I find joy in the entire process, some stages more than others, but still, every step of the way has been a memorable and cherished experience. I'll do it over and over again, even if I never receive a dime.

  19. Good question! I look forward to being able to justify five hours at the computer, dreaming. LOL!

  20. The internal satisfaction. It will be less "warm glow" and more like "a cheeky burst from side to side". Knowing I could and did fulfill what I believe God has planted in me. What better than a "you go, girl" from the Lord?

    The acknowledgement and kudos from family and good friends. In truth, it means something.

  21. There's a certain sense of connection that comes with a published book, the author with the reader. I look forward to that.

  22. This was so much fun reading everyone's responses. I think most of us want the same things.
    For me, to have someone say they read my book and was moved by it or changed in some way--would be awesome!!

  23. Like most of the others, I just can't wait to hold it in my hands, see it on the bookshelves, and know that I've accomplished one of my dreams! Great post, Jody!

  24. You always host such good topics of discussion, Jody. Have a great weekend.

  25. When someone says something I wrote ministered to them, I know He has breathed life into my words. My joy is complete, and He gets the credit. :)


  26. I'm glad I had no clue about how glory-less most published authors are when I started writing. It would have been very daunting to know how few people get published and how little money they make off it. But the excitement of creating characters makes up for any lack of sheen on the writing process.

  27. Writing is all the G's you mentioned and more.


    Keep doing what God made you to do. Regardless of any other voices.

    Have a great weekend!

  28. There is so much satisfaction in being able to get a story from my mind onto the paper, whether or not it ever gets published. But I think if someone were to tell me my story made them laugh or cry, made them examine what they think about an issue I've touched on, or consider what God might have in store for them... that would prove to me that I'm doing what God intends. Can't imagine a much better reward than that! :)

    Carol J. Garvin

  29. This is all so true.
    I think I would just get a kick out of seeing my book on the shelf. But what really would matter is if people were touched in some way by what I wrote, that would be a true gift.


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