Clash of the Titles (www.clashofthetitles.com) conqueror, Tina Pinson (www.tinapinson.com), shares her long journey to publication and how to stay true to the Writer Within—the one God made you to be.
I started writing in elementary school. I felt like God gave me a love for words and a grand imagination so I should put them to use.I would write my stories and people would see the unique writer God made me. Editors would read my stories and be astounded. (more true than not when they saw how horrible my editing was).
I won awards for poetry and songs. Published short stories, took writer's courses, finalled in the Noble Theme Contest (Genesis), and had an agent ask to manage me.
Years passed… no contract. Was I a horrible writer? No. It just wasn’t my time. Still, it stung. God never said it would be easy. He said to persevere.
People told me that Christian Fiction was a waste. They said if I really wanted to use my writing for the Lord, I'd write devotionals, or do a biography about someone who had done great things for the Lord. I wondered if they were right. I wasn't getting published, maybe writing novels was stupid. So I tried to write like everyone else thought I should. It turned out bea-u-ti-ful-y. NOT.
God gave me my words and my imagination. When I didn't use it in the way he ordained, I felt listless. Why? Because I needed to write God's will. There are people I was created to touch. If I'm not true to the writer God made me, I may not reach them. I settled on the fact that I should write Christian Fiction. Now that I had that settled before myself and God, the editors would come calling. I would have a contract soon.
More time passed. It hit me, while God had promised to meet my needs and give me a most awesome future, he never promised I'd be published. (Never said I wouldn't, either.)That was tough to wrap my head around, I couldn't believe God would give me these stories and not let me publish them. So, I took matters into my own hands and self-published my own books, and God saw that they were good and blessed me immensely. Yeah… and I never color my hair either. I learned volumes, spent volumes and shed a few tears. Does self-pubbing work for some people? Yes, but not for me.
I ended up in a funk. My brain was all over the place. Words failed me. I thought God was so upset with me he took my gift of writing away.
Shallow thoughts, but they plagued me. I had to go right back and lay my writing, my pride, at God's feet. He filled my imagination and life with promise again. A promise that I'd never lost, I just didn't see it because my own desires made the truth so murky. God promised to use my words—me –even if I never became published. I also learned I could use some preparation. I had some work to do, some things to learn.
I worked on my quality of writing. Rewrites. Editing. But I had to work on more than the written word. I needed to tend to the quality of the writer within.
Toward the end of 2009, God answered, and Desert Breeze Publishing contracted two stories. I just needed to be the writer God wanted me to be and stop bouncing from one plan to the next--to continue forward, and keep my focus on God's plan. I had to stop pushing, stop trying to be like other writers and remember to be myself. To not do so was to lose sight of the unique qualities God formed in me. Now, before I let my emotions and thoughts get the best of me, I remind myself to go to God and rejuvenate my mind and spirit. To reach that place… I rely on one of a writer's greatest assets…Prayer. That's where every story begins.