Parting Words From The WORD…

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Writers write. Good writers write, study, learn, rewrite, study, learn, and work some more. And it all takes time. Without the study and the work and the learning, we set ourselves up for failure.

When I wrote my first book, I didn’t understand those concepts. I sat down, wrote fast, and submitted quickly. After five years of rejections, I finally realized the truth of 2 Timothy 2:15. And even though Paul is specifically talking about understanding scripture here, I believe we can apply it to writing as well.

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15

The point is to do our best, and in the process, we’ll learn.

For years I was ashamed of my 63 rejections before getting anything published. I was embarrassed that it took me so long to begin the work/study/learn journey. But praise God, He’s redeemed that time by allowing me to share the truth of His Words and His wisdom with other writers.

So work…study…learn…and regardless of the twists and turns of your publication path, you won’t have reason to be ashamed. Whether you end up with gobs of published books or gobs of blog posts, you’ll be doing what you’re challenged to do: Present yourselves to God as one who has done the work…and let Him be in charge of the outcome.

In that, there is no shame.

I pray God’s blessing on the work of your hands and your hearts,


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  • Nan Jones

    This is beautiful Vonda. A few thoughts I keep in mind as I work are: “Do everything as unto the Lord and with all my might” and “Do it with excellency for Him”. After all,it’s all for His glory, right?

    • Vonda Skelton

      Amen, sister!

  • Tea4thee

    I needed this today, Vonda. Thanks for such an encouraging post.

    • Vonda Skelton

      Thank you for stopping by. I’m glad it encouraged you. :-)

  • Sharon Smith

    Your words are a healing balm after receiving a rejection today from a magazine that I felt strongly would buy my article after accepting my query. I’ve never been so close yet so far away from getting published. I’ve been working to improve my craft through a writing course (over the past two years) and haven’t seen any fruit (being published) for my labor. It’s quite discouraging. Your openness about your writing journey gives me hope. Thank you.

    • Vonda Skelton

      Sharon, I’m so glad to hear my post helped you today. I can honestly say I know how it feels. But the fact that they asked for the article on spec means you’ve made progress!

      There came a point in my journey where I finally realized I had to look at it like I did a career. It took years and lots of money for me to become a nurse, even though I fully believe God called me to be one. Writing is the same way. Lots of investment, and often with little confirmation for years.

      Of course, there are some who find success quickly, but they’re rare. Here are a couple of posts from the past that may encourage you. Hang in there. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it in the end. Maybe not so much in the financial arena, but certainly in the blessing we can be to others through our words. :-)

  • RobinBryce

    Trying to get my work done. Still studying and learning. Thanks for the encouragement.

    • Vonda Skelton

      I’m still trying to catch up! Hope to get some actual writing work done this weekend. :-) Guess you’re going to have to come to SC so we can work again! :-)

  • Cheryl Barker

    I submitted my first book manuscript way before I was ready, too, Vonda (around 8 years ago) — but I didn’t really know any better at the time. Have learned so much since then and am going slowly and carefully before submitting my next one. And like you said, the results will be in His hands — His trustworthy hands!

    • Vonda Skelton

      Isn’t it a blessing to know we can trust His hand?

  • Marciagaddis

    Amen, Vonda! Thank you as I am headed out the door to propose two book signings and meet with a writing partner for accountability. The writing is returning after a pause, but I am getting back on track. Looking forward to seeing you in August at CCC.

    • Vonda Skelton

      Blessings on your work! And yes, I can’t wait to see you!!!

  • Kristi

    As always, thanks so much, Vonda, for being the voice of truth and encouragement! You are truly a friend that makes us better!! Love you!

    • Vonda Skelton

      Awwww…thanks. :-) You are, too!

  • Julie Garmon

    You bless so many, Vonda! Thank you. You’re such a cheerleader. :-)

    • Vonda Skelton

      Well, most of the things I write are to me…to remind me…

      But thank you for your encouragement!

  • Glendafm

    Love this my constant encouraging friend and writing mentor. God bless you for timely post.

    • Vonda Skelton

      I’m glad it was timely for you. It certainly was for me!

  • Judith Robl

    My grandmother used to say “you can only stub your toe if you’re moving forward.” Think about it. You can’t stub your toe sitting on your duff. Congratulations on your rejections. They symbolize effort and persistence. Great qualities and qualities of greatness.

    • Vonda Skelton

      I LOVE that saying, Judith! Thanks for sharing it with us!

  • Susan Rinehart Stilwell

    Love this, Vonda. And I think about your 63 rejections when I get one :) You’re a great example of pressing on toward the goal!
    Have a great weekend!!

    • Vonda Skelton

      Thanks for your encouragement, Susan. Hope your weekend is extra special!

  • Elaine W. Miller

    Excellent post, Vonda. I’ll be reposting!

    • Vonda Skelton

      Thanks, Elaine!