A Note to Young Writers: Honor Your Obscurity by Leslie Leyland Fields

Great reminder for just enjoying all the seasons of your life and your craft

Northwest Christian Writers Association

NCWA blog welcomes back author and speaker, Leslie Leyland Fields! Leslie will be sharing with NCWA blog on the 3rd Monday of each month.


Leslie's picRecently, I spent time with two younger women, both of whom had just released their first book. Sarah and Andrea are both fine writers whom I expect will continue to write and publish books. In the short time I had with each of them, I dumped all my writing and marketing advice, talking about websites, blogging, Facebook, twitter. But I forgot to say the most important thing of all: honor your obscurity.

We know if we’re to be published in any form, we need a sizeable audience. And that most of the time, we have to find that audience before the first book contract lands on our desk. Once it does, and the book is out, we’re tasked to keep racking up bigger numbers. But…

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Joy is a curious thing. Cannot be manufactured, bought or borrowed. Does not come from the number of friends one has on Face book, Instagram or Twitter.

Joy is not influenced by external circumstances like wealth, large houses or luxury cars.

Joy is said to appear 300 times in the Bible. One such place is found in the book of James where we are encouraged to “count it all joy when you meet trials of various kinds,…(James 1:2 ESV).

When things go wrong is not normally the time I feel particularly joyful.

But can I choose joy? Can I choose to focus on something, rather Someone bigger than my current circumstances? Yes, I can…

Or I can choose to feel sorry for myself, check out emotionally, get stinking mad none of which solves anything.

Rather, if I choose joy, realizing that this test of my faith will produce the glorious fruit of steadfastness (reliability, loyalty, dependability, trustworthy).  Much better than lemon face. Kind of like the way exercise makes me stronger even when it is hard.

Instead of lemon face, I get to walk around with smily face.

So then it’s a no brainier, I choose joy!