Saturday, February 5, 2011
Above my desk hangs something I call my inspiration board. To anyone else, it probably appears as nothing more than a giant corkboard filled with pictures, newspaper clippings and the like. When I look at it, I see all the things that give me a reason for writing.
The idea for my inspiration board came last summer during a low point in my writing career. Somewhere along the way, I had convinced myself that no one wanted my books, my public speaking abilities were mediocre at best, and, due to a severe case of writer's block, I had lost the gift God had so graciously given me--if I had ever truly had it at all. Tired of wallowing in self-pity, I decided to give myself a pick-me-up and, with cash in hand, headed to my local Office Max for some new office furniture and supplies. A glass desk, padded chair, and the aforementioned corkboard accompanied me home.
As I set about the work of remodeling my office, God set about the work of changing my attitude. The top of the desk's attached shelving unit provided the perfect place to showcase my ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Silver Award certificate--proof that I really had "the gift" of writing. My two published novels, which I tucked away just a shelf below, reinforced that fact. Continuing to arrange and rearrange the room, I happened upon my file box where God pointed me toward a folder labeled "Fan Mail." I began to read the contents, and my heart was warmed by the notes which had so lovingly been penned by those who had been touched in some way by my work. Each one told me that there were plenty of people who loved what I was doing--and they were eager for more. Next came the "Reviews" folder; again, more reinforcement that I was, indeed, doing something right. Lastly, God decided to remind me that I, like many other authors, had a dream of seeing my stories on the big screen someday. I smiled and laughed at His sense of humor right then--Chuck Wicks was playing on my CD player--my "real-life Mitch." "Okay, God, I get it," I said aloud. "Thanks for reminding me."
Today my inspiration board is filled with those wonderful reviews, some of my cherished fan mail, a few of my newspaper interviews, and yes--pictures of Chuck. Now when I become discouraged, all I have to do is look up to be inspired, to know I'm worthy, and that there are people depending on me to keep going. Looking "up" is what I should have been doing to begin with.