This is terrible, I thought, I have only three published paper books and one ebook to my credit while these writers have published twice as many, and they’re only half my age!
I was participating in the annual writers’ conference of the Inscribe Christian Writers Fellowship. As I walked by the book tables, it was discouraging to see how unfavourable my output was compared to that of my fellow writers. One young woman had published thirty books. Mind you, they were small, illustrated children’s books, but still—thirty books!
That weekend, I was home clearing up my study when I picked up a book I had published decades ago but had forgotten about. That got me started on a little self-encouragement project. I made a list of all the books I had published while working with the Canela people. Some were illustrated learn-to-read books and had only 45 pages, but hey, they had covers and were professionally published by the Brazilian government. That counts.
It started slowly in the 1970s when I, with Jo’s help, wrote and published four easy reading books in Canela totalling 280 pages. Then production exploded in the 1980s with 23 books totalling 1,273 pages. One was in English on Canela linguistics, the rest in Canela. In the 1990s only two books were published, one a small song book, the other a large partial Bible, a total of 777 pages. In the 2000s, four books totalling 561 pages including the Poke in the Ribs and Kick in the Pants books. Thus far in the 2010s, three books: the Bonk on the Head book, the ebook, A Tickle in the Funny Bone, and the ebook just published this week, The Why and How of Bible Translation: What Every Christian Should Know (but few do, very few).
I was pleased to see a grand total of 37 books with about 3,200 pages and well over 750,000 words. Hmm, that is as much as ten Romance novels or seven John Grisham books.
Oh, and I also wrote over 500 article length blog posts that I didn’t publish in my printed books, as well as scores of articles for magazines
Okay, now I’m encouraged. Especially as I have another ebook in production right now.
Of course, as a Christian I realize all this is nonsense! I am a child of God! That is all I need to remember when I am discouraged for any reason.
I could be lying flat on my back in bed, unable to hear, see, or speak and my heavenly Father would not love me any less than He would if I had written ten million words of God-glorifying stories.
My greatest problem, How can I have my sins forgiven and enjoy a totally new life? has been solved by Jesus’ death in my place and resurrection. Because of what Jesus did for me, I am rightly related to God, and that is all I need to remember.
When Jesus’ disciples returned elated from a productive ministry trip, He adjusted their priorities by saying, “Do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven” Luke 10:20 (NIV).
In that spirit I say, “I am a child of God and He loves me. That’s all I really need. Everything else is details.”