More than two decades ago I felt compelled to become a Christian writer. Not knowing where to go or what to do, I reached out to the owner of the Sonshine House, a local Christian Bookstore. After a couple of conversations, Jackie contacted a friend who was the editor for a famous Christian writer. After receiving permission to call him, I wrote down a number of questions to ask, hoping to develop some kind of game plan for the future. One of his final remarks before hanging up the phone was “unless you’re willing to write full time for a minimum of 8 years, you probably won’t get recognized.”
For a righteous man falls seven times and rises again, but the wicked are overthrown by calamity, Proverbs 24:16.
I started taking writing seriously back in 2012 when a former co-worker Spencer Saints encouraged me to write a screen play. While I possessed determination, I was a mere amateur when it came to learning how to craft a professional written movie. Over the past 8 years, I attended writer’s groups and met regularly with Spencer to talk and write. Seven out of the last 8 years I have submitted scripts to the annual Nicholls Fellowship Screen Writer’s Competition. Feeling good about my latest film, I entered 3 different contests hoping for to break through in at least one. The hard part now is the waiting game.
Do you not know that in a race all the runners compete, but [only] one receives the prize? So run [your race] that you may lay hold [of the prize] and make it yours, 1 Corinthians 9:24.
Last night I received my first notice of rejection. My initial thought was “am I wasting my time? Am I so absorbed with new ideals running through my mind that I’ve lost sight of God’s will for my life?” Following a restless night without sleep, I awoke to a message that I needed to hear. Pastor Jentezen Franklin used an analogy of father and mother eagle attempting to raise their eaglets. Instead of remaining inside the safety of a nest, the sooner young eagles venture out, the quicker they can learn how to fly. This relates to me as I could play if safe by not taking any risks. However, if I want to fulfill my dream of retiring early by writing one movie per year, I can’t be afraid of rejection. As long as ideas continue to pour into my heart and mind, I need to be faithful to continue until these dry up.
by Jay Mankus