Post by waldenwriter on Jun 5, 2011 13:25:21 GMT -5
There is something that has been bothering me for a while now, and I want to get your guys' take on it.
Is it ok to have a Plan B in case your writing doesn't work out? (By "work out" I mean if it takes a while for me to able to become a career author, or if I never publish anything that pays in more than copies). Obviously, by outside-world standards, it makes sense to have a backup plan, just in case.
I have such a plan. I have been taking classes for a certificate in web development and design, so that if my writing doesn't work out, I have something to fall back on. It's an in-demand industry and (supposedly) tech jobs pay well. I figured it was a good plan, especially since an English B.A. doesn't prep you for any particular career (except teaching, I guess, which many people asked me if I was going to do with my degree).
But every time I've heard people talking about "praying that God will provide" or when I've listened to recent sermons from my old church on faith, I've had second thoughts about my decision.
Basically, my dilemma is this: Does having a plan B means I don't trust God enough to step out in faith, just be a writer, and trust that he will provide for my needs?
Of course, there's nothing wrong with being prepared; it's even praised in the analogy of the ant in Proverbs 6. But at the same time, we're not to worry about our material needs but rather to "seek ye first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you."
Like I said, this has been bothering me for a while. I talked to my mom about it & she assured me having a Plan B was ok. But I still worry about it. And I don't know how to talk to anyone - let alone God - about it. Please help!
Post by morganlbusse on Jun 5, 2011 15:42:06 GMT -5
I see nothing wrong with a plan B (and nothing in the Bible that says against that). Its when we put our hopes in our plans and forget to trust God that we can get into trouble. Of course, this is coming from a type C, has a plan for everything, so God has to do that out of box stuff to get my attention I'm learning to place my plans at His feet and ask that His will be done.
"The book may or may not succeed. I wrote it for love, not money, but very often such books are the most successful, just as everything in the world that is born of true love has life in it, as nothing constructed for mercenary ends can ever have." L.M. Montgomery [br][br]www.morganlbusse.com[br][br]Daughter of Light, April 2012[br]Son of Truth, April 2013
Post by newburydave on Jun 5, 2011 19:59:24 GMT -5
Based on the stuff I've read by established authors and writing teachers (books, blogs and true confessions) it's not only a good idea but it's probably a necessity. Even when you start selling your books it takes time to build up enough of a cash flow to live on.
Most of the successful Christian Sf authors seem to have worked into being full time writers while working at some other vocation. It's just like starting any other kind of small business, you have to have a business plan that keeps the rent paid and the lights on while you're building up your brand name and you loyal customers.
Two things I've been looking at are 1)doing freelance writing; and 2) going the Independent (Indie) ePublishing route.
Freelance writing would go hand in hand with your web development work. I found some good blogs on that subject. One woman said she found that making money writing instead of some other job was the way she really got off the ground in her book writing. She still does freelance writing as well as being a well known novel writer.
Indie-ePub seems to be the wave of the future for newbies and mid-list authors trying to win their spurs to get into the big dead tree publishers. I received a Kindle for my birthday this year and it has changed my view on authoring. Amazon has a fully featured portal for any author who wants to go Indie. Check them out on the Amazon.com website, it's an option I'm seriously looking at.
As to your question "does it show a lack of faith?"; I don't think that is really an issue. The more I learn about the intensely competitive world of publishing the more I realize that it takes a lot of faith for a Christian writer to get into this arena with a desire to be published. I'd say faith and a clear sense of calling to do this.
From what I've experienced and read about making it to published "full time" author status, especially in the Christian Sf genre, is about like earning your Ranger tab or making through Para-Rescue school. You've got to be as persistent as a barnacle and determined to perfect your writing craft no matter what discouragement and failure you have to wade through to make it.
The bottom line is that writing for a Christian is just another calling of life, a ministry. You are first a Christian person with a whole life to live. Jesus calls us first to be entire people, resting in Him, living our lives by faith in him. Part of that life is our ministry, but there is more to us than our ministry. Our life as Christians supports our ministry.
I was a bi-vocational minister back when I had the youth, strength and health to do it. I worked a secular job so I could pastor an inner-city storefront mission. If I had been presented the opportunity to pastor a church that could pay me a living I would have taken it, but the Lord called me to labor among those who had nothing so I worked to support my family and my mission. It was the focus of my family's life for ten years, but it was not our life. Our life in Christ was much larger than a specific ministry or outreach. My health failed and the mission closed but our life in Christ continues on still. The fundamentals of family, friends, working for income, volunteer work, participation in a church family, etc. these all go on.
I've worked through plan B, C, D, E, F, G and H; all by faith. Trust God, he is sovereign and when he wants you to be self supporting with your writing it will come together.
He knew me, Yet he Loved me! Behold the depths of His Goodness. [br][br]*****[br]Do come and join our Anomalien, Peer-to-Peer Critique group [b][url=http://groups.yahoo.com/group/AnomSandbox/]The Anomalous Sandbox[/url][/b][br][br]to protect your [b][url=http://wherethemapends.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=spacebar&action=display&thread=1505]Copyrights[/b][/url]
I think having a Plan B shows maturity and stewardship of your God-given abilities, not a lack of faith. Dave & Morwena said it eloquently... But just to add my two cents, God calls many to write...but of those drawn to writing and willing to serve Him in this way, only a relative few ever earn a full-time living in the process. This does not mean that their calling or their gifts were "wasted" or in vain. It does mean that (as Mother Teresa is quoted saying) God has not called me to be successful...He has called me to be faithful. If God has called you to write, then be obedient and write...but don't presume that the results of your faithfulness will automatically be a full time writing gig. If He blesses you with that someday, rejoice! But if He chooses to use your writing in a way other than what you imagined (i.e., not your ideal scenario), then by preparing a Plan B, you have been what the writers of Proverbs called "prudent."
I like everyone's thoughts so far. I'm also thinking of Paul, who was in full-time ministry but also continued to labor as a tent maker from time to time. Paul is the man who wrote "my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus" to the Philippians. Paul is also the man who instructed the Thessalonians that a man should work or not eat and demonstrated this to them by his own example. In this, I see evidence of a man of faith and a man of wisdom. God has given both of these virtues to us, so using one to the exclusion of the other might be a cause for concern but not using them together.
As others have also encouraged, having a Plan B is not a lack of faith. Believe and write! Learn and work! But most of all, love God!!
-- see Philippians 4 and 2 Thessalonians 3
Last Edit: Jun 25, 2011 14:21:46 GMT -5 by myrthman
Post by marshwriter on Aug 23, 2011 5:46:32 GMT -5
I think a "Plan B" - which I take here to mean 'not writing full-time' - is practical and necessary. While you enjoy writing, building your platform, etc. you need something to pay the bills... or at least buy more pens, paper and ink cartridges with! ;D
Plan B, however, doesn't mean slugging away day after day at a job or a profession you hate. After school I went to varsity, got degrees in Applied Linguistics and was blessed enough to get a translation job I really enjoy at a media company I've always wanted to work for. I also get to use my God-given talents every day even when I'm not working on my stories.
I would say, choose a day job in a field that you like - okay, okay, I know it's a LOT easier said than done; but trying won't hurt It also doesn't mean that you don't trust God because you also have a 'day-job', it means that you are doing what you love while caring for yourself and your family financially.
And, who knows, maybe you are needed somewhere else as well? Maybe one of your future (current?) colleagues will need a shoulder to lean on, maybe you need to learn something from someone else?
My (rambling) two cents' worth ;D
“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” - Howard Thurman[br]“Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement. For even the very wise cannot see all ends.” - JRR Tolkien
I prefer to answer this question with a joke. (Keep reading, you'll see...)
** The town flooded and everyone evacuated. Everyone, that is, except one old man. He sat on his porch, and when the neighbors came by in a canoe and asked him if he was going to leave, he told them, "God will take care of me."
The flood waters got higher, and the man was now on the roof of his house. A police boat pulled up to his roof-line and the officer in the front of the boat pulled out his megaphone and said: "Come on down, we'll get you out of here." The man replied, "No need, God will take care of me!" The officer argued with him, explaining that everyone else had already evacuated, and this was the last boat out of town. The old man refused to get in the boat, and since there were other people to save, the police sadly moved on.
A few hours later, the water was now up to the peak of the roof, and the man was now sitting atop his chimney. A helicopter came over to him and hovered over his house, pleading with him to put on the sling and be carried to safety. Again, the old man said, "No! God will save me, you don't have to!"
The man died, of course. When he got to heaven, he asked God; "I don't understand, I had faith in you, I trusted you above all else, why did you let me drown?"
God looked at him and shook his head as he said, "I sent two boats and helicopter!"
God made us to think, and I believe he expects us to have a plan, it's our job to make sure that plan includes God. In my case, I write in my spare time, making sure I can feed my family, and if God wants my writing to be more than a hobby, he'll make it happen.
- Aaron DeMott, writer of sc-fi and fantasy - http://aarondemott.blogspot.com
Post by Ranger Varon on Oct 16, 2012 15:32:27 GMT -5
Love that one, yoda. I'd agree with what everyone else said, partly because I'm a practical person when it comes to real life, and and I want to do to many things to stick in one career as a writer. And I want to go into some fields that have research involved and scientific field work involved.