you read 2012, what comes to mind? The Mayans? The end of the world?
Instead of looking at 2012 as the end of anything, let’s look at it as
a brand-new beginning.
I’d like to give you some very
practical advice for propelling your writing career forward, using
Nehemiah as an example. At the onset of his story, Nehemiah was told
that the walls around the city of Jerusalem were broken down and that
many of the people were in affliction. The Lord placed a burden on
Nehemiah's heart to rebuild the walls and bring about hope in the lives
of the people.
What does this have to do with
us as writers? Everything! We need modern-day Nehemiahs.
What key things did Nehemiah do?
1. Nehemiah wept over the
condition of the people.
• “I questioned them about the Jewish remnant that survived the exile,
and also about Jerusalem. They said to me, ‘Those who survived the
exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace.
The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned
with fire.’ When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some
days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven” (Neh.
• Like Nehemiah, our hearts need to break over the condition of our
readers. This is why we write, after all, to bring healing and hope.
2. Nehemiah repented on
behalf of the people.
• “I confess the sins we Israelites, including myself and my father’s
house, have committed against you. We have acted very wickedly toward
you. We have not obeyed the commands, decrees and laws you gave your
servant Moses” (vv. 6−7).
• Personal repentance comes first. You can repent on behalf of your
city, your country, your home, your family. You can be an instigator
for change through your writing.
3. Nehemiah took risks.
He approached the king on behalf of the people.
• “I was very much afraid, but I said to the king, ‘May the king live
forever! Why should my face not look sad when the city where my fathers
are buried lies in ruins, and its gates have been destroyed by fire?’”
• Even if it looks impossible, you can beat the odds with your writing
career. You can earn money in 2012, even if you didn’t in 2011. Stay
positive. Don’t walk in fear as you face the huge challenge of
building/rebuilding your career. Be bold!
4. Nehemiah carefully
examined the damage in all of its detail so he could know exactly what
he was dealing with and how best to plan for a successful rebuilding.
• “By night I went out through the Valley Gate toward the Jackal Well
and the Dung Gate, examining the walls of Jerusalem, which had been
broken down, and its gates, which had been destroyed by fire. Then I
moved on toward the Fountain Gate and the King's Pool, but there was
not enough room for my mount to get through; so I went up the valley by
night, examining the wall. Finally, I turned back and reentered through
the Valley Gate” (vv. 13−15).
• Examine what went wrong in 2011, but don’t focus on that. Move
5. Nehemiah rallied the
troops and encouraged them before the work began, letting them know
about God’s favor on him thus far.
• “Then I said to them, ‘You see the trouble we are in: Jerusalem lies
in ruins, and its gates have been burned with fire. Come, let us
rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, and we will no longer be in disgrace.’ I
also told them about the gracious hand of my God upon me and what the
king had said to me. They replied, ‘Let us start rebuilding.’ So they
began this good work” (vv. 17−18).
• Make a commitment in 2012 to pray the Scriptures, particularly those
related to finances and God’s provision. Keep them posted so that
everyone in your house will be reminded daily.
Nehemiah created a practical plan, dividing the workload and not
putting too much emphasis on any one person or group (see Nehemiah 3).
• Great advice for writers looking to earn income in 2012! Set
practical, reachable goals for the New Year.
Nehemiah was ready
when the enemy reared his head midway through the rebuilding.
• He used careful strategy so as not to fall into the enemy’s hands in
the middle of the project. As writers, we need to do the same.
8. When the workers
grew weary (and it looked as if the rubble was too great), Nehemiah
• You will get tired, but you can’t give up. God called you to write.
Keep going. Sure, the rubble will look great at times. Don’t focus on
it. Lift your eyes.
9. As the work
finished, Nehemiah made sure there were no gaps in the wall.
• As soon as a situation seems “healed,” check and double-check to make
sure there are no gaps―that the enemy has no more room for entrance
10. The first thing
Nehemiah did when the wall was rebuilt was to set doors in place with
gatekeepers. He also appointed the Levites and singers.
• God has always used gatekeepers—special individuals called to work
closely with watchmen on the wall to keep the city safe. As a
writer/scribe, you are one of those modern-day gatekeepers.
• Like the Levites, we praise, praise, praise.
11. Nehemiah registered
the people (gave them a credibility).
• As a Christian writer, you have a unique testimony! Never forget what
God has already done!
12. Nehemiah called
Ezra the scribe to bring the Word (the law of Moses), and he read it
before the people, who wept (overwhelmed).
• Worship, study, and pray with like-minded writers.
13. Nehemiah called the
people to set aside their tears and to celebrate.
• Don’t be overwhelmed with mourning, even if things didn’t go as
planned in 2011. God is going to do a great thing!
14. The people were
instructed to live in booths and proclaim the word.
• Set yourself apart: Writing for the Lord is a holy calling!
• Proclaim the Word and your testimony often―for your own sake and
15. The people repented
corporately and made a public commitment to God.
• Repent for your areas of weakness (as it relates to your writing),
then commit your career to Him.
I’m looking forward to 2012 with
great excitement. I can’t wait to see what the Lord does through His
scribes as we dive into this New Year!