Janice Hanna Thompson

Janice Hanna Thompson—a south Texas native—is the author of over sixty novels and non-fiction books for the Christian market. She supplements her fiction habit by writing magazine articles, devotions, write-for-hire books and more. One of the chief joys of Janice’s life is training writers to earn a living with the written word. Check out Janice’s “Becoming a Successful Freelance Writer,” course at www.freelancewritingcourses.com. The ten lessons in this course were developed to strategically train freelance writers to earn top dollar. Each lesson includes an audio file (mp3 for download), a corresponding audio script, a downloadable worksheet, a power point video, a bonus feature, and full access to the site’s forum. Email Janice at booksbyjanice[at]aol[dot]com to learn more, or visit her website at www.janicehannathompson.com.

The Lord Said to Noah, “Persevere!”

Are you exhausted? Weary with trying? Feel like giving up . . . on writing, submitting, earning a paycheck with your articles or books? Guess what? You’re in good company!

We live in an age when people are easily overwhelmed. Workloads are higher, stress levels are higher, expectations are higher . . . Often we feel like giving up. Writers are no different. When you’re attempting to earn money with your writing, you will face opposition at every turn. But don’t give up! Don’t give in to the temptation to quit.

Many people have approached me in recent days, saying things like, “I’m so tired of rejections,” or “I want to give up,” or “There’s not time in my life to continue pursuing writing,” and so on. My one-word response? Persevere. If you want to sell that novel, if you want to supplement your fiction habit by selling short pieces to periodicals, you must not give up no matter how tempted you are to do so.

Over the next few months we’ll look at the word perseverance. We will see the role it plays in the life of the freelancer. Together, we will study the life of Noah to see how—and why—he persevered, and how it paid off in the end. For the sake of this teaching, I will share three ways that Noah persevered:

Noah Persevered Through the Calling Process (the shock, the adjustment, the wondering . . . “Is that really You, God?”) “So God said to Noah, ‘I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth’” (Gen. 6:13 NIV).

You must persevere through the “calling process,” too. You’re probably thinking, “What do you mean, persevere through the calling? The ‘call’ is the fun part! That’s when God invigorates you with his passion for the project, right?”

Maybe. How would you like for your call to start out like Noah’s? He was led far outside his comfort zone. Can you relate? Writing (for publication or otherwise) might be stretching you beyond your limits. But you need to persevere, even if you’re in unfamiliar territory.

Noah was like a blind man walking into a scenario no one had ever walked before. But look at what God had to say on the matter: “The LORD then said to Noah, ‘Go into the ark, you and your whole family, because I have found you righteous in this generation’” (7:1). God saw something in this man, and He sees something in you, too!

Philippians 3:14 says, “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Calling requires pressing—especially when it doesn’t make much sense! I received the call to write when I was in sixth grade. I didn’t do much with that call until I was in my forties, but at that time an excitement I’d never before experienced came out of nowhere. Understand that God has specifically chosen you for this task. How exciting!

• When did you receive the call to write?
• Have you had to persevere through the calling process?
• Has God called you outside of your comfort zone?
• What have you learned thus far?

Noah persevered in Spite of Opposition

Yes, he surely faced plenty of opposition—from his neighbors, family, community, etc. People don’t like their boats rocked, after all. That means you will face opposition, too, likely from friends who want more of your time, or family members who might not understand what you’re doing on the computer all the time!

Some of the toughest opposition, however, will come from those in the industry. Rejections (from agents, editors, etc.) and negative comments (from critique partners, etc.) will surely get you down. I could paper a room with the rejections I’ve received over the years. They used to hurt. Actually, they still hurt. But each no from one publishing house is a potential yes from another, so I keep that in mind. I remind myself: If God is for me, who can be against me? And He’s for you, too!

• What opposition have you faced as a freelancer?
• Do the people in your world understand your love for writing?
• Who/what has carried the worst sting?
• Have you faced rejections from publishing houses?
• If so, how did you react?
• Does God ever reject you?

Noah Persevered in Spite of His Physical Condition

Noah was several hundred years old at the onset of his journey. He was no spring chicken. And he worked for 100 years building the ark, persevering through age-related difficulties, weariness, etc. Like Noah, we have days when we don’t feel like doing what God has called us to do. We have to press through the exhaustion and trust Him to strengthen us.

I had to overcome tremendous physical exhaustion after a particularly difficult accident in 2007, and the deadlines just kept coming! Would you believe I had two books due on the same day? It’s true!

I love this Scripture from Revelation 2:3: “You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary.” There’s really only one way to persevere beyond the physical, and that’s with the invigorating breath of the Holy Spirit.

If you need physical strength, you won’t find it in yourself. You have to have the breath of life flowing through you, bringing life to your bones. We are invigorated with power from on high for the task at hand. And the anointing of the Holy Ghost is upon the work of our hands.

• Do you have any physical issues that require perseverance?
• Where do you find your strength?
• What do you think of the Scripture from Revelation 2:3?
• How can you benefit (physically and otherwise) from the breath of the Holy Spirit blowing through you?

That’s it for this month, freelancers. I’ll be back next month with more tips for persevering so that you can find success as a freelancer. Earning a paycheck with your writing is possible, so don’t give up. Persevere!