I can’t believe it has been five years since I wrote my first blog post on Tizzie’s Tidbits of Truth.
So many things have happened over the past five years. I’ve made so many memories, but I’ve also made so many mistakes. I’ve met so many people, but I’ve also had to leave so many people behind. I’ve experienced so many exciting emotions, but I’ve also experienced so many debilitating emotions.
Since December 16, 2016, I have slowly walked down the road of recovery from anorexia nervosa. I have finished seven (out of eight!) semesters of college. I have had many short-term jobs, which have opened my eyes to the careers I do (and don’t) want to have post-college. I have watched my home move across 500 miles and settle in a new state.
But one thing hasn’t changed in five years: I still want to be a writer. I still want to get a book deal. I still want to see my name on the front cover. I still want to be famous.
There is an enormous hidden pressure on me to be famous. To see my name on the front cover. To get a book deal. To be a writer. This pressure doesn’t come from my parents, my sisters, or my friends. It comes from my Try-Harder Self. And she’s the dogmatic, degrading, and demanding type.
My Try-Harder Self: You’ve been doing this blogging thing for five years, Grace. Five. Years. Why don’t you even have a book proposal ready to send to agents yet?
Me: I’ve been busy! I’ve been doing college. And college isn’t easy!
My Try-Harder Self: Neither is landing a book contract, silly. If you don’t have a book proposal finished by the end of next summer, you might as well kiss your writing dreams goodbye.
Me: What? I can’t promise that I’ll have a book proposal ready by the end of next summer! I know I need to work on it, but I have other things to do, too.
My Try-Harder Self: How bad do you actually want this, Grace? Because it really doesn’t seem like you care about being a published author.
Me: I do care! I want this so bad! I’ve wanted this for so long!
My Try-Harder Self: Then prove it. Finish this book proposal by the end of next summer, submit it to at least five agents by the end of the fall, and get a book deal with a Christian publisher in 2022. If you don’t land a book deal, your five years of blogging will be a waste.
Me: I want to tell you that your expectations are too high…but maybe you’re right. Maybe the last five years have been a waste if I don’t get that book contract. Because my motives for blogging and writing have been so wrong. All I’ve wanted was a platform. Not for Jesus. Not for His glory. Not for His kingdom. But for myself.
My Try-Harder Self: I guess you better stick to my plan then.
Truth for the Try-Harder Self
I know how selfish my motives are, and so does God. I know how lofty my goals are, and so does God. I know how prideful my plans are, and so does God.
That’s why I have to trust He is indescribably bigger than me and that He can use indescribably messy people to change the world if it’s His will.
Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; unless the Lord guards the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows; for so He gives His beloved sleep. (Psalm 127:1-2 NKJV)
Sure, I can comply with my Try-Harder Self. I can work myself to death to become the famous writer I have dreamed about for so long. I can meet her demands and give into the pressure she puts on me. But, ultimately, unless God works, I work in vain.
I do plan to keep blogging, writing, and dreaming. But I can’t write a stellar book proposal or find a great literary agent or land my dream book contract without Him. I don’t have a chance of seeing my name on the front cover of a book unless He allows it.
I need Him. You need Him. We all need Him. Don’t let your Try-Harder Self tell you otherwise.