Sunday, March 14, 2010

In Humility

At the ANWA conference, another wonderful speaker was Aprilynne Pike. Her presentation really hit home with me because she spoke about how her self-confidence always runs in cycles. On the wall, she taped up different pieces of paper that started high and then stairstepped down. From the highest to the lowest, this is what the papers said:

I am the best writer in the world and have a guaranteed bestseller.

I am an amazing but unrecognized talent that needs to be given a chance.

I am a capable writer with an original story to tell.

I could get published if I just know more about writing.

I am a hack writer who is never going to be published.

I am chasing a ridiculous and unrealistic dream. I suck.

I am worse than slime--it should be a crime for me to put words on paper.

After reading them all, I wondered how in the world she read my mind!! I feel all these things! How could she, a NY Times Bestselling Author, possibly know what those feelings are? She proceeded to tell us of her journey to publication. It was filled with highs and lows. Then the thing that really sent the message home, was when she told us she STILL runs the gambit of this never ending cycle. Then she gave us the secret. The secret is to try to stay in the middle of the gambit somewhere between "I am a capable writer with and original story to tell." and "I could get published if I just know more about writing."

I've pondered why we would need to be in the middle. Honestly I've never felt the top one and wouldn't it be nice to have that kind of confidence? Isn't that what we need to publish? Confidence? How could that be wrong? Then it hit me. That's not confidence that's pride. What we need in every endeavor is something we already know. Humility.

In 1 Col 2:18 it says, "Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind."

Prov 22:4 "By humility and the fear of the Lord are riches, and honour, and life."

Finally in Mosiah 21:14 it says, "And again I say unto you as I have said before, that as ye have come to the knowledge of the glory of God, or if ye have known of his goodness and have tasted of his love, and have received a remission of your sins, which causeth such exceedingly great joy in your souls, even so I would that ye should remember, and always retain in remembrance, the greatness of God, and your own nothingness, and his goodness and long-suffering towards you, unworthy creatures, and humble yourselves even in the depths of humility, calling on the name of the Lord daily, and standing steadfastly in the faith of that which is to come, which was spoken by the mouth of the angel."

Our talents are given to us by our loving Father in Heaven. It is our duty to develop them then in faithfulness be able to say as Christ did,"Father, thy will be done, and the glory be thine forever."


  1. This is such a great post, Nikki. I know a couple writers that have an overinflated ego and I have writing friends who are wonderful writers and think they have no talent at all. I think you're right about being in the middle, or at least trying to maintain some kind of balance when it comes to our writing. For me, it's more like writing a roller coaster. One day I read something I've written and think it's pure genius and the next day I've written crap. I think there's a little of that in all of us.

  2. ooh! What a great talk, and idea!!! I LOVE this. And it's so true. We all go through ups and downs as writers... it's so hard sometimes to even believe in yourself.

    I like the idea of being balanced and in the middle.


  3. I really relate to this post. I have one book in print and a second coming out in the next year and I certainly have cycled through all of it (included pride). I think the biggest surprise of publishing my first book was realizing that it simply put me at the very bottom of a brand new ladder. Sure, it's a ladder I would rather be on than not, but it's a pretty formidable ladder.

  4. A friend of mine always impresses me with how often she gives the credit to God. She doesn't need to mention it every time she's asked but she almost always does. I truly believe her when she says that she's just a pen in God's hand. I hope I can emulate her in this and always be humble.

    Great post!

  5. christine-I'm so on the roller coaster with you!
    jenni-you're so good at being balanced.
    heidi-it does seem like a harsh realization that we will never get off the roller coaster!
    l.t.-it is hard to remember that our talents are gifts and that we can't develop them alone. But like motherhood, it's nice to know that we are in a partnership with God to develop them.

  6. The more I hear about this conference, the more I wish I would have gone. I recently joined ANWA, and hope I can go next year. What a great talk. I've also experienced some of those stepping stones. Write now I'm struggling to get back into the middle area, clawing my way up from the bottom.

  7. Wonderful, wonderful post! I needed that today. Felt like a hack after only squeezing out three more pages of nothing. Thanks for reminding me that I'm a capable writer and I have a story to tell that no one else can!



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