Today I’m feeling like the cowardly lion from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz—I need courage. Courage to face a new year and find my path in this world of writing in 2018.
I can so relate to this character of the Cowardly Lion who appears so capable on the outside, yet battles insecurities within. When we first read about him in the book published in 1900, the lion is threatening Dorothy’s dog, Toto. Dorothy slaps him and the lion bursts into tears. He admits that, although he is supposed to be The King of the Beasts, he is really a bundle of fear. When he discovers Dorothy and her companions are heading to the Emerald City to see the Wizard of Oz, the lion has renewed hope that the Wizard will grant him courage. He gives him a potion that supposedly cures the lion of his fears.
While we might giggle at this powerful beast succumbing to distress, how often do we shrivel from the challenges that being a writer presents? Learning new skills or attending a conference—with so many talented writers—might send the most gifted wordsmith into the restroom looking for toilet tissue to wipe their eyes. Put together a proposal to submit? It would be safer to stay hidden in our home office rather than present our work to a publisher or agent!
It might be safer. But you’ll never know if you were following the path God called you on if you huddle in fear, wishing for courage.
While the cowardly lion sought help from the sham wizard, we have an all-too-real encourager in the One Who called us to the craft of writing. The Lord Jesus can bring courage to us when we realize that, on our own, we are a puddle of insecurities. But with Him as our guide, we can do all things that he asks of us. (Philippians 4:13)
You might think that because I have six published books in my writer’s resume that courage to move forward should be easy. Not so. Somehow 2017 has left me with many insecurities that have chiseled away at my sense of capability. I’m feeling more and more like that lion in Oz who is often more fearful than brave. That’s when I realize I am trusting on my own abilities, and not on God.
I read a very profound line in Wikipedia, no less: “While the Cowardly Lion believes that his fear makes him inadequate, he does not understand that courage means acting in the face of fear.”
Pray for courage. And may the Lord strengthen and bless your writing in 2018!
Elaine Marie Cooper is the award-winning author of Fields of the Fatherless and Bethany’s Calendar. Her latest release (Saratoga Letters) was finalist in Historical Romance in both the Selah Awards and Next Generation Indie Book Awards. She penned the three-book Deer Run Saga and has been published in numerous magazines and anthologies. She freely admits to being a history geek. You can visit her blog/website at: