Start first in Jerusalem

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere–in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. Acts 1:8, NLT

For a number of years, I’ve desired not only to write and publish, but to serve as a faculty member at writing conferences for aspiring writers. Now that my second book is published, I sent an email to the coordinators of  Christian writing conferences located throughout the country, asking if I could join their faculty as a workshop presenter. But the response was the same: “ We are looking for someone who has a lot of teaching experience, and who has amassed a lot of credentials as an author. If you do not meet either of these requirements, we cannot use you at this time.”

I realized I had the same dilemma selling myself as a faculty member for writing conferences that I had when I interviewed for jobs in my first career:  “How do I get the experience I need without being hired, and how do I get hired without having any experience?”

Before Jesus ascended into heaven after his resurrection, he commissioned his twelve disciples to share his good news with the world. But instead of commissioning them to share the good news to the ends of the earth, he told them to start first in Jerusalem.  Jesus understood that if the disciples started first at home, it would  build their confidence and credentials so they would be ready to evangelize  “in Judea, Samaria, and then to the ends of the earth.”

As as aspiring writer, it’s important to follow the same strategy Jesus gave his disciples if you’re going to conquer the land of publication. If you’re just beginning, rather than submitting your work to a larger or national publication, start with a local one. For example, submit your completed article to a local magazine or newspaper; submit a completed poem, devotional or short story  to your church or community newsletter; write your own blog and send it to family and friends, or find a local publisher who will publish your manuscript. As your work is accepted for publication in these smaller markets and your confidence and credentials increase, you’ll then be ready to submit to the larger ones.

Has the time come for you to submit your work for publication? Then start first in Jerusalem.

Sharing the journey,


Writer’s prayer: Father, thank you for the reminder to start first at home submitting my work for publication. Amen.

Writer to Writer: Are you using any local markets to build your credentials and confidence as a Christian writer? Post your comments on my blog. I enjoy hearing from you!

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