1 Timothy 4:11-16

11 Command and teach these things. 12 Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity. 13 Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching. 14 Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through a prophetic message when the body of elders laid their hands on you. 15 Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. 16 Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.

Over this past week, I’ve connected with and started to get to know another fellow Word Weaver. His name is Tony Trendl. He started WW last year, just as I did, and is looking forward to honing his craft through this experience.

He posted on Facebook yesterday, his commitment to have every unpublished (but ready) piece of his submitted somewhere at all times until they are all published. So, even as he writes new material, he’s juggling the process of taking his backlog of written pieces and submitting them, following up on them, etc.

I was struck by his tenacity and capacity to accept the rejections we both knew are coming. We commiserated that it’s always easier to get a rejection if there’s also feedback as to what we can do better. But that’s not often provided to us.

The same is true in life. We put our best foot forward, and hope that it’s enough, never knowing until we meet God face-to-face whether our efforts will be found wanting or not.

Paul exhorted Timothy not to neglect his gift. I think in the crush and busy press of our lives, it’s easy to forget to set time aside to write. Yet, for each of us here, we have to remember it’s a gift we’ve been given by God. We’re not to neglect it or any of the other gifts He’s given us. We’re to be diligent in perfecting our writing, giving ourselves wholly to the task, and allowing everyone to see the progress we make.

When Tony started sharing the rejection notices he was getting, I didn’t know whether to “like” them or not. But as I saw how he viewed them as stepping stones to success, I couldn’t help but to appreciate his transparency.

What I love in Paul’s promise to Timothy is that if we persevere in our life and watching our doctrine closely (as we write), we will save both ourselves and our readers.

So, don’t be afraid to take time apart to exercise your gift. And don’t be afraid to share both the victories and challenges, as we will continue to learn from one another. As you do, you will be saving both yourself and us.

About Tara

Tara R. Alemany is a best-selling author and speaker. Her books include "The Plan that Launched a Thousand Books," "The Character-Based Leader," "My Love to You Always," "Celebrating 365 Days of Gratitude," and her latest title "The Best is Yet to Come."

In her spare time, Tara is a recognized thought leader who runs Aleweb Social Marketing, does her best to raise her two teenagers, and serves on two Boards of Directors. She is also Chaplain of her local Word Weavers chapter, and is a black belt in Tang Soo Do.


  1. Thanks, Tara, for posting this.

    I stayed on track with this, then let work and life take over. Time to revisit this initiative. I’m no longer in WW, but am active in a local critique group.

    A quick report regarding the first effort: I had something like 50 pieces, maybe more, in active submission. Rejections came aplenty, as did some minor publications — two literary journals, one for a community college, and one published by a county-wide writing group. Both unpaid.

    Presently, I have two stories submitted to contests. I’ll learn how I did in one next week, and the other sometime in May.

    I’ve been busy, and have much more to submit since you first wrote this.

    • You’re welcome, Tony! Let me know how the contests turn out. One of my books received an honorable mention last year, and I’m getting ready to submit another one shortly.

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