July 27, 2018

Swimsuits and Writers’ Conferences

By Marilyn Nutter

I scrolled through my Facebook news feed and a bright pink post caught my eye. “Thoughts and prayers go out to all those trying on swimsuits.”

I burst out laughing because I recently had a conversation about switching seasonal clothing and trying on last year’s swimsuit. Swimwear can be the most intimidating fashion of the year as we compare how we look with others.

Comparison often writers’ conferences, too. We join other writers for meals and talk about our meetings, projects, and publications. We hear about contracts and securing agents. At one conference, over lunch, a writer mentioned she was completing her second book and under contract for a third.

 “How long have you been writing?”

“A little over a year,” she responded.

Walking out of the dining room, I rehearsed that conversation with a friend who was also present. We were glad for her success, but for a few minutes, we questioned our paths. Only a year? We’ve been at this for several years. I mentally indulged in the luxury of reflection. Comparing myself with her, I thought, what was I doing wrong? I’m in a writers’ group, work at improving my skills. have had pieces selected for publication, and served as an editor, but the book contract remains elusive. As secure as we may be, we can be discouraged if we fall into the comparison trap.

I remembered the story of Zusha, a great Chassidic master, who cried on his deathbed. His students asked him, "Rebbe, why are you so sad? You have done many good deeds. Surely you will get a great reward in heaven.”

"I'm afraid!" said Zusha. "Because when I get to heaven, I know God's not going to ask me 'Why weren't you more like Moses?' or 'Why weren't you more like King David?' But I'm afraid that God will ask 'Zusha, why weren't you more like Zusha?' And then what will I say?!"*

I’m not designed to imitate someone else’s writing journey, but to write according to God’s calling and path for me.

In swimsuits and writing, let’s not compare ourselves with others, but commit to do our personal best and leave the rest with Him.

*Martin Buber, Tales of the Hassidim: The Early Masters, Shocken Books ,1968, p. 141.
Marilyn Nutter, of Greer, SC is a contributor to magazines, on-line sites, and compilations. She is a Bible teacher and speaker for women’s groups, a grief support facilitator, and serves on the women’s ministry team at her church. Visit and for encouragement and inspiration to find extraordinary treasures in ordinary and challenging days. Links: Website: Blog: LinkedIn: Marilyn Nutter Pinterest: Marilyn Marotta Nutter Facebook: Marilyn Marotta Nutter


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