As Christian authors, we have many opportunities to put into practice the list of the attributes of love that St. Paul listed in 1 Corinthians 13:
Is patient: After submitting proposals, we do ourselves, our agents, and editors a favor by exercising patience. In Submissions Land, editors may feel as though a month is five minutes. Agents might say a month is a day. For an author, a month feels like six months. We get it, and we appreciate your patience. Think of each submission as a gift. Work on creating a new present for another editor while you wait. As for nudging? Try six weeks for an agent and three months for an editor.
Is kind: Strive to be gentle in all communication. When you’re under pressure and feeling less than generous, try to step away so you can come back and communicate with a calm demeanor. When offended, work to arrive at an understanding. If that’s impossible, the Lord is showing you the best individuals to have in your life. People are too numerous for us to serve them all!
Does not envy: Writers can view successful authors with jealousy. Envy is a natural emotion, especially when you feel awash with rejections and low on funds. Note that famous writers gaze upon authors they sense are more successful. No matter how high you fly, someone else will soar higher. When feeling envious, love yourself. Reflect on your present circumstances and enjoy your moment. Triumph and its ensuing migraines will arrive soon enough.
Does not boast: Bragging so that someone struggling feels even worse is never a good look. When there’s boasting to be done, let others praise you. Then, don’t be like the Hollywood starlet who believes her own publicity.
Is not proud: You may not strut, but secret pride can be debilitating. If you carry a concealed superiority complex, that trait will show itself at an inopportune time. Instead, to God be the glory. Everything here is His, anyway. He is gracious to lend His creative spirit to us.
Does not dishonor others: We all make statements we regret. The best idea when you’re upset is not to send an email or make a phone call. Take the time you need to see the situation rationally. Then act. Or not.
Is not self-seeking: When you put others first, your heart soars much higher than when you look out only for yourself.
Is not easily angered: Less anger = fewer regrets = less stress = lower blood pressure = better physical health = better mental health = less anger.
Keeps no record of wrongs: I know people who’ve held onto grudges for so many decades that the grievance itself becomes part of their identity. If Grudge Holder is what you want on your gravestone, never letting go of any insult is an excellent way to start; but this is not a good position for a Christian.
Does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth: Christian authors are privileged not to be asked to glorify sin. Rather, our business is to honor the Lord with the truth. This is the greatest love of all.