I distinctly remember where we were when Brad first brought up the idea that I would lead an anthology—what would eventually become Lawless. We were sitting in a Chinese buffet discussing what a good ‘second-year’ project would be.

Thirzah, a second-year student at the time, was fully managing The Pearl (a robust online literary magazine) as her second-year project, and it was my job to come up with something similar but different. It was supposed to be something that would be a good project for me personally, but also benefit the Kingdom at large.

I was pushing hard-core for a meme page as our project as I stuffed cashew chicken into my mouth, when Brad gently began to persuade me to do something that had a little more meaning behind it. He wanted us to think about doing an anthology, something that could bring value to the world of Christian Fiction and include other writers outside of our tight circle of apprentices. 

Eventually, I was convinced. After all, how hard could it be? It wasn’t like I would have to write every story in the anthology by myself. I got straight to work. I created the world (with Brad’s direction and the help of my fellow students), I wrote my story, and I set up the website! Those were all things I’d already learned to do at The Company, and we knocked them out with no problem. We even had this really cool cover.

Then, we got a lot of applications and I chose my authors.

That’s when I froze.

As the first drafts hit my inbox from these writers, I suddenly realized how far in over my head I was. What made me think I was equipped to tell another person how to change their story? I wasn’t a professional—not in my eyes, at least. 

I even made some mistakes in the process—like when I spent eight hours proofreading, only to come back Monday morning to learn I’d missed mistakes on every single page. Each time, Brad helped me step up to the level the project required, but how could I fall so short in the first place?

No matter what I did or how many extra hours of work I begged Brad to let me do on the weekends, I never felt like I was doing enough. I just kept wishing things had been different. Wishing I had more time, more skills, more resources. I remember falling asleep one night thinking about how different (and better) the project would have been if I’d just had just one more month of practice. 

But the truth? I was never going to feel ready to lead Lawless. I could have waited for ‘the perfect time’ to start this, to invite people into it, to really put my skills to the test. I could have put my foot down and refused until I felt like I’d earned the right to work on something as cool as Lawless. But if I’d done that, Lawless would never have gotten past the first stages, let alone published. 

2 Corinthians 9:6 says, “Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.”

Our writing skills are just the same. You can practice and edit and write and never share it with anyone, all with the excuse ‘it’s not perfect yet’. But really, what you’re doing is sowing sparingly. Squandering what God has gifted you. Burying your light that’s meant to shine.

Yeah, it’s scary, and it’s not going to be perfect (I’m pretty sure there are still one or two proofreading errors in the manuscript). And sometimes, it doesn’t work out. Sometimes, you lose a couple of seeds when sowing. But if you never sow, you’ll never grow.

So go for it. Do what it takes: grit your teeth and dig in. Share your words with the world. Don’t hide away. You’ll never feel prepared enough or ready

Sometimes, you just need to take a step and see what God will do with it.

Alli Prince is originally from Las Vegas. She now lives in Cambridge, Ohio, where she’s a full-time apprentice at The Company. Learn more about her and join her newsletter at AlliPrince.com. Lawless is still selling and collecting reviews on Amazon. Grab your copy here, and please don’t forget to leave an honest review!

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