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"Write this down for the next generation so people not yet born will praise God." Psalm 102:18

"Write my answer on a billboard, large and clear, so that anyone can read it at a glance and rush to tell the others." Habakkuk 2:2

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Following a Dream

Yesterday I actually began the writing journey. I wrote about a half page and continued with my characterization planning. My hope is to finish work on my characters this week and be able to start full-time writing by next week.

I came across this quote in a book I am currently reading. It's taken from Maid to Match by Deeanne Gist.

                        "This is your dream. Your chance. You mustn't squander it."

I am choosing to follow my dream and calling to become a writer. I choose not to squander the gift that God has given me. I choose to take that chance.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

God Confidence vs. Self-Confidence

I have a confession to make. I have been dragging my heels when it comes to actually jumping in and starting to write my novel about lighthouses. I don't know exactly why. I still am very excited about it, and I know that it is something that God is calling me to do. There are many ideas rolling around in my head, just waiting to be put down on paper. But somehow between the desire and knowledge that this is God's will of me, fear and self-doubt have stepped in and taken root.

I have been praying about it, trying to move forward. This week I have chosen to devote to put the housework on hold, and work on my writing. I find it easy to get distracted with email, or researching ACFW, or other blogs and websites. It becomes hard to discipline myself.

I wondered if it was a struggle with self-confidence, something I deal with from time to time. Do I still have what it takes to write Christian fiction? Even though I have the main idea of the direction for my book, I have been unable to actually get started. It isn't so much writer's block as fear of taking that first step.

This morning in my devotions I read a chapter in Marlene Bagnull's Write His Answer - Encouragement for Christian Writers. She said, "If a crisis of confidence is holding you back from the work you know you have been called to do, it's time to acknowledge that it's not self-confidence you need, but God-confidence."

So today, I am choosing to walk in God-confidence when it comes to my writing.

"This is my work, and I can do it only because Christ's mighty energy is at work within me." (Colossians 1:29 - TLB)

"I am with you; that is all you need. My power shows up best in weak people." (2 Corinthians 12:9 - TLB)

"When I am weak, then I am strong - the less I have, the more I depend on him." (2 Corinthians 12:10 - TLB)

"Stir into flame the strength and boldness that is in you." (2 Timothy 1:6 - TLB)


Today in Our Daily Bread (June 29, 2010) it had this quote. "We are Christ's "letters of recommendation" to all who read our lives. My prayer is that God uses my writing to be His letter of recommendation so that others see Him through the words I write.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

A Place to Write

It has taken a lot of work, but I finally have an area set aside for my writing. With the advent of branching out in regards to my writing, my husband and I decided that it is important for me to have a specific space for accomplishing these goals. Somewhere that I am able to spread things out and don't need to keep packing it up when it's time for a meal. In other words, a place other than the kitchen table, which is where I had been writing.

This week my husband and I have been working heavily on cleaning up the house and attic. We have had a dumpster for the week, which had been used for the old shingles and boards from having our roof replaced last weekend. There was still plenty of room left in the dumpster so we were encouraged to fill it up as much as possible. My husband worked on sorting through the attic. I worked on things in the house, in particular a computer desk we have in our dining room.

I now have all my writing books transferred to its shelves, as well as a couple lighthouse figurines that I was given. I hung scriptures to inspire and encourage me. I have framed photos of the lighthouse where my book is set, that a dear friend had made for me. So now all I need is the inspiration and time to start writing. I can hardly wait.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Gotta Write

Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade;
To write the love of God above
Would drain the ocean dry;
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky.
 

     "The Love of God" by Frederick M. Lehman, 1917

I was impressed by this portion of the song, "The Love of God" when we sang it in our church on Sunday morning. God continues to stir in me the desire to write the story that He has placed in my heart - to share it with those I meet. I pray too that I live it out in my day to day life as well.

I am so enjoying reading a new book entitled Love on a Dime by Cara Lynn James. It is set in 1899 and the main heroine is a writer of 'dime novels' (as they were once called). It fascinates me to read a story where the main character is a writer. Lilly Westbrook has a desire to follow God by being faithful in her writing career. So too is the cry of my heart - faithfully following God by writing for Him.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Characters on the Move

Do you remember the line from Chronicles of Narnia, "Aslan is on the move." I guess that line is on my mind since last night my husband and I saw the new movie trailer for Voyage of the Dawn Treader which will be out in theaters in December of this year. Aslan in definitely a memorable character, and a key ingredient within each of the stories.

My writing time has been a bit more sporadic this week than I had hoped it would be. However, I did have one good afternoon where I was able to sit down and further plan out my heroine. She still is a bit two-dimensional, and not fully discovered as of yet, but she is getting closer to living and breathing (so to speak).

In the process of figuring out details of this heroine, I realized details from her parent's lives that have helped to shape and mold her. Their lives are intertwined. I am excited to see what will play out in the days ahead.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

I Am a Writer!

"Be strong and courageous and get to work. Don't be frightened by the size of the task, for the Lord my God is with you; he will not forsake you. He will see to it that everything is finished correctly." 1 Chronicles 28:20 TLB

I have very slowly been working my way through a Bible study for writers entitled Write His Answer by Marlene Bagnull. The above scripture was part of the devotional I read this morning. It spoke to me on several levels. King David said them to his son Solomon, as he gave him the blueprints for building God's temple. Perhaps Solomon was feeling overwhelmed by the mantle that his father was placing on his young shoulders.

I recently have started fully embracing the idea that I am a writer. It is something that has been a part of me for many, many years. It is just who God made me. I admit that I am often excited about the prospects before me, but also at times afraid.  Questions and uncertainties can plague me from time to time. But I choose to rest in the words of this verse - to be strong, courageous, and unafraid. I trust God to work in my writing and to use it for His purposes. May I be faithful in following Him in all areas of my life. 

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Story Weaver

I continue to be captivated with the idea of being a story weaver. So many people enjoy hearing, reading, seeing, learning about a good story. It seems that God has designed in us the desire to enjoy and be touched by stories. Jesus continually told stories to those he met each day. As I faithfully pursue the call of God on my life to write His story, I look forward to the stories that he desires for me to weave and share with others.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Slowly Making Progress

Yesterday I felt like I finally made some progress in my book planning. It has been quite a while since I have been able to make time to work this into my busy schedule. I have come up with some rough calculations. My book will be approximately 80,000 words which roughly works out to about 320 pages. It seems a little overwhelming, but I figured it could be about 32 chapters of ten pages each. Those are easier bite sized chunks to concentrate on working towards.

I also was able to come up with a fairly rough outline of what each chapter or few chapters will cover. I really need to go back and do a bit more refining and detailed planning, but I was quite pleased with the progress that I made. There is a long way to go, but I feel that I have made some decent headway.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

What Are You Doing With Your Talents?

"To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance." Matthew 25:29

I never thought of the Parable of the Talents like it hit me this morning during my personal devotions. Perhaps it was because I was reading a different translation of the Bible than I normally do. 

What if Jesus was actually referring to the real talents that He has given each of us? Is He just waiting for us to faithfully use those talents to serve Him so he can pour more abilities into us? I have heard and read this parable many times throughout my life. Today God used it as a confirmation that as I faithfully follow the call He has given me, He will bless me abundantly.

Now, I know that doesn't mean that I won't experience difficulties or struggles along the way. But I want to diligently and eagerly use those gifts He has given me. I desire for Him to give me an abundance and overflowing of my talent, so I can use it to touch others. May I think of my writing as being a missionary - able to reach out, touch, and inspire readers to draw closer to the Lord. 

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Slow Beginnings

I had hoped to be further along on my writing journey today. I was somewhat bogged on the computer this morning as I learned the ins and outs with signing up with http://www.acfw.com. I am now an official member of American Christian Fiction Writers. One step on the journey of eventually becoming a published Christian fiction writer. I feel like each decision I have been making lately is bringing me one step closer to what God is calling me to do.

This afternoon I spent several hours writing and polishing my next assignment with Christian Writer's Guild. I discovered from my writing mentor some potential articles to consider. I need to be in prayer to see what God desires for me to do. Under my mentor's leadership, I am being encouraged to possibly pursue an additional project that would take a lot of time and research. At this point I don't know if I can handle writing two books at once and keep up with my writing course. But, I need to remind myself that if this is something that God is calling me to do, He will provide the strength to do it.

This evening finds me in pursuit of God's direction when it comes to writing projects, as well as the balancing act between duties with home and family and my writing endeavors. Above all else I desire to be in God's will.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Tomorrow Starts a New Era

Tomorrow starts a new era in my life - actively pursuing my call to write. I have been dabbling with writing the past couple months. Things have been busy with finishing up the school year, getting our boys prepared for serving this summer at camp, etc. But tomorrow marks a new day and era for my life. I will start consistently focusing on my writing each day - at least five days a week.

I have made a commitment to work on two things this summer - getting my house in order and focusing on writing. I'm excited about both prospects. I know there will be times when I struggle with juggling these, but I feel these are my areas in which I need to concentrate. It's a great time to start since the summer schedule for my sons has officially begun. They both are gone throughout each week. We will have weekends together, so my times of writing and cleaning will be Monday through Friday. Today is my catch-up day since we were away this past weekend. Tomorrow my journey begins. I'll give you updates from time to time. I will continue to blog as well. Can't wait to being the process!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

In a Different World

I was reminded of one of the marks of great writing - writing that pulls you into the story. This morning my son had his sports' physical for school. While waiting for his name to be called, I immersed myself in the current book I'm reading - The Anonymous Bride by Vickie McDonough. A few minutes later when the nurse drew me from my book, it took me a second or two to remember where I was and what we were doing.

Then again, while the nurse gave my son a hearing test, I cracked the book open. I was drawn into the year 1886 in Lookout, Texas. The whole scene was playing before my eyes. I was a bit disoriented when the nurse finished the test. I was distracted and in the middle of life in the 'old days.'

That's what I want to do as a writer - draw the reader into thinking that they are part of the story - that the scenes are unfolding before their very eyes. They see first-hand, smell the things described, and feel what the characters are experiencing. Oh to be gifted, or to learn what it takes to pull the reader into a different world.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Wanderings and Ponderings

I had the opportunity to pick up three new Christian novels yesterday. I had received a Lifeway gift card for my birthday, and was finally able to use it. At the time I didn't realize it, but I picked up three books that happened to be debut novels. It was an inspiration to me to see these new authors getting published. It's an encouragement that there also is hope for me.

Last evening I checked out each of the author's websites. Then just for fun, I googled my own name, to see what would come up from the search. No - there is no website on me. My blog did come up, and also something else that surprised me. Apparently three of the home school unit study articles I have written for Home School Enrichment are posted on www.crosswalk.com. I hadn't realized that before! :)