Encouraging Words for the Christian writer
Blog for writers
|Posted on 8 September, 2020 at 9:05||comments (13)|
Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize. I Corinthians 9:26,27, NLT
I got up one morning to accomplish my writing routine for the day. Although I expended a lot of time putting words down on paper, after looking at what I had written I realized I had just been "punching the air."
What does "'punching the air" mean? It means I didn’t have a specific goal in mind when I sat down to write and rather than hitting a specific writing target for the day, I wrote aimlessly.
In today's bible passage, the apostle Paul reminds me that I can’t just punch the air when I write; like a good boxer who doesn't miss his punches, I must make sure that every time I write, I write with a specific goal in mind. For example, is it my goal for the day to write x number of pages or a chapter for a book? Is it my goal to write a devotion to post and share on my social media pages? Is it my goal to write an op-ed article I'd like to submit to an online publication or newspaper?
In his biblical commentary regarding today's scripture,, Erwin Lutzer said that it matters not how fast the swing or how powerful the punch of a boxer; if the opponent takes no hits, he is wasting his energy. Similarly, it matters not how much time you're investing into writing every day if you're not writing with a specific goal or purpose in mind. So make sure you've defined your writing goal before you begin writing to ensure your'e not just punching the air, but making every hit count..
Sharing the journey,
|Posted on 21 April, 2020 at 10:25||comments (0)|
I didn’t feel like writing my blog post today. I needed to write my blog post so I'd have it ready to include in my weekly newsletter, but the motivation just wasn't there. So I almost didn't write a blog post for today's newsletter. Until I remembered my why.
You see, my why determines why I write. My why is my purpose for writing. It helps me get up every day and stay committed to my writing goals. And it reenergizes me when the journey of writing gets weary along the way.
So I took some time this morning to reflect on the following question: Why am I writing?
I am writing because I want to make a living as a writer
I am writing because I want to inspire other Christian writers
I am writing because I want to teach
I am writing because I want to create a body of work I can be proud of and leave as a legacy
Why are you writing? Here are eight reasons to consider from Joannna Penn, Author of The Successful Author Mindset:
It is my life goal to write a book I can be proud of and can hold in my hand
I want to get an agent and a publishing deal
I want to see my book on the shelves of a bookstore
I want to reach readers with my words
I want to sell lots of books.
I want to receive critical acclam and win a literary prize
I want to make a full-time living with my writing
I want to create a body of work that I can be proud of over my lifetime.
Are you feeling a bit weary on your journey as a Christian writer? Then take a moment to remember your why.
Sharing the journey,
Responding to your call to write: What is your "why" for writing? Share your feedback via my blog or Facebook page!
|Posted on 21 April, 2020 at 9:25||comments (160)|
Lewis Carroll’s book, Alice In Wonderland, perfectly illustrates the importance of goal setting during an exchange between Alice and the Cheshire Cat.
Alice asks, “Would you tell me please, which way I ought to go from here?”
The cat replies, “That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.”
“I don’t much care where—“
“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go, so long as you get somewhere.”
Gettng somewhere may have been okay for Alice, but just getting somewhere isn’t enough of a goal if you’re serious about writing your book while you're sheltering-in. You will need concrete and specific goals for how you plan to get there. In an article by Heather Kreke called Setting S.M.A.R. T goals, she challenges writers to use the following strategy to help them achieve their writing goals:
Specific: Know what you want. “I want to write” is too broad. Do you want to write a non-fiction book, a novel, a devotional, or an article? Do you want to write 300 or 30,000 words?
Measurable: Set wirting goals that will produce results you can see. Measure your progress in daily, weekly or monthly word counts.
Attainable: “I will write 10,000 words a day,” is not likely attainable. Make your goals reasonable. When you accomplish them, you will feel the excitement. If you set the bar too high you may end up being discouraged.
Realistic: Dreaming big is good. But when you set goals to obtain those dreams, keep a firm grasp on reality. Know your limits. Know when to ask for help.
Timely: Set or accept only reasonable deadlines, given your other commitments. Too soon and you’ll be stressed. Too long and you’ll procrastinate.
Are you still having to shelter-in today? Then you can accomplish your writing goals as long as you're being smart!
Sharing the journey,
|Posted on 1 October, 2019 at 8:45||comments (299)|
At the Lord’s directions, Moses kept a written record of their progress. Numbers 33:2 NLT
Recently I attended the funeral of a friend’s father. Initially, I found it difficult sitting through the funeral because I didn’t know him. But as I listened to what others said about my friend’s father and watched his life scroll across the monitor, I was connected to him by his story.
At the Lord’s direction, Moses recorded the progress of the Israelites. God had delivered them from Egyptian bondage and knew their journey through the wilderness would be chock full of lessons that could benefit the next generation who read their story.
What can others learn from you about your life journey? What is God teaching you about waiting, illness, relationships, failure, sorrow, love, happiness? Maybe you thought the lessons you are learning along the way weren’t important enough to write down, but they are. And one day, although your readers may have never gotten a chance to know you, they will know your story.
Are you keeping a written record of your progress?
Sharing the journey,
|Posted on 11 June, 2019 at 8:25||comments (0)|
Don’t be impatient for the Lord to act. Travel steadily along his path. Psalms 37:34, NLT
School is out and vacation season has officially arrived. Many of us will now pack our suitcases and travel to various destinations for a fun-filled vacation. Whether our travels are on a road trip from one state to another or in the air flying to our favorite vacation destination, this is the time to wind down from our hectic, harried lives and enjoy time just doing nothing.
But sometimes our travel plans don’t go as we expect. Flights are postponed, turbulence occurs and cars break down on the road. But in spite of the challenges that occur along the way, with a sense of determination we finally make it to our desired destination.
Like vacation travels, your plans to write for publication will not always go as planned. You may plan to committ to a certain amount of time writing every day, yet your time gets eaten up by other obligatons. You may plan to complete a writing project by a certain date, yet you find it's still unfinished when the date rolls around. You may plan to submit something you've written to a designated market, yet the fear of rejection keeps you from moving forward.
Like the desired vacation destination you're determined to reach during your summer travels, don't give up on the travel plans you have made to write for publication, no matter what challenges you encounter along the way. Keep planning your writing time. Keep working on your manuscript until it's completed. Keep submitting your writings for publication. Keep traveling along the path God has laid out for you as His Christian writer, until you finally arrive at your desired destination.
Sharing the journey,
Responding to your call to write: How will you keep traveling this summer on your journey as a Christian writer untiil you reach your desired writing destination? Post your comments on my blog. I enjoy hearing from you!
|Posted on 13 May, 2019 at 20:35||comments (0)|
Don’t get discouraged and give up, for (you) will reap a harvest of blessings at the appropriate time. Galatians 5:7 NLT
It's graduation season and I always enjoy every graduation I attend. Because it’s a reminder that the early morning rising for classes and the grueling late night study sessions have finally paid off.
But I’m sure there were days when many students didn’t think they’d make it to their graduation ceremony. Days when school was difficult and they felt like giving up on their dream of getting their degree or diploma. But since they chose to keep moving toward their goal, in spite of the challenges they encountered along the way, they are able to now walk across the stage to receive their coveted award.
Like these graduates, you can expect to encounter challenges along the way as you seek to write for ministry. Challenges that may at times cause you to want to give up on your dream to become a Christian author. But just as the student kept working hard to to receive their degree, keep working hard toward your writing goals. And one day, we’ll be attending your graduation too!
Sharing the journey,
Questions for reflection: What are you doing today to prepare for your graduation from writer to author? Post your comments on my blog. I enjoy hearing from you!
|Posted on 30 April, 2019 at 10:10||comments (99)|
On a beautiful and breezy Sunday afternoon , on the 18th hole on one of the the most beautiful golf courses in the world, Tiger Woods won his fifth Masters tournament and his 15th major title. But this was a different win for Tiger Words, for this victory was accomplished after he got back up again.
You see, Tiger Woods had fallen down. He had fallen to personal problems. He had fallen to health problems. And he had fallen to legal problems. He had even fallen to the disrespect and disdain of his colleagues and friends. But the good news is that Tiger did not allow his problems to keep him down. With a dogged determination and a heart of resilience, Tiger was able to rise back up again and win his 15th major title.
It says so much about him. So much about his perserverance. So much about his willpower. For Tiger could have given up when he fell down to health and personal problems. He had enough championships under his belt . He had enough millions to retire and live comfortably for the rest of his life.
But Tiger wasn’t done. He still loved the game of golf and wanted to keep playing. So he did the hard work required to play again: The back surgeries. The daily trips to the gym. The ice baths. The golf sessions. The gratitude training. Asking forgiveness from those he hurt - his wife, his mom, his children, his colleagues, his friends.
And today he stands. Holding another coveted trophy. All because he was willing to get back up again.
But Tiger isn't the only one who has fallen, because I’ve also fallen many times on my journey to write for ministry. I’ve fallen to discouragement when financial problems arose that impeded me from living out my writing calling. I’ve fallen to depression when I didn't understand why I hadn't yet achieved the success others had attained as Christian writers. I’ve fallen to procrastination when I’ve allowed other people and things to interfere with accomplishing my daily writng goals. So I'm thankful for Tiger's victory, for he reminds me that when I've fallen on my journey to write for the kingdom, I don't have to stay there. With a determined spirit, a steely focus and a continued belief in myself, I can rise back up again!
And you can too!
Sharing the journey
|Posted on 23 April, 2019 at 8:30||comments (0)|
Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.
I'm fascinated by the soldiers assigned to stand guard at Buckingham Palace to protect the queen and her family. For in spite of the many distractions and other annoyances they encounter from tourists, sightseers, pests, and the weather, they never allow their distractions to deter them from their assignment to protect the queen.
Like the guards at Buckingham Palace, you have been given an important assignment - to stand guard of your writing time. For if you have been called to write for ministry, the time spent writing is work God has assigned you to do for Him. Time where you'll write to offer inspiration, information, hope, encouragement, comfort, and healing.
But watch out! For just as the guards at Buckingham Palace are bombarded with distractions to keep them from their duty to protect the queen, you'll be bombarded with distractions designed to keep you from writing. How can you overcome these distractions?
By tapping into your power within. For just as the soldier taps into the inner discipline he has acquired through his soldier training, you have an inner power given to you when you became a Christian to help you overcome any distraction you face. Need helping staying focused? Tap into your inner power? Need help saying no? Tap into your inner power? Need help finishing a writing project? Tap into your inner power.
The soldier's job is to ensure he does not disappoint the Queen by giving in to the distractions he encounters daily as he stands guard. Let's take our jobs as Christian writers just as seriously for the kingdom work we have been assigned to do and continue to stand guard of our writing time.
How are you tapping into your inner power today to stand guard of your writing time? Post your comments on my blog. I enjoy engaging with you on your writing journey!
|Posted on 2 April, 2019 at 18:45||comments (0)|
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.
Ephesians 3:20 NLT
Do you remember the classic movie, The Wizard of Oz? After a tumultuous tornado landed Dorothy in the land of Oz, her one desire was to get back home to Kansas where she lived with her Aunt Em and Uncle Henry. But in order to get home, she had to take a journey down a yellow brick road to a land called Oz to visit a great Wizard. When she finally arrived, the Wizard told her she already had on her what she needed to get home. All she had to do was click the ruby red shoes she had on three times and they would take her home.
Like Dorothy, you also have access to a power within you called the Holy Spirit to help you accomplish your writing goals. And this power will not only help you write effectively but help you accomplish more than you ever thought you could do. For example, you may have planned to write just one article for publication, but as you tap into the power that resides within you, you begin to write more articles. You may have never imagined yourself writing a book or novel, but as you tap into the power that resides with you, you complete your first manuscript. You may have thought you could never stand before an audience to talk about your book, but as you tap into the power that resides within you, you are able to overcome your public speaking fears.
So don’t be afraid to begin. For you have a power within to help you to not only write effectively but to accomplish more than you ever imagined you could do.
Sharing the journey,
Responding to God’s call to write: How are you utilizing the power within you to write for Christian publication? Share your comments on my blog. I enjoy hearing from you!
|Posted on 27 March, 2019 at 10:35||comments (2)|
It’s such a fun time in a baby’s development when they begin to walk. But since the art of walking can be daunting at times, a baby may decide it’s easier to keep crawling. However, as his mother gently encourages him each day to take a step, a baby gains confidence in his walking abilities.
Similarly, the goal of writing for publication can be a daunting task to achieve. And as an aspiring writer, you may even decide to give up on your desire to write for publication because the task is too hard to accomplish. But instead of looking at your long-term goal, focus instead on taking one step at a time towards your destination. For example, take a step to write a certain time each day towards your writing goal, or take a step to write a certain amount each day towards your writing goal. You may start off a little shaky at first, but if you’ll take your first step, you’ll gain the confidence needed to take the next, until you’re walking confidently.
Sharing the journey,