Focus the New Year

One word 2015I read The Write Conversation this morning and thought it was brilliant and had to share. Indeed … I’m choosing “indeed” as my word of the year. Here’s why:



Exodus 3:7                          God sees us and our blights
Psalms 85:12                      God promises good things
Psalms 121:4                      God promises protection
Proverbs 2:3                       God promises wisdom
Luke 12:7                             Jesus stresses our value
John 4:14                             Jesus promises eternal life
John 8:36                             Jesus promises freedom

Thanks, Edie Melson, for the challenge. Now it’s your turn. Let me know if you have a verse or word for 2015.

Editing … the Bane of Writing

August updated_10daysI’m in the throes of writing a memoir, Ten Days: A Journey Back to God, and am overwhelmed by all the editing that’s necessary.

Do I need all those was’s?

What words can I replace it with?

I sound like a doofus . Will anyone even care? Is there anyone out there who will read my story?

Fledging writers … and you know who you are … what breaks your back as you’re editing?

Who Really Said It?

did God really sayI’ve been so focused on working out the bugs in my manuscript that I’ve hardly come up for air.

I hate what I become when that happens. I become boring and a bit self-absorbed.

I can make it so that it isn’t my fault. “But God’s directing me to write!” or another one of my favorites is “If I’m not productive, God will take these ideas away and have someone else write them.”

I’m disgusted with myself when that happens. And I have the audacity to bring God into it!

How do you shake off the grip of egotistical living? What brings you to your senses and pulls you up for air?

Time to Apply

typewriter I’m still floating in the clouds over the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers conference I attended last week. There were so many gifted writers there … and their primary goal was to help writers like me.

I’ve been replaying some of the conversations I had with other conferees as well as faculty members in my mind. They all offered pretty good feedback and advice.

Then my thinking became polluted with pride.

Why did he think I needed that type of critiquing, anyway? Why didn’t she like my writing?

My goal all along was to go to the conference to get help from those in the literary field, yet for a moment I tried to defend myself and my work.

I’m so pathetic … completely pathetic.

After fighting my way through my mental arrogance, I hunkered down with my laptop and started applying some of the suggestions to what I had already written. I knew this process would include deleting and rewriting large sections of text. Many hours would be needed to apply what I had learned.

After my first marathon writing session and I finally closed the top of my laptop. I was blown away. It looks better … my writing is stronger!

Proverbs 15:31-32 says, “If you listen to constructive criticism, you will be at home among the wise. If you reject discipline, you only harm yourself; but if you listen to correction, you grow in understanding.”

I heard words of truth, but had to apply them to gain the benefit. I pray I will continue to be open to those around me who offer wisdom. How about you?

More Than I Ever Expected

BRMCWC_Logo_2013I returned home just a few hours ago from my first Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference at Ridgecrest, NC. As I unpacked my bags, I tried to get my thoughts around my experiences there.

I met some incredibly gifted Writers, all friendly and willing to offer support. I met a number of Editors who offered time to anyone who wanted their professional opinion on how to hone their craft. And I met Agents who wanted to guide any conferee toward the best match of support possible. If the pitch offered wasn’t in their agency’s genre, they pointed the conferee in the direction toward the agency where they may find success.

But the most impressive part of the week—more than a writers’ exposure to everything needed to succeed—was the prayers and emotional support offered between faculty and conferee. Writing was the hook, but there was no getting away from the ultimate purpose of the time there: how to best serve our Savior with the gifts he blessed each of us.

I made life-long friends in the few days I was at BRMCRC. There will be Facebook’d pictures, blogging and guest blogging, shared ministries, and prayers of intercession that span hundreds of miles. And it all came about because we set a week apart to become better writers.

I will share with my friends the stories that we laughed (or cried) to later this week, but for now I want to sit … reflect … and thank God for the opportunity to attend Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference. And thank you, my fellow conferees and faculty team, for allowing God to use you all in a big and mighty way. To me, YOU are Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference.