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Archive for January, 2013

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What are you writing? Is it what’s in your heart?
Or your head?
Both?
Do you write to please yourself?  Or others? Or both?

Do you write for money, or pleasure? Or a little in between?

Does it even matter?

As a person who works in publishing, I read query letters all the time. The one thing I have observed in writers is lack of focus on what they write and why. Is this detail important?  Can’t a writer write fiction, and non-fiction?  Or both?

The answer is yes. The answer is no.

Yes anyone can write anything at anytime. However, better writers focus their energy on specific writing tasks. The level of skill goes up with the amount of concentrated effort.

What sells is genre-specific, high-quality writing. If you want to be published in the mainstream market and become well-known, ask yourself when you sit to write:

Where do I want to go?
What am I writing?
Will this get me there?

Helping you write your calling.

Angelfire

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Where in the world are you with writing? As a Christian writer, this question is a two-edged sword. It makes me think of the call to evangelize, and to “Be in the world, not of it.”

That statement has aways perplexed me. This morning, I asked God, “What exactly does that look like? And by the way, Jesus, did you know that when I’m in the world, not of it, I stand out like a sore thumb?”

In fact, just yesterday I shared with a family member that I have lost business, been rejected as a Christian without due cause, and even removed from work associations just by promoting my beliefs on social media.

Not to mention the spiritual warfare that has come my way too. I have felt alone and isolated in my writer journey. This makes me wonder who else is out there feeling that way too?

I wonder if other Christian writers that work and need to make a living find it to be challenging? Does the idea of writing about your faith perplex you on “How to…” become known? Increase followers? Build an audience? Sell your books? Have you been writing about your faith waiting on God to make you known, but the process has moved slowly– and not so surely?

I think that the answer lies in our action as a community of faith. We have to love in action that shows.

How can the community of faith can come through to support one another?

Get to know other Christian writers. Fellowship. Attend a conference. Download e-books written by Christian writers you meet at them. Support their like pages. Write positive reviews. Give a voice to a voice in the wilderness to show that they walk not alone. They have a family to love them as they answer their calling.

Helping you write your calling,


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It’s the New Year, and probably like me, many of you have thought about how to improve your writing for 2013. I personally had a hard time answering that question. As an editor and writer for others in the publishing world, I find it east to review and critique someone else’s manuscript. It’s different when it’s my own, I’m too close. I loose sight of the forest for the sake of the trees.

So, today during my prayer life, I asked God what do I need to improve? He is the ultimate author. I mean, who hasn’t seen a Bible somewhere? If He can inspire ancient men, why not me?

A bunch of questions came to mind…
Where do you want to go with your writing career?
Where are you headed with your desire to be a writer?
What kind of writer are you? And, do you know why?

In light of today’s competitive writing culture, these are some pretty tough questions. I know that when I first started out I just wanted an accolade and some experience. But now, a seasoned writer I know better than that. I know better than to tell my readers to aim broad. Instead, refine your focus and head straight into the direction of your calling.

What is your writing passion? Where do words come naturally in your speak-talk with others?
What is your greatest strength? Too often, Christian writers are told that it is their hurts that will be the source of their writing. Yes, and maybe no. My suggestion is to write from strengths and minimize weaknesses. Do you have an area that has been healed? What is your unique perspective and can you focus your writing on that? What fresh word can you deliver? People want hope. They want to hear of promises. Ann Voscamp is a prime example of a Christian writer who accomplished this.

Have you decided where you want to go? Is 2013 your a time to write forward? How is a past focused writing going to propel you to a successful writing future?

Something about Genesis 1:14 reminds me of the different ways writers are used in God’s Kingdom. It says, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years.”

Jesus said in Matthew 5:14, “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill can not be hid.”

We live in a dark world. Your call to write is the same as your call to be the light.

People in darkness adjust to light differently. Some hide their eyes, others blink, and a few stare boldly into it knowing a moment of blindness will heal.

Some of us are bright lights, and others of us are stars sent to deliver the message of a heart’s cry. What is God’s calling on your writer’s voice? Is your word from God a bright message that requires boldness? Or a soft nudge? What kind of light writer are you?

This year as you seek to write? Seek to define the race that you have been called to run. And remember, the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. Be a direct line to God’s love. Shine bright city on the Hill. Shine for Him.

Song for the day:

Helping you to answer the call to write that is set before you,

Angelfire

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