To New Writers, With Love

After a fourteen-month break and a gracious God willing, I’m about to duck my head back under a stack of books and commentaries and drain a heap of ink cartridges dry as I peck, type, and tap my fingernails on my desk toward another Bible study. When I was 30 years old, the thought of the first one never occurred to me. After that one was finished and originally placed on a shelf, I didn’t imagine a second one.

It’s not that writing had never crossed my mind. I’ve been obsessed with the feel of a pencil sliding across a page since my earliest memories. My young childhood years were spent on a hill in Arkadelphia, Arkansas in a small house splitting at the seams with eight people and tickled in the ribs by pine needles. I must have swung a thousand miles on the stuffed burlap bag my dad hung by a rope from an oak’s flexing bicep. I’d twist the rope as tightly as I could then hop on the bag and twirl around in dizzying circles with my head reared back, rope unwinding, and hair flying. And life has gone by pretty much like that ever since.

Because my maternal grandmother lived with us, my mom wasn’t obliged to stuff all of us kids in the station wagon every time she went to the grocery store. On occasion, however, I’d beg to go with her and she’d let me. There was a little gray plastic horse with a red saddle and loose brown rein that I’d befriended at the auspicious entrance to the Piggly Wiggly. Most of the time, I’d stay perched right there on his rigid back until the checker dug herself out from under an avalanche of groceries, can by can. A child was safer to let go of her mother’s skirt in those days. While she was inside fetching buttermilk, pork ‘n beans, and light bread, I was outside hugging that plastic horse so fiercely that sometimes flecks of chipped paint would stick to my arms and legs until my next scrubbing.  That would occur the next Saturday night.

We, of course, were forced to bathe or shower every day and we often did so two by two, rather like a reverse Noah’s Ark. The youngest of five girls in the house, I might get thrown in with anyone from six years old to seventy-five. A disembodied voice would yell, Can I throw Bethy in there? Then the next thing I knew, a hand would appear ex nihilo and snatch me through the heavy veil. But there was a fearsome thing in our household called “the Saturday bath.” You didn’t come out of that one unscathed.

What skin you had left when it was over was usually exfoliated by the brisk drying off. It was something akin to the flaps in a car wash. The other six days a week I don’t even recall dry-before-dressed being a top priority but, come Saturday night, cleaning was a near killing. The water, however, was only phase one of the ritual. We girls then sat in a row at my mother’s feet while she pin-curled our hair so tight our eyes would turn to slits. All this was so that we’d look fancy for church the next morning. She also pin curled Nanny’s hair and had done so for years. That Nanny only had about 73 hairs left on her whole head was no wonder to me. I often pictured waking up on Sunday morning, crawling out of bed, and the pin curls remaining right there on the pillowcase completely intact, broken off at the roots.

Years passed before I realized that the horse outside the Piggly Wiggly would have rocked back and forth for the better part of a minute if somebody rolled a nickel into it. My mom could still laugh herself into a coughing fit about that very thing till the year she died. That old stiff beast wasn’t my only motivation anyway. I also hitched a ride for the Big Chief Tablet. If my four siblings and I hadn’t frazzled Mom down to her last nerve and pitched her into an absolutely not, I could usually harass one out of her with incessant incantations of pretty-pretty-please. There could also be measurable success if we kids had managed to break her will.  You had to play it just right since she was like most moms. Sometimes you didn’t know if it was resignation or rage until you were decidedly sorry you’d asked.  However I attained it, as soon as I had that tablet in hand and back home on the hill, I’d snatch a pencil from the kitchen drawer, sharpen it, and scribble for hours until every single line was filled on every last page.

Five and six years old, I wrote fastidiously in my own brand of cursive. Mind you, I hardly knew how to spell a word with basic print, let alone write in cursive but how could any literature be taken seriously in disjointed characters? So, I made up my own script, big on curlicues, loop de loops, ocean waves and dolphin fins. This was not the stuff of Christian books penned with a fury there in the dark red shadow of the Big Chief. My books were more inclined toward elementary romance novels. They involved characters like Little Joe Cartwright on Bonanza and probably me, and Barbie’s dark-plastic-brown-headed Ken and probably me, and a host of doll babies or trolls and probably me. I would stare off into space a little while, mutter and ponder, then throw my head down dramatically and scribble for all I was worth.

Writing came easier back then.

As I grew up, my interests widened. I loved English and social studies and student government. I eventually got my undergraduate degree in political science with thoughts of going on to law school and threw in a teacher’s certificate to boot but, with any musing time at all, I still scribbled and doodled on every bare inch of paper. My official writing days were now long behind me, leaving soirees with Big Chiefs in a smattering of dust. I’m not sure when it first hit me that I might write a Christian book but, even then, those pages were scribbled out of a romance – the most enduring one I’ve ever had – and not without copious curlicues and loop de loops.

I’ve never mastered writing. I read the works of others and say with much admiration, now that’s a real writer.  But this many excursions in, I am no longer naïve about what these many months ahead are going to take. So, I’m steadying myself, taking a deep breath, and whispering underneath it, “Well, here we go again” and all with that inseparable mixture of stomach-churning dread and it’s-great-to-be-back hope. This is what I love. And this is what I sometimes hate. Well, that’s not true. Hate is too strong a word but on occasion it does occur to me that there are work-lives that could be substantially less stressful and less dependent on an endless list of variables like mood, atmosphere, weather, relative-quietness-versus-too-much-quietness where you can hear the clock ticking louder and louder until it sounds like an ear-splitting gong in a torture chamber. Under most circumstances, you need just the right inspiration for just the right amount of time, not to mention exactly enough pain to stir up some passion but not so much that you consider killing yourself. Or at least seriously.  And that’s another thing. You have to read and reread any whimsical sentence you write for fear that someone will take what you said too seriously and pass a kidney stone over it.

Writing can be a hard, grueling profession. It has moments of beauty, mystery, and emotion so strong that you can’t see the screen but, nipping at their very heels are harassing fears that you might not have another. That you’ve started a book you can’t finish. And worse yet, you told someone you’re writing a book and now it appears that the devil could die of frostbite before you can construct another intelligible sentence.

I feel this strange sensation of dread and hope every time I start to write something of any length but only in the last few journeys have I thought intently about you.  About you new writers, you lovers of words, stirred of heart and mind to lasso your swirling thoughts onto a page, let them be still, and wonder if anyone on earth will care to actually read them. And, if they do, will they ridicule them? I think of you now because of the groundswell of obstacles that have emerged out of a giant social earthquake. A dazzling mountain range has jumped in the path between the first word of every decent book and its last. Its lung-searing climb, its slippery summit, and harrowing descent are woefully beyond the muscle of the weak-willed.

Many of you are young enough to know no other writing world but this one. Others of us have been around long enough to recognize the glaring climate changes. A dyed-in-the-wool sanguine, I feed off a social frenzy with all the patience of a crackhead just like other people-persons do. I love it. I crave it. I’m just saying it’s next to impossible to actually eek out a decent book in the batting eye of it.  Long-term writing has always been difficult but these present winds, they are a-blowin’, and those of us who insist on keeping every window wide open will have our pens whipped into knots and our floors swept by swooshes of blank pages.

Because one thing will never change.

A decent piece of writing demands concentration.

It’s hard – not impossible but hard – to bring it to completion with a semblance of originality and, Lord, help us, anointing amid the constant cacophony. Amid unhindered choruses of…

Oh, for a thousand texts to ping.

Or

There’s a tweet, tweet spirit in this place.

Others are more qualified to speak to this than I. Obviously, I’m just putting off the first sentence of a project with one last rabbit-chase. I have no great word on lasting penmanship in a frenetic climate. My take on the subject comes from my own subjective experience and perspective. For that handful of you who have hung on this long, however, I’m going to throw a few things on the counter that I have learned along the way (true to frustrating form, the hard way). This is why: because I believe in you young writers and in you not-so-young-but-new writers. I see great men and women of God out there with things to say that need to be documented into a format with a shelf life longer than an iPhone upgrade. So, here goes.

Writing a book will be harder than you think and take longer than you want.

You very often will lose passion for the project somewhere in the middle of it and even sprint mentally in a mad blaze toward a new direction and new title. Expect it. It’s completely normal and, on occasion, projects really do need to be abandoned. Maybe God’s just not in it. Maybe it was better off as a blog post or a thought-worthy entry on Tumblr. Maybe we didn’t think it through and mistook it for a long-term project. It just wasn’t the right direction. We miss it sometimes. But, more often, the maddening ebb is part of the writing process that you must work and pray and cry and press through until the fire returns because, if you don’t? Well, if you don’t, you will start fifteen books and finish none of them. And, if you do, your blaze for the project will often boomerang with a satisfaction that plunges all the deeper because you fought the demon and won. In the immutable words of Hebrews 10:36, you need to persevere.

You have to factor in more than writing time. Decent writing requires much more time than it takes to actually type the sentences. Decent writing requires thinking and spinning and mulling and living and watching and listening and experiencing and reaching. These bring the strokes to the page that turn the transfer of information into true connection.

Limitless opportunities have come with the global blast of information and communication. What believer couldn’t entertain the notion that God may have foreordained all this access for the purpose of Gospel wall-leaping? It’s a gorgeous thing. But omnipresence is a burden only God can bear. Insisting on being ten places at once for twenty hours a day for weeks on end will ultimately make aloneness almost intolerable. Thankfully, that doesn’t mean we’ll never hear from God since He can well reveal Himself in corporate contexts. It just means that we will less likely sense what He’s trying to communicate to us personally and use us to communicate to someone else. The Biblical art of meditating can turn a parched cistern into a fountainhead.

I meditate on all You have done; I ponder the work of Your hands. I stretch out my hands to You; my soul thirsts for You like a parched land. Psalm 143:5-6

Turn to the psalmists and trace with your fingertips the times they talk about meditating on God and His precepts, His ways, His acts, and the human condition with and without Him.  Study the contexts. See the results. The loss of such an art may be gradual but make no mistake. It will also be incalculable.

The NIV translates Jesus’ words in John 12:49 in terms that stand up on the page like a pop-up book for any believer hoping to communicate.

For I did not speak of my own accord, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it.

Only Jesus is capable of speaking solely what the Father has commanded but a concept dripping from it like honey is enough to wet the tongue of the driest human mouth: Communicating is not only about what to say. It’s about how to say it.

That takes pondering. And pondering takes time. The word “Godspeed” may be the most overlooked oxymoron in the English language. He rarely does. Speed, I mean.

Panic only exacerbates inevitable waves of writer’s block. I don’t care how elementary and predictable this piece of advice is going to sound. When it happens – and it will – get up from your desk, down on the floor, tell God your struggle and pray for Him to move you past the block. Then, as you get up from the floor, thank Him for His kindness and mercy and complete dependability. The block may pass right away. It may not pass until the next day. Or week. Or month. But, if the project is from God, the boulder will most definitely tumble from the path and, when it does, you’ll know who kicked it. Appropriately, God wants us to credit Him with every victory. Hasten to it.

Do the work. Study. Prepare. Don’t have all of your research done by someone else. The discovery itself is often the gift.

God will most often take the message we’re writing and prove us genuine by hammering the themes relentlessly on the anvil of our souls. Does it say anything that I had to type the word “anvil” very slowly to keep from writing “advil”?  Knowing how much time to allow on the manuscript due-date for a holy hammering is hard to navigate but, whenever it’s finished, it will be ten times the untested version. Oh, I know, I know. We all hope we’ve already lived the process in advance which is why we feel qualified to speak to it in book form but, from my experience, that’s a sweet dream.  If we sow to our flesh we’ll reap the flesh. Only if we go to the extra trouble to sow to the Spirit will we reap something of authentic, eternal spiritual value.

Submit to the angst of decent editing. That means we have to let our works and ourselves be critiqued. Criticized. Questioned. Challenged. A good editor can be a solid gold pain in the neck that we oughtn’t to want to trade for all the e-book space in the universe. Think of all we’ve gotten in trouble for saying, then think of all we could have said. Lord, help me. An editorial cut can sometimes swerve you right out of the path of a flatbed trailer full of fertilizer. If we don’t trust our editor enough to give us some pretty solid advice, we really do need to seek a new one. Some statements are well worth fighting for and it can come down to finding a different way to say them. Other times authors might get their way with an editorial disclaimer we shouldn’t take lightly: “Ok, but don’t say I didn’t warn you.” A number of statements along the way have been worth some controversy to me but some of the things that have hurled me into the hottest water weren’t even important to me. Many words, much folly.

Perfectionism will snuff the flame. Period. Give it up. It’s cheating us out of hearing your genuine voice.

These are a few reasons why we may never read books by some of the greatest writers on the planet. Some are too narcissistic to take the criticism, too undisciplined to see it through the dry spells, or too committed to greatness to settle for publishing something good.

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works. We don’t have to strive for fabulous. Purely doing some good can be really great.

Just one more.

Don’t just think twice before you sign a multi-book contract. Think fifty times. Resist it at all costs (see below) unless God writes a go across the sky. As tempting as the sight may be, God may not spell go like this:

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

 
God can lead His children any way He pleases. You could flourish under conditions that I find crushing. But, for me, there’s nothing like the pressure to write that leaves me with fewer things to say. God is all-powerful, compassionate, mysterious, and sometimes almost humorous. He freely admits to the enjoyment of showing the wise foolish and the foolish wise. He can do anything He wants any way He wants but, as a general rule, holy passion is a better guide than human pressure. It is dangerous to sign contracts for unwritten books. And taking money for them can burn a hole right through the lining of your stomach.

So. I guess I’ve put off the process long enough and will go get to it. Maybe all this rambling was just a reminder to me. Thanks for giving me the space to hash it out.

 

Ecclesiastes 12:12 says, Of making many books there is no end.

 

And I – more reader than writer – for one am glad.

Write on, sister or brother. Don’t wait for a publisher or a book deal. A true writer has to write even with no one to read. Scribble down rogue phrases and incomplete sentences as they come whether or not they seem strung together. Write on the backs of sales receipts or the palm of your other hand. Just write! That book is in there somewhere.

If it seems slow, wait for it. (Habakkuk 2:3)

And when it comes, may God speak.

 

 

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302 Responses to “To New Writers, With Love”

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Comments:

  1. 251
    Angela says:

    I love this post, Beth. Such encouraging words. Thank you for sharing them & for your heart to minister to women through God’s truth. Your studies have been an enormous blessing in my life over the years. So looking forward to your new study & praying for you!

  2. 252
    Amy says:

    Beth, I am so very excited to hear that you are starting a new study. I can’t wait to hear what it is about!

    Thank you for encouraging us writers out here to continue pursuing our passion. I have wanted to be a writer and author for a long time and that passion has not died. This was the perfect timing for me and I can’t help but believe it is one of those beautiful signs that only He could give me at such a time as this.

    I’m ready to go back to the “writing board” and get started on what I believe is the next chapter of my life. Thank you for allowing God to use you to speak to me.

    Love you!

  3. 253
    Shelly Sorem says:

    Beth – thank you so much for your encouraging words about writing. As a newly published author, it is refreshing to hear your kind words. I have just published a daily devotional called Deeply Rooted and it has been an absolute labor of love. I pray God gets it into the hands of those who will benefit from it. Your Bible studies and books have been such a blessing to me and so many others. I thank God that you persevered and continued to write even when it was difficult. Because of you obedience to the Lord, many, many women have come to know and love the Lord! I will be praying for your new writing adventure and look forward to reading it.

  4. 254

    Thank you so much for sharing this God-given, life-learned wisdom with those who come behind you. I will be praying with you as you begin this new book. Thank you for sharing your journey with us.

    With love & thankfulness for you,
    Jennifer Walker

  5. 255
    teresa says:

    thank you for liberating me. I printed and taped this to my desk. I have been putting a book off for the past seven years, even after I was encouraged by Bob at FL to write one…seriously, what was that man thinking?

    Everything you mentioned in your blog I have done or thought since finally caving into the humbling idea of doing the unimaginable, write a book…Oof.

    This experience keeps Christ in the forethought of all my typings. Victory to Him in all that is written.

    In His Service,
    t

  6. 256
    Esther Klassen says:

    Just what I needed to read this morning!

  7. 257

    This was so timely. I have started five stories in the past almost 2 years and fear keeps me from wrapping them up. I know I need to just push forward and keep going. Thank you for sharing. Praying as you begin the journey of another study that will bless so many of us.

  8. 258
    Margaret says:

    Beth,

    This is a fabulous article, and it comes at a time when I have finally decided to take the meager writings I have written and do something with them. I figure if I’ve done nothing else, at least I can invest them towards some eternal purpose. I look back at the work I’ve done and wonder how I had time or energy to complete them ~ let alone have the notion to continue something that produced some results. Maybe that is what has allowed me to think that God wants me to write.

    So they are my offerings. Hard work, yes,yet there is much to ponder and say. You have reminded me to write devotionally and not just mentally. I accept the pitfalls and tedious days and the red ink. Thank you so much for speaking to me right where I am with words I needed to read!!

    You were the first to inspire my love of Bible Studies and

  9. 259
    Susie Davis says:

    Oh, this is beautiful.
    And true.
    Thank you for sharing so honestly.
    I found you here at just the right time.

  10. 260
    Brandi Cox says:

    Oh my goodness! The Big Chief Tablet! I grew up in Arkansas, but all of my family was from Louisiana. When we visited my Granny in DeRidder, Louisiana, she had no toys, but she did have a few “play pretties.” However, there was always a Big Chief Tablet in her kitchen drawer. We played school and other games with those tablets. I think if I really searched my home, I could find a lined Big Chief sheet with the names of my future children that I constructed with my best cousin before I had even hit a double digit age. Beth, I realize that I have not captured the essence of your beautiful post. but thanks for the memories!

  11. 261

    Thanks for taking the time to write this post!

    God laid on my heart an exitement and passion to write several years ago and I’ve not followed through on so many ideas I believe He gave me to pen on paper. Honestly, I’ve let life’s distractions, my own lack of discipline, and the enemy’s schemes steal the time and passion away from me to write.

    Thank for your encouraging words, Beth. You’re right on to write on :) His is the glory through writing that’s surrendered to Him.

  12. 262
    Kelly says:

    Thank you, Beth. I look forward to your new book. Blessings

  13. 263
    Marcia S says:

    I am more of a reader than a writer. This post is so beautiful, so real. I thank God for blessing you with a writer’s mind that truly connects with readers. I thank God for your willingness to share the truth of the writing process and not to leave us sitting here thinking that all the words you have written and will write just roll out with ease. This post is so encouraging on so many levels. Today, I see that the process God takes us through is just as important as the end result. He is good.

  14. 264
    Melissa says:

    I stumbled on this post while looking for a way to email you and it was so what I needed to hear to day! As a lover of books and a dreamer of writing them for as long as I can remember, I have just decided to become serious to do the work it requires and am several weeks into this process. I am saving this post to come back to when I need to persevere! I have been so blessed by your words, and just completed your James study and have to say it is amazing how much God can change a girl that already knows it all… Thank you for forcing us to do the work ourselves–as a young mom with a 2 year old and 5 month old, sometimes I want to shake you during the homework–“do not make me turn to another Scripture, I’ll take your word for it!!” but am so glad that you do. I have learned so much and been so blessed by your own perseverence. Am trying to memorize the book of James, hopefully will have it completed before your next study! :o)

  15. 265
    Janan says:

    Thank you Beth! I love this post. I have always wanted to write a book but have instead been blogging. This post has inspired me to stop procrastinting, keep blogging, keep pressing on toward the someday book the one God helps me write.

  16. 266
    Emily Brewer Miceli says:

    The Holy Spirit clearly inspired your magnificent prose, Beth. I read it while procrastinating in the Abu Dhabi National Library. I am one of those “not-so-young-but-new writers” attempting to research and write a novel since I left my job in June. Talk about slow-going. I have experienced massive writer’s block the past couple of weeks. It appears to be breaking after much prayer and talking over the book with trusted sisters in the Lord. Being a sanguine-choleric, I’ll just about always choose socializing over writing. Free WiFi is equally perilous. Everything you wrote speaks directly to me.

    So, I gaze at the turquoise waters of the Arabian Gulf through the library windows as the candura-clad librarian kindly lets me stay past closing time again and thank God for my sister’s sage advice. I promise, Beth, no procrastinating tomorrow!!

  17. 267
    Johnniw says:

    What great news you will be doing another Bible study! I am in the middle of the James study and enjoying it thoroughly. James is a challenging book but so necessary to examine ourselves in the mirror of God’s word to make sure we are living out our faith. You and Melissa have done a fabulous job collaborating together and I look forward to your next study!!

    Blessings to you
    Johnnie

  18. 268
    Jane Griz Jones says:

    Thank you for following God’s desire for the wonderful ministry that you have. I love to write but at 83, I haven’t written any articles like I did when I was employed in church as minister to senior adults or as an English teacher. Perhaps God will give me an opportunity to bring happiness to older readers by writing humorous articles because as we age, many have nothing to laugh about. God bless you continually.

  19. 269
    Cindy says:

    Beth –
    I have been savoring this post for the past week… pouring over the wisdom shared and lessons learned. The timing of it has been just perfect in so many ways. I needed to hear these words. Thank you, for your willingness to share your experience and to encourage us. Thank you!

  20. 270
    Nicki says:

    This post is such a blessing. Thank you, Beth. At just the right time, God interjects with grace and encouragement, “Don’t give up! I AM with you.” Living a life of writing, as you explained, there is always liquid passion poured out in ink form. The testimonies, the tellin’s, the amazing, the heart-wrenching. The Spirit-led, the Blessing. Where we have come from, where we are going, and can we leave road signs for our sisters along the way…”Good girl!”, “Walk this way!”, “You’ve got it!” -or- “Never, under any circumstance pull in here!”, “Tried it, didn’t work!”, “Love killer! Beware!” Trying to decide, I have left these random, scattered thoughts in every Bible sleeve, notebook, worship list, junk mail envelope, and loose-leaf paper in my house. It is time to pray, order, and DO!! (week 3, day 2–James sisters) the Word He’s put inside of us! It is so encouraging to hear the stories of others whom God is leading in the same direction. The one voice of our one God speaking to His people as one–amazing!

  21. 271
    Cathy says:

    I loved your memoir of trips to the Piggly Wiggly! Thank you for writing. I have been taught,encouraged, and blessed by your writings for many years and look forward to many more.

  22. 272
    Nancy Horn says:

    Beth,

    Thank you so much for posting this. It’s so timely of COURSE! I just had a second neck surgery this month, second one in a year. I own a very busy and popular cafe in Reno that was on the Food Network and Food Network Magazine. I am admittedly too busy for words, and was leading the 60 women at my church for six years too. Last fall the pain became too much and I told my pastor’s wife I had to step down to deal with my health. Long story short, God has taken me completely OUT of leading, ministry, working, cooking on tv projects,radio and everything I’ve been doing and building. I am home recovering. Quietly, alone, and slowly. My neurosurgeon asked me to consider overseeing the cafe instead of more than full time hours, to take it easy, slowly healing and coming off of pain meds until APRIL!! For a workaholic type-A entrepreneur this has been painfully hard. I miss my staff and my customers (the cafe sits across from a trauma hospital and next to a cancer treatment center). My husband and business partner is shouldering all of this work with my staff while I heal. God has given me a writing contract for a weekly column in the Food section of the local paper (owned by Gannett so seen by 80 papers nationwide), time to actually slowly study His word in peace, and time to write. Several books have been my dream, cooking and devotionals alike. God is giving me the time to make these projects happen now. But it’s taken the humbling pain of these surgeries and trusting my business to others to run to make it happen. Thank you Beth for writing on writing. Bless you in your new project and I’ll be in touch. Oh, and we are adding a new Golden girl puppy named Maple to our family, to help keep me and my girl Ecko (6 year old female Golden) company. She’s been mooning around the house since our nest emptied last summer….Much love and happy Thanksgiving Beth. Love Nancy http://blogs.rgj.com/dishitup

  23. 273
    Andi Wernke says:

    I gotta say….the idea of another bible study excites me!! I cannot wait!!! Praying for you as you write.

  24. 274

    Thanks for sharing this post and thanks for the inspiration that you give us to keep on keeping on as we work to “Share God’s Word” with the world. May God bless you!
    Blessings,
    Deborah H. Bateman-Author

  25. 275
    Amy says:

    Oh Beth, this one touched deep. I feel called to writing and teaching, but feel completely inadequate for it. I have a fire in me to do it more than anything, and there is also nothing in this walk of mine that makes me want to hover my head over a toilet more….if you know what I mean. The Lord often impresses on my heart something to write and teach, and then there is this heavy burden that appears that I feel under until it’s written. It’s such an interesting and bizarre thing, I almost cant even put it into words. Why is something you feel so called to, the same something that creates such a pressing weight until its complete? I keep writing because I cannot stop, but there are times that I wish I could, because the weight is just so heavy. Make sense?

  26. 276
    Janet says:

    Oh Momma Beth! I am in awe of how He used you to speak to me! The Lord has been telling me for a year to write and I have had one arguement after another. I feel I have nothing to say! Don’t get me wrong…I’m FULL of words; but I don’t feel that I have anything of value that could benefit the body of Christ! I got so frustrated with the fact that the Lord wouldn’t leave me alone about it and I was so truly burdened, that I finally went to the store, bought new pens (which I love!) and a notebook and then said “NOW LORD! Are you happy?!?!?!” and I began to write. It was only then that I go any kind of break or release. That was my confirmation and I was STUNNED!!!!! Oh my gosh! It really IS the Lord telling me to write a book! What about? What do You want me to say? And how can I share my story without hurting others, without oversharing, without revealing things that could potentially do harm? I have so many questions and I don’t have the first clue how to go about this, who can help me get it into print etc., etc.
    What I DO KNOW is that He keeps confirming over and over that this is something He wants me to do.
    Thank you for posting this. My friend told me about it a long while back (this entry on the blog) but I am just now having time to get back to the blog…and I find that, as usual, He is right on time!

  27. 277

    Beth,
    Not knowing many writers has kind of made the last three years a lonely place. Ok, so it has been more than, “kind of”. But, that must be what Christ wanted.
    This morning I found your post when I searched on how to connect with another writer. Someone who understood the pain, the uncertainty, the joy, the ever blessed joy that encapsulates you when you are writing. But as I read your words they spoke volumes.
    I realized the pain and uncertainty were there as I wrote for myself. The joy and the peace are here as I write for Him, my Jesus.
    Thank you for that reminder. And thank you for your words of wisdom, I sorely needed them. I feel you shared pieces of your heart and I am very thankful. Thank you for understanding and sharing courage to wait, to write, the faith to continue praying and communing with The Lord on the next step, the next word, my next breath. Thank you.
    Sincerely,
    Sofia Simpson

  28. 278
    Debra says:

    Waiting to get past a big block spiritually which will hopefully in turn remove the writer’s block…

    Thank you for the comments on writing…

    debraradaker.com Poetic Praise

  29. 279
    Beckie Ihle says:

    Hi Beth,
    For about 15 years in spring and fall I have two friends that open their house for your studies. I have enjoyed and learned from all the ones that I have taken. While I know in my spirit God wants to write through me it has been a process. For about two years now God has allowed my time in His presence to expand more. He has honored my visits with what I first called movies in the clouds, while my friend stated that I was having visions. I have had quite a few and I write them down as soon as possible. They are overwhelming. God has even allowed me to take pictures. I have always stated that I want the words to be Gods words.You are right in explaining that it is in Gods timing. He has given me the title(with a picture), intro page, and titles(with pictures) to go with chapters that He has given me. Psalm 100:4 Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise(I have pictures of His gate) has been an inspiration for me. I have been in His courts and there is no place that is better.

  30. 280
    Jean Schlosser says:

    Dear Beth, Feb. 18, 2013

    Like you, as a child, I loved to write. I would copy
    print from the newspaper, before I could read. I
    liked the curlicues, too. Maybe, because I’m an artist.

    I wrote my testimony, years ago, for the Unshackled Program. They were interested in my testimony,
    but I was a new Christian and was not in a Bible believing church, at the time.

    The Lord, put it on my heart, to continue, my story, for the program. As I have been writing, I realized, it’s
    a novel. I remembered this post and will take Habakkuk 2:3 seriously. I’m grateful for your words of godly wisdom. I’m praying for discernment, while I will wait for the Lord to reveal His revelation of how He wants to use, my testimony.

    I’m not the best writer and I am not great with my grammar, but I know this:

    “Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.” Mark 10:27

    Thanks for your encouragement! Also, the James study, on
    page 111, is speaking to my heart. I so hunger and thirst for God’s word and I’m so excited to share it with others. Thanks for your perseverance, through your studies because God has used them to continually change my life. God bless you as you take on a new writing adventure!

  31. 281
    Carrie Leonard says:

    Thank you. I just recently started writing a bible study, and the Lord reminded me of this post. So good, so encouraging…I think I’ll Pin it…

  32. 282
    Betty says:

    Thank you for sharing. Praying as you begin the journey of another study that will bless so many of us.

  33. 283
    Patricia says:

    I just can say thank you for your post and your words.

    Patricia.

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