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.


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.




306 Responses to “To New Writers, With Love”

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  1. 151
    Maria says:

    I’m posting because I want a public record of some inside thoughts. 🙂 I don’t know if I’m meant to write at some point. I’ve had tugs, I’ve written things down, I have ideas. But I don’t know if I’ll ever have the opportunity or time to write. I like what you said, Beth, about writing on reciepts and such. I have written on napkins and reciepts and bills. The problem is I lose them. So now I try to record on my computer and now that I have a smart phone I hope to get some ideas somewhere in that thing. 🙂 Then, I can at least have a record.

    I’m an English teacher so I LOVED reading how you described the struggle of the writing process. I try to teach my students the value of persevering and re-writing, but oftentimes they just want to be done and get a grade. 🙂

  2. 152

    Beth, How encouraging this post was! My heart’s desire has been for years to write a book and it has sparked the desire again. I love putting words and thoughts together! My life story is a great God story when I tell it to others but when I write it down it sounds self-serving. I am not sure He wants me to write it and I really do not know how to to put it all together since part of my story is linked with others. I need to be sensitive to them. I would want the words to bring glory to God not to me. I started a blog in 2007 because I needed to write so I thought it would be a great way to develop my writing abilities while staying accountable to God and His Word. I take seriously that we are each held accountable for every word that comes out of our mouth or fingertips 🙂 I have been waiting for God to reveal the direction to go in and that is the hardest part! Anyway thanks so very much for sharing…

  3. 153

    A writer writes even when there is no one to read. I needed to hear that today…maybe someday soon there will be someone to read!
    Thank you Mama Beth! You are such a role model for me right now as I am officially breaking out and starting my first Bible study after blogging for about a year. I’ve always been a teacher, now I’m a teacher of the Word! I will be praying for your budding Bible study and look forward to the day I can hold this new little one in my arms.

  4. 154

    Wow. I love to read books but for some reason rarely read every word of an online article. I read every word of this, some parts twice. I have to admit I laughed out loud (really out loud) at the killing yourself and kidney stone comments.

    I also almost never print articles. This is getting printed as soon as I get home.

    You gave useful advice in a way that kept me reading! It also came to me at just the right moment, when I’ve decided to focus more on my writing (and the meditating and living that allows for good writing) and less on learning how to build a platform.

    Thanks so much!

  5. 155
    Ashley says:

    Thank u Beth! So refreshing – we appreciate who u are and the trail u have blazed!

  6. 156
    Carma Dutra says:

    Thank you Beth. I needed this today. God’s timing is perfect. Something I am learning as I study more and more. So often, in the past, I would agree He is perfect AFTER the fact. My trust in Him is growing and growing and I know He is perfect BEFORE the fact. As the Divine Author of 66 books that have been on the best selling list for 2,000 years, how can anyone doubt His credibility? 🙂

    Your words inspired this old, new,writer. In a word, I am encouraged. Looking forward to a new study from you.

  7. 157
    jill says:

    Write it “Bethy”….we love you!!! 🙂

    Jill in Lee’s Summit, MO

  8. 158
    Shari Campa says:

    The timeliness of this encouragement is staggering. If I didn’t know better I would be certain you had been in my head the last week. As I endeavor to write something I feel absolutely called to, the voices of doubt and uncertainty rage loud both from without and within. Just this morning I crawled back into bed after my kids were off to school in an attitude of resignation with words spoken over me by my father years ago blaring through the surround sound of my mind – ‘Nobody will ever want to read or publish anything you write.’ One sentence that has plagued me for years, slowing down the flow of words until at last the faucet was turned off all together. The Lord’s gentle nudging has prodded me to open the stream again and as I have battled all the competing voices, your voice echoes as my True Father from the throne room of heaven straight to my heart. You have always been a “mentor” as I’ve taught, written and led women for many years – now your voice cheers me to write on with confidence whether anyone ever reads it or not…

  9. 159
    Diane says:

    Beth, I am so excited to hear you are writing again! I’m thankful you shared the anxiety you feel so we can all be lifting you up in prayer. It never fails that from the outside everything appears effortless. Your desire to seek God first and to glorify Him no matter what the cost is very apparent in your heart and I for one will be praying for you during this process. When will we know the topic?

  10. 160
    Amber Moon says:

    What wonderful encouragement! Thank you!

  11. 161
    Sharon J. says:

    Miss Beth
    Thank you! A great word and I will be praying for God to speak volumes to you as you write…. Godspeed LOL
    Sharon J.

  12. 162

    Thank you, Beth! I needed to hear this today and coming from you makes it even more of a blessing!

  13. 163
    Amy says:

    Thank you, Beth, for that encouragement.I’ve been writing historical articles almost two years and have enjoyed meeting all the ol’timers in our town….it has been a blessing. However, my blog about family and life has taken a hit. Thank you for the encouragement on so many levels. That book is somewhere in me waiting, and I pray too that God will speak every word of it.

  14. 164
    christina says:

    Thank you for articulating what is a daily wrestling of discernment at present between ministering in the flesh to the immediate needs around me and shutting the door on the world to study and write. A writing vocation is not as clear for me as it is for you, but this encourages me to keep listening and praying and believing that my no to one thing can be God’s yes and amen to something else. Your writing has a way of reassuring me that I’m not alone.

    You, Amanda, and Melissa are in my prayers as you travel. Research in Greece… my curiosity is officially piqued.

  15. 165

    Thank you so much Beth. I am a newly published author and have been having doubts lately. My publisher is a small, indie press, but one God made clear was the publisher for me. I am only 19 years old, but have already been so overwhelmed by God’s blessings and grace. I will continue to write, even if not many people read my novels. This is something God has gifted me with and He has a master plan, even if I am terrified at the moment.

    Thank you again Beth!

  16. 166
    Delina says:

    When I read this, I couldn’t help but think, “now that’s a real writer.” Thank you so much for blessing me with this post. I was especially impressed by your comments about social media. I really need to quiet those voices in my life so that I can have the mental space and time to accomplish the things that God has put on my heart to do. Blessings to you as you write.

  17. 167

    This is so, so excellent, and just the kick in the pants I needed.

  18. 168
    Molly says:

    Thank you for your tested wisdom…so much gold here. And in your advice came hope and inspiration to go for it..whatever it may be.

    You said nothing against warnings of ellipses…
    (I do love them so)

    I am excited to see what you are up to in the writing process. I pray for you and good writing. I enjoy reading your works.

  19. 169
    Linda says:

    Excited to hear a new study is in the works! Praying for God to give you ever word and inspiration all around you because when you’re done God always uses your study to change my life! That’s is why I love them so!!!

  20. 170
    Marian says:

    Beth, you always seem to know just what I need to hear. I attended your seminar in Colorado Springs this summer and your words, “write that book” jumped out and grabbed me at the jugular. Man, I couldn’t breathe for a second. I even turned to my friend, who faced me with her mouth hung open. She said, “that was for you.” Yep, it was. So I went home and worked my little fingers off writing the book I had put down many years ago. And guess what? I finished it a few weeks ago. Now I’m doing NaNoWriMo and working on a new one that I hope to finish by Nov. 30th.

    Hab 2 haunts me. It’s always there lurking on someone’s page just when I need reminders.

    God, keeps nudging me to JUST WRITE. And I’m placing all my faith in Him who knows who these books are being written for and where He’ll place them so they can be in those hands.

    Just keep writing. It never gets easier, but it sure gets better!

    • 170.1
      cindy says:


      Thank you for mentioning NaNoWriMo. I had no idea what that was, now I’m so excited! Even though I got a late start, I’m in! I love the concept, the opportunity to attend write-ins, etc….I’m loving this. Thank you. It broke it down – 50,000 words for the month of November, 1600 per day, no inner critic or editor allowed, that’s for December and beyond. So simple, so perfect. It took the figurative reins off me and I can go!

  21. 171

    Thanks so much for your rich and thoughtful encouragement, writers always need encouragement to help us stay diligent and persistent on our writing path, again, thank you!

  22. 172

    Seeing that I just worked up enough courage to launch my blog today, it’s obvious you wrote this just for me. 🙂 I needed every word. Thank you!

  23. 173
    Lisa says:

    Dear Beth,
    Brilliant post! Praise God! Your transparency and love shine through, as always, resulting (as always) in great encouragement. What a blessing from God your writing is to me. I am thrilled to think of you beginning another journey to deliver another missive inspired by God’s presence and word, and pray for your protection in every area of life as you submit yourself to Him. I can identify with much of what you wrote in this post, and thank you so much for the freedom expressed that it indeed can be “good enough.” I want to throw off everything that hinders (fear, perfectionism, distraction) and run the race. I’m in the stands at your race, waving a Big Chief tablet at you. Go, sister!
    Much love in Christ,

  24. 174
    Suzie Lind says:

    This could not have been more timely. Also… “What believer couldn’t entertain the notion that God may have foreordained all this access for the purpose of Gospel wall-leaping?” At a time when life seems so crazy hectic and the noise too loud and frequent, I’m reminded of my desire to write for God’s glory and some good old Gospel wall-leaping. Thank you.

  25. 175
    Connie Hein says:

    OHH how i loved this post Beth! I am a writer and always have been it seems. I remember feeling so frustrated in the 2nd grade that my Grandma would not teach me cursive – telling me i would soon learn it in school.
    I love your writing Beth – in your posts and your books and especially your studies. I have done many with my sweet Bible Study Group! We are doing David now and just watched the video about Jesus example of people on our lives. I was with my 12 ladies and 1 of my 3 or 4 -watching the video which was so painful i could barely breath since we lost our youngest daughter to suicide in June. I felt like the video was jsut for me even though there were hundreds in the autditorum and 12 in our little group. I thank God for your writing and look forward to every word in the study guides. Just like your Big Cheif Tablet, i open each new study with such anticipation, thanking God for all i will learn and how i will grow. I thank God for you Beth – you have been a huge part of my spiritual growth over the past many years i have studuied with you! God bless the new study you are beginning!

  26. 176
    Jaimie says:

    Wow, this was written for me today….me, the one who just this morning got my first rejection from an agent I so desperately wanted to represent my book… Thank you for this – it was such needed encouragement.

  27. 177
    LauraLS says:

    As one of the older folks who has been feeling a tug to write, I cannot say how timely this post is. It will be printed and treasure and pondered.
    I have found msyelf in the content writing/marketing world yet still yearn for a chance to write for Him.
    Growing up, I loved Louisa May Alcott. I loved her spunk, and her works. I wonder how different writing would be today if we had to rely on a feather pen or a typewriter? Thank you Beth. Blessings on your new project. We’ll be praying and He will be faithful.

  28. 178
    sweet anonymous says:

    Precious Lord,
    So many here have expressed the desire to write and are so wanting to glorify you in the writing as they put the pen to paper. I thank you Dear Lord that you give us our talents and gifts, and the desires of our hearts. I thank you Lord because you love us so much that you also care about our desires. If it is the desire of your heart for any of us here to write a book may you breathe on the embers of that desire and make it grow into a burning flame. I pray dear Lord that it is you that would whisper to our hearts the subject matter of what you desire us to write and that you would give us the words to say, and I thank you in advance sweet Lord because I know you are faithful. Lord I pray for Beth and Melissa as they take on this new project that must seem so daunting and exciting all at the same time – may you direct their path, their research, guiding every word as it is put on the page. I pray for supernatural wisdom and insight that only you Lord can give. Lord may you be glorified in the life of every precious woman on this blog. In Jesus’ Name. Amen

  29. 179
    Nancy R says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you Beth for you inspiring and practical words!

  30. 180
    Gail says:

    Hi again!
    I already commented but I just remembered something. I once was having a conversation with a high school girl in the small group I was leading. I remember telling her how I didn’t know what I would do with myself once all my children were grown and gone. I will never forget what she said to me. “You could be the next Beth Moore!” Wow! What a compliment! I do love to teach and I know she enjoyed when I was her leader. So once again, thank you for your encouraging words, thank you for leading women’s Bible studies. You are truly an inspiration!


  31. 181
    Joy Bethel says:

    I’m a 61 yr old, recently retired grandmother. I have been following Gods instructions for me to record my 25 yrs of journal entries, my 2 way conversations, with Him. A year ago I sensed God telling me to “write what I tell you to write and stop when I tell you to stop”…so I am doing that. I have, or should I say had, no aspirations of becoming a writer. After reading your blog I am convinced I am to continue. Today my journal entry from Jan. 15, 1987 was based on Habakkuk 2:2-3!! A conincidence, I don’t think so.

    Where will this lead? I have no idea, but I do feel others may identify with my struggles and perhaps be blessed by God’s words of encouragement and at times His discipline.

    “And when it comes, may God speak!”

    Thank you, Beth for being God’s voice to me.

    • 181.1
      Melanie says:

      Joy- i don’t know if you will see this since I’m posting a few days later. But wanted you to know your words were so sweet to my soul to hear.
      Especially when you said your journals of 2 way conversations with God.
      Blessings to you!

  32. 182
    Nancy Smith says:

    Ahh, Girl, you have succeeded in climbing into my thoughts and have written the other side of a conversation that I thought I would never have. You have obviously spurred many on with this post and I, for one, am glad I stopped by. We all need encouragement and I so understand chasing rabbits! I do it all the time!I am thanking the Lord that I chased this one and will now return to my foxhole to attempt to put some sense to my thoughts- enough to chisel out something read-worthy! May the words flow and fly from your head and heart to your fingers, I eagerly await your next installment!

  33. 183

    Beth, thank you – with tears in my eyes – thank you. I needed to read this. I have published one book, and have been asked to speak publicly. Your words have helped to give me both grounding and support which I needed this day. I will continue to pray that He will be with my mouth, and teach me what to say (and write). God bless you.

  34. 184
    Nettie Harmon says:

    Thank you ! I wrote for many years. I dreamed of being the next Erma Bombeck. However, my fear of trying was stronger than my dream, and my precious words were sentenced to live their life in an old cardboard box. Today, your words awakened my dream. Knowing most of my life is behind me, I must now answer that tiny, nagging voice which has never ceased to whisper, “You must write.” Thank you, again,…

  35. 185
    Annette says:

    Just had our first college visit with our daughter. She wants to be a writer in some way. She has known it for years and has such a strong passion for it. It was great to be able to talk to the English dept. to see what directions she could take as a major/minor. Then we get home and this post was in my email. She is printing it and putting it with her writing things. Such great advice-thank you! Thank you, especially, for your ongoing example of following Christ, depending deeply on Him and His Word, and showing us how to do the same.

  36. 186
    Warm In Alaska says:

    Oh, thank you, thank you, thank you, Beth (and God, because I completely believe He was behind this post). You said something in an interview (pretty sure it was with a young-ish new author of a Bible study at your former church) that was a video post. It was probably a year or so ago. You said (paraphrasing here; although since I rewound it til I got the whole quote in writing, for a while I had it basically memorized) that so often it isn’t the most gifted writers who end up finishing a project and seeing it published; it’s those who are diligent.

    I so needed to hear that then. Just like I’m so grateful for this post today.

    You’re right: pondering and mulling and turning and twisting thoughts and conversations with the Father can take TIME. Mediation takes time.

    (Me, sighing). But I’d rather hear truth out of a heart that has meditated (oh my gosh, I almost wrote “medicated”) on it, then one who is just jamming words into sentences on a page.

    Bless you while you start your new writing project. Is it wrong that I’m envisioning you and Melissa soaking up sun on a beach next to the Aegean Sea? I’m sure you’re wherever you are to do research; but I hope you’re enjoying the sun and coffee and olive oil and lamb and baklava as well!!!

  37. 187
    Kristy says:

    I needed this desperately. My first book went to press yesterday!!! I almost threw up! But while I was working through the final edits satan began to get in my head and work me over in a few areas (pride, failure, etc). I told a friend last week…I wonder if a real writer like Beth Moore ever felt this way! 🙂

    SO thank you as always for listening to God’s call and sending me exactly the kind of Siestaville post I needed! Please pray for my book…it is about Faith and I want so much for people to see Jesus inside!

    Praying for you all too!
    Princeton, NC

  38. 188
    Ruth from North Idaho says:

    I loved this, Beth! Thank you for sharing your heart with us… Again :-)! Blessings on your next project… I can’t wait!

  39. 189
    Steph says:

    Dear Beth,
    This not-so-young-new-writer thanks you for spurring her on and sending her back to the keyboard. I had semi-abandoned a Bible Study I was working on because … well, just because! I think I ran out of steam. 🙂 Anyway, your words delight and inspire, as always, and I thank you for using your gifts to touch our lives. I REALLY needed to hear what you said about perfectionism. How freeing.

    Have a wonderful time in Greece! Praying for you and your daughters…

  40. 190
    PJ says:


    This definitely ranks up there as one of my favorite posts ever! Thanks for taking the time to write this. I constantly have people ask me how I find time to blog and why do I write. And it’s because I love it! I can’t help BUT write.

    May God continue to bless you as you serve Him!

  41. 191

    I’ve learned so much through my first traditionally published book (that I’m still writing) that deeply resonates with what you’re saying Beth. Thank you for being so hilariously candid. So many of us have the writer’s dream, but not the writer’s persistence. I heard Lysa TerKeurst say once that whatever God calls you to write will be tested in your own life. And that’s 100% true for me. Some days, I know I’m called to write this book. Other days, I feel so deeply and profoundly unqualified to write it. But I think, in the end, that might be the very reason I AM qualified to write it. May God take my weakness (& that of us all) and make Himself look good.

  42. 192

    I am so thrilled to hear you are writing another Bible study. I was worried you were going to focus on the DVD lectures, which are good, but I much prefer the deeper book Bible studies you do. Since the ladies’ Bible study group I am in has already done almost all of your book Bible studies including “James”, we are next going to do your DVD lecture on Revelation. That should be a wild ride!!! But you know as soon as your next book Bible study is done, we are going to jump on it like ravenous wolves. That may be a phrase an editor would delete, but it shows how hungry we are for it.;) and how we will read it and study it and ponder it until we finish every last drop of wisdom in it. We love you, Beth! God is blessing you and each one of us today! Thank you God!

  43. 193
    Joyce watson says:

    Ah! Miss Beth,
    Love sitting on the front porch,
    with my cup of hazelnut coffee
    on a sunshining day and studying
    on of your Bible studies. I also
    have all you hardback books and
    your poem book. God must have given
    you that Bible verse Ps. 143:5,6
    this is the very verse I posted on
    my facebook this morning.
    I so love to write and why I’ll never really understand. It just comes, it overwhelms me, and it just comes out of me. It is just like God took my hand in His and His thoughts amazingly touch my heart.
    So, I share my heart with those who want to read what I have written:

    She came in and sat in the pew next to me in church_ with her gray hair put up so nicely in a bun, her pleasant smile, her pink dress with lace around the collar and her Bible in her hands. So faithful to come every Sunday and I complained
    just to wake up so early then having to rush to get ready, so I wouldn’t be late. Her husband had passed away and her children had moved off, yet she did not get discouraged. And as she open her Bible I could see where she had marked the pages and written on them little notes on the sides and across the top. I could see where she wrote pray for my son who is in the army or this is my favorite Bible verse. She showed me where the Lord was teaching her things and she underlined verses that reminded her to be forgiving and love others.
    She didn’t need a hymn book, for she knew the songs by heart. At the end of the service I watched as she folded her wrinkled hands in prayer…praying, Lord lead someone to Jesus today. I prayed also, Lord, help me have a heart for You and when I get older, help me to be faithful, loving and kind like my friend who sat in the pew next to me in church.

    poet’s blunder
    is lost forever,
    when thoughts are written in the mind
    then disappear.
    …words that seem to flow so smoothly,
    lost and gone forever, yet so very dear
    crippled, fallen by the waste side
    all erased away
    just because I decided to write
    on facebook today.~joyce

  44. 194
    WendyBee says:

    Hi Beth:
    This was a most interesting post. Not because I am a writer, and not because I think I might have a book in me, although sometimes I wonder if I do.
    Lately I’ve been thinking about a quote that I heard on the radio (It might have been from Dennis Rainey, or Bob Lepine, or it might have been Nancy Leigh DeMoss, or Jim Daly), but does it really matter from whom? I will paraprase: “I am the master of things left unspoken, and the servant of the things I have said.”
    This thought has left me nearly speechless! And yet, in light of the recent election and all its raucous campaigning, I have remained (mostly) silent. In one instance, I commented to a sister in the faith, that some of her exuberant expressions in support of her candidate that I found some of what she had to say to be hurtful. this did not go over well.
    All this expressing….and it should be well thought-out. And well considered by the hearer.
    I love words. I love The Word. I believe without them and without It we cannot have fellowship one with another. And yet, can’t words be the definitive double-edged sword. Wounding and healing. Inflicting and soothing. Uplifting and down-putting. Isn’t that what makes it so hard to wield them properly? We must forgive ourselves and others when we do it clumsily..

  45. 195
    Hannah Lane says:

    I’m in tears over how desperately I needed this word. And how wonderfully perfect it was. I feel so encouraged. Thank you.

  46. 196
    Kathy B says:

    Whoa! I’m not sure if I want to cry or laugh. Perhaps I’ll do both. The day is still young. This may be the first time I’ve not only taken notes on your blog post, I finally just printed the whole thing off…you know, for further reflection, conviction, motivation, depending on the time of day/month/year.

    “The Biblical art of meditating…” “Study-prepare-research” Go ahead and write it.

    My answer has been, “but Lord, I tried!” I believe His answer remains, “Try again!”

    I tried to tell Him all the potentially bad motives I was dodging by not writing. He hasn’t seemed impressed. I told Him I didn’t wannabee a wannabee. I don’t want my name in lights. He called it false humility. Ouch! I guess I shouldn’t try to take moral high ground with God.

    Sigh. Anyone have a Big Chief Tablet on them?

  47. 197
    Deborah Mott says:

    How cool! Thanks again for being real. Your writing connects us to what you have lived and who you are in an amazing way. I really like you and like reading what you have to say. I respect and admire you and know you live what you believe. Your life permeates JESUS and HE authenticates you! You inspire me to seek JESUS more than any one I have ever read their writings and your life message is on truly living THE GOSPEL in TRUTH to your own needs, sinfulness and yet beauty of GRACE! YOUR WRITINGS ARE A TYPE OF DISCIPLESHIP TO A WHOLE GENERATION/WORLD FULL OF PEOPLE! I think of Psalm 2:7-8…,10-11…may His Inheritance to you continue…you are impacting the WORLD for CHRIST by living Isaiah 26:8! Thank you so very much. May you continue to walk in HIS TRUTH and await on HIM and desire HIS GLORY and RENOWN and be faithful to the end Jude 24-25!!!! May the LORD arise and scatter your enemies. Numbers 10. Enter into HIS LAND prepared for you. IN CHIRST, Deborah Mott

    PS. I have been writing for years for the LORD and for myself, with few to read what I have written. (stacks and stacks of journals, boxes of them!) Often I have questioned if the LORD would have me do something with it. Your post has me considering it in prayer more. Thanks again.

  48. 198
    Jamison says:

    Thank you Beth. Thank you.

  49. 199
    Juli says:

    Thank you so much for this post. It hit me right between the eyes as I am struggling to find time to even do the research and it seems that every life problem is looming before me. Yet the pull….the tug is still there. It’s waiting. Just not getting done as quickly as I’d like. Thank you for the encouragement.

  50. 200
    Mary Noggle says:

    Thanks Beth. Know that God has used you yet again to say a word to those of us who so needed the reminder. The same day I got your post I got a reminder from a publisher! Back to Colossians I go.

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