Archives for September 2012

Back From The Beach; Ready To Write?

Image copyright M.R. Coulter

Can’t believe our beach vacation went by so fast. Recently I led a workshop at Kennesaw State University; a week later, we were packing for a trip. And now our week is up, we’re home, and the washing machine is chugging away, washing the sand out of our clothes.

At least our memories remain.

I felt sure I’d come home re-energized and ready to write. But the only thing I feel like doing is—well, nothing, to be quite honest. What’s up? I keep asking myself. Why am I dragging when it comes to firing up the computer and getting back to my middle-grade novel?

Ever have that problem, fellow writers? What do you do about it?


Acceptable Words: Prayers For Writers


Talk about timely–I opened my mailbox today to find a review copy of Acceptable Words: Prayers For Writers, by editors Gary D. Schmidt and Elizabeth Stickney. (I’m a member of LibraryThing, and they drew my name at random for this just-released book.)

What makes the book so well-timed is that I’m giving a workshop tomorrow for the Georgia Writers Association, and my topic is inspirational writing. (There’s still time to join us. The workshop is on Saturday, 9/8, from 10 a.m. to noon, in the KSU building at 3333 Busbee Parkway in Kennesaw, GA).

Part of the workshop will address the nuts and bolts of getting published: how to write a query letter; find a publisher who accepts unagented manuscripts; write a non-fiction book proposal; and so on. The other part will cover where to find inspiration.

I’ve got a handout for the class, listing places they might find inspiration to spark the creative fires. The last item on my list–but hardly the least important–was the single word, “pray.”

Prayer matters. It’s how we stay connected to our Source, who loves us, provides for us, and cares about our daily lives. Prayer also, I believe, helps us discover who we truly are, and that leads directly to writing the kind of things we should be writing.

Recently a GWA member asked me for an interview (I was glad to do it, and grateful for her interest). One of her questions was, “Do you write for the reader, or for yourself?” I answered that I try to keep the reader in mind. After all, I want to engage them with intriguing copy, so they’ll keep reading. But primarily I write for myself, trying to put down in ink the things that feel most true and right and good to me.

But I think now, after flipping through the book that just arrived, I should have added that I also write for God–that is, to be pleasing and acceptable in His sight. Isn’t that what the Psalmist desired, too, when he wrote, “May the words of my mouth, and the meditations of my heart, be pleasing in Your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.”

I haven’t had time yet to sit and read through all of Acceptable Prayers, but I’m inclined, from what I’ve seen so far, to share it with the group tomorrow. We do need inspiration, not just for our writing, but for living our daily lives, which are usually a lot harder than penning a few words on paper, if you think about.

Here’s to writing, and reading, and finding inspiration, and praying. I’m excited to see what tomorrow’s workshop holds!


(and, of course, Miss Paws and Molly)