Friday, September 18, 2009

Fortifying Friday by Christina Miller

This Fortifying Friday we welcome Christina Miller to Seriously Write. Christina has a heart for mentoring writers, and we’re happy she’s able to share encouraging words with us today.


Fortifying Friday

“I’m collecting rejections like a twisted hobby. I’m not sure God has called me to write.” My friend Shelley had just received that thin envelope that every writer dreads. All four of her targeted publishing houses had passed on her historical romance.

In my work as a freelance editor, I hear this question regularly: How do I know if I’m called to write?

My fourteen-year-old niece, Brianne, lived with me this summer. During the school year, she had piano, guitar, and voice lessons from a record producer who is teaching her to write music. Brianne’s parents plan for her to rise to Nashville stardom before she graduates high school.

During a summer family gathering, one of Brianne’s other aunties, Wanda, asked me whether I thought Brianne would make it big in Nashville.

“She’s got the voice, the looks, the stage presence,” I told Wanda. “But she won’t succeed as a singer. She lacks the most important element: passion.”

This summer, Brianne didn’t give her guitar a glance, and she didn’t play my piano or work on songwriting. She had no passion for her music. Where there is no passion, there is no calling.

Conversely, passion can indicate God’s will.

Some of us have been taught erroneously that God’s will resides outside our comfort zone. Some preachers leave us with the impression that the more uncomfortable we are in our Christian work, the more serious we are about our faith.

But what about Jesus’ easy yoke, his light burden? What about working within the talents and interests God gave us?

Are you good at what you do? Do your critique partners praise your sympathetic characters, your vivid settings, your heart-stopping love scenes?

Do you love what you do? When you have a few minutes to yourself, do you reach for a book or pull out your current work-in-progress?

What did you love as a child? Our main interest at age nine often develops into our greatest vocational aptitude. Were you a bookworm back then? Did you write stories in your wide-ruled notebooks?

People are more important than music to Brianne. I believe her calling will involve helping others.

But Shelley dove right into her next novel. She gets up an hour early so she can work on this book. Her passion for her work convinced me that writing is God’s will for her.

Discover your passion, and you’ll find God’s will.


Christina Miller operates Mentor's Pen Editorial Services. She can be contacted at christina@mentorspen.com Her passions include reading Christian fiction, especially historical, and helping new writers to hone their skills. She is a worshipper, musician, songwriter, and ordained minister. She and her husband, Jan, live in the house her grandfather built on his Southern Indiana farm, a place where they can pretend it is long ago.

3 comments:

  1. Christina, thanks for today's encouraging words. I am a new, wannabe writer of Christian fiction, but not new to writing. In 2001 I retired as a newspaper/photographer and now can do the writing I believe God has called me to write. A degree in journalism and the jobs that followed were, to me, a way to become established as a writer, and later, after an unwanted divorce, a means of support. I joined ACFW about December of last year, I believe. Now I am writing, rewriting, rewriting my first novel called Secrets. It deals with child molestation and my hope is for the protagonist to reach the hearts of those who are hurting and show them The Way out of this terrible experience. I also hope to encourage the church at large to reach out to victims and perpetrators sharing Christ's love with them. I didn't mean to ramble, but thanks for listening (reading) my ramblings. Pat Radaker

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  2. Christy, it was awesome seeing you again at conference! Thanks for visiting SW.

    And Pat, so glad you stopped by! Hang in there and keep writing!

    Hugs,
    Annette

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  3. Pat,

    Thanks for sharing your story.

    ACFW is a wonderful organization and will help you so much in growing in the craft of fiction. I knew very little about the industry when I joined almost six years ago. I've learned so much about writing since then.

    That's what Seriously Write is all about, too.
    Helping writers in their journey.
    Hope to see you here again. :-)

    Blessings,
    Dawn

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