Monday, October 5, 2009

Career in Writing by Harry Kraus, MD

Recently, Harry Kraus, MD shared a deeply moving testimony at the American Christian Fiction Writers' conference in Denver. As followup from the conference, I contacted him for a Fortifying Friday post. He graciously agreed to drop by.

Career in Writing
by Harry Kraus, MD

How do you complete this sentence? I am a writer who happens also to be a ­­­­­_________. For me, and many of us, how we fill in the blank supports our writing calling and provides fodder for the passion to write.

I am a writer who happens to be a surgeon. My life in medicine impacts everything I write, providing ideas for plot and its fundamental building-block: CONFLICT!

How does someone respond to the news that they have cancer? What were the circumstances leading to a gunshot wound or a devastating accident? How can a surgeon operate during times of little sleep and personal illness? Look in a doctor’s waiting room. Everyone there has a story. Illness changes everything. There is new stress in relationships, career, and, of course, there are trust issues: how can we have faith in a God who allows us to suffer?

Finding inspiration from the conflicts around us isn’t limited to the field of medicine. Become an observer of events around you. EVERYTHING can augment your stories. A teenager on a bus stares unseeing out a window. Imagine what he or she is experiencing at home or school. A woman pushing a shopping cart at WalMart snaps at her straying toddler. Has she just been scolded by a demanding boss? Perhaps her marriage is suffering. Has her husband lost his job

Look around you on a Sunday morning at the faces and postures of the people who have gathered for worship. What is going on behind the expressions? Can we dare imagine what causes us to look bored in the presence of an amazing and all-powerful and loving God?

The next time you’re stuck with a sagging plot, take a walk through your neighborhood and ask yourself what is going on behind closed doors or lowered blinds. Watch the people who pass in cars. Do they notice you and wave? Why or why not? Imagine, imagine, imagine. There is conflict everywhere!

Harry Kraus, MD is a multi-published writer, having written both fiction and non-fiction. His novel, "Could I Have This Dance?" was the number one CBA bestseller in the contemporary category for 2002. He is a board-certified surgeon and laces his stories with medical realism, a Kraus-signature. He is serving in East Africa as a surgeon-missionary with Africa Inland Mission. Mostly, Harry is a victim of GRACE! Read about his passion for the Gospel of Grace in Breathing Grace: What You Need More Than Your Next Breath. Visit his website for more information: His lastet book "Salty Like Blood" released in March, 2009.

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