Friday, January 2, 2015

Writer Refining by Melinda Viergever Inman

Melinda Viergever Inman

I’m so pleased Melinda Viergever Inman has joined us at Seriously Write as one of our regular contributors. While chatting with her online, it became clear to both of us that God was leading us in this direction. Melinda will be here on the first Friday of every month to offer encouragement to writers. Please join me in welcoming her! ~ Dawn

Writer Refining

Without a clue, I blasted into my season of writing. Words poured out of me. When I thought I had a story ready, I imagined myself as Jo from Little Women, tying her manuscript with string and sending it off to a publisher. I did the same.

My work was done, I thought. I could move on to the next novel. The publisher would take it from there and do all the work.

This is where we all throw our heads back and laugh. Silly, delusional girl!

What I initially thought was a complete story was actually a rough draft. I had SO much to learn. I went back to work. Six years later my first novel was published.

Not only is writing a calling and a way of service for Christian writers, but it is a craft and an industry. We have to learn skills and terms we never knew. The publishing world shifts constantly, and we have to keep track of each fluctuation.

We must wade into the world of social media without losing our minds. Indeed, we have to retain our sanity enough to market there. Most of us have no marketing experience. We are stretched in every way.

The life of a writer has always been hard. Think: the Apostle Paul.

Obviously, we don’t pen Holy Scripture, but we are also inspired to encourage and to challenge God’s people. Just as Paul was gifted by God for his particular mission and endured all the hardships associated with his calling (see 2 Corinthians 11:16-33; 1:3-14), so we are equipped, and we must persevere.

Granted, we undertake a vastly different type of writing. We write stories, the parables of our time. Jesus demonstrated that a story is the most powerful way to teach a lesson. We also pen short missives to our “tribes” with a specific goal to encourage, uplift, or teach.

We press on, heeding Paul’s words: "We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it. In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God, who raises the dead” (2 Corinthians 1:8b-9 NLT).

Unlike Paul, we probably won’t literally die for what we write and speak. But after attending my first writers’ conference, I wondered! Build a website? Use social media? Market? All I wanted was to write fiction!

However, just as surely as God enabled writers to inscribe his sacred message, so he continues to inspire and equip writers today, for our own good and his glory.

We write to serve him, so we must learn to rely only on God. No one ever thought it would be this hard. But God will use our writing, not only to edify and encourage our readers, but also to refine us.

As a newbie monthly writer for Seriously Write, my goal is to encourage fellow writers in the refining.

Nudged toward evil by Satan, Cain 's hard-hearted hubris results in Abel's murder and Lilith's broken heart when he is banished, splitting the family and propelling mankind toward ever-increasing violence as their siblings seek revenge. Crushed by what he's done, Cain runs, certain he's destroyed Lilith, his parents, and the entire family. With Satan hounding his every move and no idea of the forces arrayed against him, can Cain ever find God after he's committed a sin of such magnitude? Can he ever be forgiven?

Melinda Viergever Inman was raised in the tornado capital of the U.S.—Wakita, Oklahoma, of "Twister" fame. There her parents met. There her roots were sunk in a storytelling family. During years of relocation, tragedy struck. Wounded and heartbroken, Melinda forsook her roots and ran from herself and from God. A journey of trial and heartache brought her home again. A prodigal now returned to her secure foundation, she writes with passion, illustrating God's love for wounded people as he makes beauty from ashes. Refuge is her first novel. Melinda shepherds women in church and in prison ministry. She writes inspirational material and Bible studies. Her six precocious offspring, all grown, teach and inspire her. With her husband and family, she is involved in a church-planting ministry in India: Reaching Indians Ministries International.

You can learn more and connect with Melinda here:



  1. Welcome to Seriously Write, Melinda!
    Stretched indeed. I was a late-comer to social media, joining after receiving my first contract, but now I wonder why I waited. I love connecting with people I'd never have the opportunity to meet otherwise. Like you! :)

    1. Thank you, Dora! It's wonderful to connect! I was so hesitant about it, and now I wonder why too!

  2. Welcome to Seriously Write, Melinda!

    "Not only is writing a calling and a way of service for Christian writers, but it is a craft and an industry." Exactly! We need to learn and do our best work in all our endeavors, especially if we're working for the Lord. I'm sure Paul was a great tent maker, too. :)

    1. Amen to that! Excellence in all things! We serve our Savior!

  3. We're so glad to have you aboard, Melinda!

    "Not only is writing a calling and a way of service for Christian writers, but it is a craft and an industry. We have to learn skills and terms we never knew. The publishing world shifts constantly, and we have to keep track of each fluctuation."

    I agree with Dora, that paragraph summarizes today's writing life. I can't wait to see what else you have to say. Looking forward to your posts!

    1. And fluctuate it DOES! Monthly, weekly, minute by minute! Thank you for the warm welcome, Angie!

  4. Congratulations on being asked to do this column. I'm looking forward to what you will write in the weeks ahead, and love the encouragement in this piece. It certainly is a harder journey than a person thinks when they started, but rich and rewarding and also useful for our refining. I hope you link these to your blog so we know when to come over here. Blessings on you.

    1. I linked to my blog, Katie, but it wasn't until after the email with my Friday post went out, so the email didn't contain the link. In the New Year celebrating and relaxing, I forgot to ask for the link beforehand. That won't happen again! (I hope.)

      Thank you for your kind words of encouragement. I'm thrilled the Lord provided this opportunity and that I'm able to partner with this awesome team of writers!

  5. Thanks for sharing your struggles and successes. I look forward to reading more of what you write!

    1. Thank you, SJ! The Lord takes us through these trials, not only to grow us and to hone our gifts, but also so we are able to comfort one another. Your appreciation blesses me. See you next month!


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