Monday, April 4, 2016

Changed Writers by Annette M. Irby

Lilacs in bloom*

Oh, I love spring. New life. More light. The heat of the sun. Hope. Change.

Okay, maybe I don’t love that last one. Change can hurt. Change changes us. And when that happens, our writing changes. 

Our family just got home from church. We’re attending a daughter church—one that launched as a smaller extension of the parent church. And just one week ago, the senior pastor of the parent church died tragically in a car accident during a missions trip to Africa. As a church community, we’ve been grieving since. He died with two other ministers—an American missionary, and a Ugandan pastor. From what I understand, they swerved to miss a little girl and went over an embankment. Their SUV rolled several times. 

This senior pastor was so full of life. Back here in the states, he ran marathons with his wife. It’s hard to believe all that life was snuffed out. The pastor of our daughter church tonight acknowledged our grief. His sermon was more sober than usual. Change had changed him. 

Change gives speakers, writers, leaders a new focus. New passion. New themes we must explore because we can never undo the change that propels us to address those themes. 

I’m guessing you have a few manuscript files at various levels of completion, yes? In your imagination, zero in on one you wrote years ago (if possible). Now, pinpoint the theme. Got it? Given we’re living in 2016 with all the life experience between then and now, how would the changes you’ve been through since then influence this story if you rewrote it today? Would you be satisfied with the way you tackled that theme? My guess, and what I'm sure is true of me with my own work, is my themes would either change or deepen.

Your turn: how has change influenced your writing? 

Write on, friends.


Her Nerdy Cowboy

Whoever heard of a bookish cowboy? When Logan McDaniel’s brother-in-law dies, he steps in to help his beloved sister run her ranch. But what does a city boy know of herding cattle? Claire Langley loved her cousin. After he dies, she agrees to serve as a temporary nanny for two heartbroken children. 

Claire and Logan find they share a love of books, and Claire can’t resist the nerdy uncle who is great with children, and who reads to her of pirate romance. Claire’s ailing mother needs her in Seattle. Can she break away? And if she does, can there ever be a future for Logan and her?


Annette M. Irby

Annette M. Irby has three published books and 
runs her own freelance editing business, AMI Editing
See her page here on Seriously Write for more information.

*Photo credit: picture by Annette M. Irby


  1. Annette, I had no idea that your church had any connection to the pastor who was killed in the accident. Our pastoral staff were close friends for years with him and the family - and our church prayed for his family and congregation yesterday. Our church has also offered a variety of support.

    Those kind of changes certainly affect a great number of people ...

    As for writing, I can see how changes in my life have helped mold the kind of messages I weave into my stories. They reflect in small and big ways various lessons I've learned ...

    1. Small world, huh, Dawn? Thankful for your church's support. I've been thinking of life-changing examples since I wrote this--like when someone goes to missions and comes back with a different perspective. Those perspectives change how we approach life, and writing. Hugs, friend. :)

  2. Annette, change is uncomfortable. My writing is open to a broader variety of subjects and (I hope) deeper emotionally.


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