Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Stretching Ourselves as Writers by Missy Tippens

Have you ever declined a writing opportunity because you were scared or felt underqualified? Or have you felt as if all doors are closed and you can’t even get a toe in the world of publishing? Today, I’d love to encourage you to try again.

I recently learned of a writing project from my agent. I told her I might submit a short devotional, but then the illness and death of a family member kept me from writing the piece. Thankfully, the editor involved contacted me directly a few weeks later, and—despite my fear over trying my hand at something new—I told her I would send a writing sample asap. I was anxious, because up until that day, I had only written a couple of devotionals for my church. This felt like brand new territory. But I was glad I followed God’s leading and sent in my work, because it felt good to spread my wings. I’m pleased to say I heard back later that they’d like to include several of my devotionals in their project! I’m thrilled to be a part and hope to be able to announce the news soon. :)

I also have another project that was a first for me and terrified me because it was such a departure from my norm. I wrote a contemporary cowboy novella! I’d never had any experience on a ranch other than occasionally riding a horse. I wanted badly to do it but feared I should decline. However, I felt strongly God had given me this opportunity. So, with my heart pounding, I accepted the invitation. Then I immediately emailed two of my close writer friends who live on ranches and begged for their help with research. They were happy to support me and answer my many, MANY questions about building fences and birthing calves. Thanks to their help, I am now part of a boxed set, Cowboys of Summer, that just released this month! I’m so grateful to work with this group of authors I admire.

What about you? Have you had opportunities you’ve been afraid to chase? Have you had invitations to submit your work but chickened out? I hope the next time you get a chance to stretch yourself, you’ll think of my experiences and consider going for it! Here are some quick tips I’d like to leave with you…

--Look for writing opportunities everywhere! Follow all leads.
--Don’t be quick to decline something. Take a serious look at your qualifications, and...
--Challenge yourself. Try something new or maybe even take a class to learn how.
--Don’t forget to reach out to other writers for assistance if you need it. You can do this!

What project have you taken on that has stretched you as a writer?


After more than 10 years of pursuing her dream of publication, Missy Tippens, a pastor’s wife and mom of three from near Atlanta, Georgia, made her first sale to Harlequin Love Inspired in 2007. Her books have since been nominated for the Booksellers Best, Holt Medallion, ACFW Carol Award, Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, Maggie Award, Beacon Contest, RT Reviewer’s Choice Award, and the Romance Writers of America RITA® Award. Visit Missy at, and