Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Multiplied Rewards

It's my pleasure to introduce Shannon Redmon, a romantic suspense and inspirational author, who will be a regular contributor to Seriously Write each third Aspiring Author Tuesday. 
Her well-crafted stories have had me cheering for the hero and heroine, biting my nails in suspense to discover who the bad guy really is, all while being duly challenged in my faith. 
I know you'll be blessed by her posts each month. 
Multiplied Rewards
By Shannon Redmon
I remember when I first got serious about writing. My dreams were big and I thought my stories were publishing magic. Grandiose plans of being snatched up by a publisher filled my head. Shelves inside national bookstores would carry my fiction novels. Not just the obscure back shelves, but my name would be plastered right up front, inside the door. 
Then I went to my first writer’s conference and discovered my plans, my ideas, my goals and dreams fell far short of what it took to be published. 
Upon returning home, I wrote and re-wrote trying to follow all the rules I’d learned. Show don’t tell. Use deep POV, keep adverbs to a bare minimum, just to name a few. The list was overwhelming…panic inducing. How would I ever measure up?
In the midst of it all, God placed a question in my heart. “Are you writing because you want to be published or are you writing because you love the process?” 
The craft of creating stories and developing characters should engage our souls. To compose words into something beautiful inspires other’s lives and is a calling. Only God can magnify the words we place on paper. He gives our reader’s hope through the stories we write.  
Sometimes we make plans, especially when the new year rolls around. We have ideas in our heads and determine in our hearts what a successful writer looks like. But perhaps our vision is skewed by worldly notions. 
Often our plans can hinder us from discovering the true beauty of the lesson God wants to teach writers. Proverbs 16:9 reads:
The mind of man plans his way, 
but the Lord directs his steps. (NASB)
When we surrender our stories to Him, not only does He direct our steps, but He designs our stories and transforms hearts, we would never know how to reach otherwise. Nothing is hindered when God writes through us. 
Remember the small boy who gave the five loaves of bread and the two fish to Jesus? Before he met the Messiah, the boy planned to eat the lunch his mother had packed for him. Instead, he sacrificed his food to the One who blessed his offering. Five thousand men and their families were filled up that day with twelve baskets left over. One basket to represent each tribe of Israel. 
When we humble our hearts and let the Lord direct our writing steps, then thousands of people will be impacted for the glory of God.  
Be willing to give your plans, words, and stories to the only One who can multiply the eternal rewards. Then, we'll no longer hinder the true purpose of our stories...to bring God glory.
Shannon Redmon remembers the first grown up book she checked out from the neighborhood book mobile. A Victoria Holt novel with romance, intrigue, dashing gentlemen and ballroom parties captivated her attention. For her mother, the silence must have been a pleasant break from non-stop teenage chatter, but for Shannon, those stories whipped up a desire and passion for writing. 
There's nothing better than the power of a captivating novel, a moving song or zeal for a performance that punches souls with awe. A rainbow displayed after a horrific storm or expansive views on a mountaintop bring nuggets of joy into our lives. Shannon hopes stories immerse readers into that same kind of amazement, encouraging faith, hope and love, guiding our hearts to the One who created us all.   
Shannon Redmon’s writing has been published in Spark magazine, Splickety magazine, the Lightning Blog, The Horse of My Dreams compilation book, Romantic Moments compilation book, Seriously Write blog and Jordyn Redwood’s Medical Edge blog. Her current fiction novel was selected as a top three finalist of the 2018 ACFW Genesis Contest and she is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of the Steve Laube Agency.  

Connect with Shannon:  
The StoryMoore Blog, named in memory of her father, Donald Eugene Moore.