Monday, June 17, 2019

Discerning the Voice of God in Writing by Patty Nicholas

Good Monday to you all, my name is Patty Nicholas and I am very excited to join the Seriously Write family of bloggers. In my day job, I work for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association as an event planner for the Cove. I've been a guest blogger on the Cove web site. I've written several devotionals that have been picked up in Bible Study compilation projects. I've also written devotionals for my church in some of their projects. My passion in writing is story telling, and I am working on my first novel, as well as a sweet romance novella that will be part of a collection next year.

A couple of months ago my devotional writing cup overflowed. Deadlines fast approached for a blog post at work, as well as two to three submissions for a Bible Study compilation project. Last but not least, my church wanted to put together a resource for women and asked me to write as many articles as possible.

 As a fiction writer, I always pray for God to guide the story He has given me to tell. I love having a time in prayer, and then watch the words flow through the keyboard. I relish my time with my characters and am excited as ideas come to life. I am surprised when the story takes fun and unique turns that I didn’t expect or see coming. I’m sure I’m not the only one.

 As a non-fiction writer, I also seek the Lord before I sit down to a writing session, but I feel a serious obligation when handling God’s word. I don’t want to misinterpret what the Holy Spirit is saying, and I certainly don’t want to relay any incorrect information. If God Himself has not given me the scripture and the specific topic to write on, then nothing will flow, and I am working in my own power. I think every writer out there can agree this is a bad place to be.

 So how does one come up with several topics, on tight deadlines, and not in human strength alone?

How does one come up with several topics, on tight deadlines, and not in human strength? Click to tweet it!

I employ several strategies to keep myself grounded so I can hear from God. These are just a few of them.

  1. Maintain a healthy prayer life. I know this sounds simple, but God loves it when we make the effort to communicate with Him. On days when I have an amazing time of study and worship with the Lord, my words flow. It’s not about me. 
  2. All the opportunities God has provided are to honor Him. When I place my work in His hands, I’m not anxious about deadlines. I know the message is for His glory and not mine and I can relax in the writing. 
  3. Have good accountability. I have been blessed with a critique partner who is a strong woman of God. She doesn’t mince words and keeps me honest.

Multi award winning writer, Patty Nicholas lives in the mountains of North Carolina. She is a busy event planner for the Billy Graham Training Center at the Cove, and is a member of the Blue Ridge Writers Group. She is a mother of two grown daughters and grandmother of three. She writes Bible studies and devotionals as well as contemporary romance. 

Devotions are published in compilations by Lighthouse Bible Studies.