Do you wonder if you could write a book?

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Do you ever wonder if you could write a book?
 
One day when we visited a school to talk about writing we learned something from a second grader.  A little guy raised his hand and said, “I can do the stories, I just can’t do the words.”  He captured the struggle that every writer (or wannabe writer) faces.


How do you get the stories out of your head onto the paper?  How do we even have the courage to begin?  Often we write and rewrite stories over and over in our heads, but they never make it to the written page or screen.

The following scripture passages were important to us over our years of writing and we wanted to share some of what we learned.

Give us today our daily bread. Matthew 6:11
Don’t get ahead of God.  If we think we have to write a whole book we can become paralyzed and overwhelmed.  But what if we just have to write one paragraph, or one page.  We can do that.  Can we trust God for the rest?

We had written children’s books for twenty years before we decided to attempt our first book for adults. They are sooo long.  We wondered if we could write a novel of more than 64 pages. 

In the wilderness the Hebrew people received manna, just enough for each day.  Why would we expect God to act differently with us?  When we are faithful to show up and do our part, he gives us just what we need for that day, or hour, or fifteen minutes.

When we looked at it that way, we were able to move forward.  Faith matters in writing.

Let this people turn to you, but you must not turn to them. Jeremiah 15:19
Write from your heart, not what you think people will like or expect from you.  When we changed genres it surprised some people.  We heard a lot of opposition.  “But you could sell another children’s book.”  We chose what we thought God wanted us to write and we had to fight to keep from “turning” to the crowd.  One agent heard about what we were writing and told us to write a Christian romance series, “because you can sell it”.  God calls us to write the words that He gives us, not what we can sell or what we think people want to hear.  Someone else may be called to write that romance series, but not us.
I am doing a great work and I cannot come down. Nehemiah 6:3

  
Commit to the work.  It is VERY easy to get distracted.  How do you carve out time to write?  We started writing during naptime.  Our kid’s naptimes!  It is amazing how productive you can be when you know you only have an hour to work.  We also learned to put writing on the calendar. It helped us to say no to other things when it was scheduled in black and white.  Each time we say yes to one thing we say no to another.

My tongue is the pen of a skillful writer. Psalm 45:1
 

 Have confidence.  Do you have the confidence to begin?  If you have read this far then God has called you to write.  He has already equipped you and is ready to use you to write His words.  What do you need to do to cooperate with Him?

 For us, the confidence to write comes from God.  We cover our writing in prayer and have a prayer team praying for our writing.  We love this quote by Corrie Ten Boom:

“It is not my ability, but my response to God’s ability, that counts.”

There’s nothing to fear!  Those stories that are in our heads were put there by God and He will be faithful to give us the words we need.

We would love to hear your thoughts about these passages.  Do you have another scripture passage that has been meaningful to you in your writing? 

Betsy and Laurie

12 Comments on Do you wonder if you could write a book?

  1. sustainabilitea
    January 12, 2015 at 9:06 am (3 years ago)

    I really needed to hear this today, not merely for writing but the “Don’t get ahead of God” for some issues in my life right now. So thanks for hearing God’s prompting for this post.

    I’m in some writing groups where many people seem to be putting out books, some of them people I don’t even think write that well. I always thought I’d like to write a novel, but I think now that I would be better off attempting a books of essays (with photos, perhaps, and poetry) or a children’s book. But I do have to start putting the writing time into my life as a priority, along with doing my blog every day.

    Thanks again and have a marvelous week!

    janet

    Reply
    • Writing Sisters
      January 13, 2015 at 3:02 pm (3 years ago)

      Hi Janet, Thanks for the comment. So much of the advice that we find for writing also applies to life in general. God is in it all!

      Hope you week is good too.

      Reply
  2. Chris Malkemes
    January 12, 2015 at 9:32 am (3 years ago)

    Thank you so much for writing this. I just sent my agent “another” book proposal. The publishers liked my writing, but thought it would not sell. I prayed and continued writing what God laid on my heart. So today I sent it to him. I don’t know how it will turn out, but I know the second effort is more focused. I needed to hear what you had to say: you must not turn to them. The writing I know is different, unique and spiritual. It causes the reader to slow down and enter in – to come into HIs presence.
    I trust Him, in His own time, to open doors or close them. He has definitely told me not to take the ebook route so I trust Him completely.
    A prayer team. I never thought about that. Did send it out to two people. I will ask them if they will join me in prayer. thank you.
    Yours ~Chris~

    Reply
    • Writing Sisters
      January 13, 2015 at 3:03 pm (3 years ago)

      Thanks, Chris, Keep us posted on your writing journey. We’d love to hear about your prayer team when it gets going.

      Reply
  3. Lori
    January 12, 2015 at 11:21 am (3 years ago)

    Thank you for this today! It’s quite encouraging!!!

    Reply
    • Writing Sisters
      January 13, 2015 at 3:03 pm (3 years ago)

      Thanks for posting, Lori. Glad the words encouraged you!

      Reply
  4. Darla McDavid
    January 13, 2015 at 12:12 am (3 years ago)

    The quote by Corrie Ten Boom — “It is not my ability, but my response to God’s ability, that counts.” — is a gem and will soon be on my office wall in a frame. Thank you!

    Reply
    • Writing Sisters
      January 13, 2015 at 2:59 pm (3 years ago)

      You’re welcome, Darla. Corrie Ten Boom was an amazing woman, wasn’t she?

      Reply
  5. mitsiemckellick
    January 13, 2015 at 7:23 am (3 years ago)

    These words are a confirmation to me to keep moving forward. Thank you for writing them.

    Reply
    • Writing Sisters
      January 13, 2015 at 3:00 pm (3 years ago)

      Yes, we all need to keep moving forward!

      Reply
  6. Ellen Chauvin
    January 15, 2015 at 9:45 am (3 years ago)

    Just the encouragement I needed today, not necessarily for writing a book, but just to WRITE! Thanks so much!

    Reply

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