Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Holly Michael: God has called me to write. What next?

Holly Michael

God has placed a story on your heart, a tale you must tell, an essay you must write, an article idea that you’re sure will benefit others. The idea creeps into the creases while you’re folding laundry, spills over with the milk you pour into your child’s cereal bowl. You know you have been given a mission. What do you do?

Answer the Call
No, not the phone call that interrupts your inspired thoughts. Honor God by answering the call to write. Never ignore the whisperings of the Holy Spirit. Don’t be like the servant who buried his talent, like in the Parable of the Talents. In Matthew 25:14-30, three servants were given talents. The first two acted responsibly, but the third one did not.
The Bible says, “…for to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Matthew 25:29-30

Weeping and Gnashing of Teeth
So, you said yes to the call and now, overwhelmed with the looming task of writing the story, you’re weeping and gnashing your teeth. What do you do?

Look for help and encouragement from others. Join a Christian writers group. Do an online search. You’ve found high school friends on Facebook, you can find a writing group. Christian writer’s groups are everywhere and learning from others is vital.
The Bible says, “An intelligent heart acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.” Proverbs 18:15

So, you sought knowledge, but your wise ears are itching and you know there’s more to learn about the craft of writing. What next?

Spend time reading books or articles similar to what you want to write. Study the greats. There are also many good books, websites and blogs on writing, like this one. Read, read, read. That means staying in The Word, too. The Bible says, “For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” Romans 15:4

You’re on your way now, getting words on paper. Good job! Maybe you’re closing in on having a completed project. There must be a next step. There is!

Join a Critique Group
The criticism of others, especially critiques done in the spirit of love, will make you a better writer. Psalms 29:1 says, Whoever remains stiff-necked after many rebukes will suddenly be destroyed—without remedy.”

You’ve come this far. Don’t be destroyed! Accept those critiques meant to assist you in becoming a better writer. Every writer writes junk, even the greats. Writing means rewriting and rewriting and sometimes completely trashing our cherished words. Don’t love those words to much. You may have to kill them. Writing is a craft. It must be learned. 

So you’ve listened to others, you’re learning the craft. What’s next?

Keep Plugging Along
Don’t give up. Keep writing to completion. Keep at it! The Bible says, “This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

How can we give up with the Lord beside us? We can’t!

Okay, so think you’ve got it all covered. You don’t. The learning process never ends, but with diligence, you’ll reach that goal, finish that project, and be on your way to publication (another overwhelming process, but you can do it.)

Want a final tip?

Wherever your writing path leads you, always pray. If God has truly given you the talent and the story idea, nothing matters more than remaining close to Him in constant prayer for His continued guidance. Pray and seek His will. Sometimes He might even tell you to take a season off writing. Wherever the writing journey takes you, bring God along and you’ll never go wrong.  The Bible says, “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” John 15:7

About the author:

Holly Michael, published in various magazines, newspapers, and in Guideposts books released her debut novel, Crooked Lines. She and her husband, an Anglican Bishop (from India) live in Kansas City. She has three grown children, a lovely daughter, Betsy, and two sons, Jake and Nick. She enjoys watching football, especially when her sons are playing—Jake (NFL-San Diego Chargers) and Nick (Univ. Louisiana-Lafayette Rajin’ Cajuns). She and her son Jake have a devotional book contracted with Harvest House.

About Crooked Lines:

Two continents. Two cultures. Two souls seek hope and a future.

On the shores of Lake Michigan, Rebecca Meyer seeks escape. Guilt-ridden over her little sister’s death, she sets her heart on India, a symbol of peace.

Across the ocean in South India, Sagai Raj leaves his tranquil hill station home and impoverished family to answer a higher calling. Pushing through diverse cultural and religious milieus, he labors toward his goals, while wrong turns and bad choices block Rebecca from hers. 

Traveling similar paths and bridged across oceans through a priest, the two desire peace and their divine destiny. But vows and blind obedience at all costs must be weighed…and buried memories, unearthed.

Crooked Lines, a beautifully crafted debut novel, threads the lives of two determined souls from different continents and cultures. Compelling characters struggle with spirituality through despair and deceptions in search of truth.


So you're called to write. What now? Find out from Holly Michael on Write Right! http://tinyurl.com/mf4jz4o @HollyMichael @DeliaLatham

What comes after the call to write? See what Holly Michael thinks on Write Right! http://tinyurl.com/mf4jz4o @HollyMichael @DeliaLatham

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