Monday, October 21, 2013


On the Write Path

I hope you will pardon another play on the word “write”. These next few posts will break down different aspects of the writing journey and encourage you to know you’re not alone. You’re not the only one with delusions of publishing grandeur!

The novice begins their trip down the writing road with a light load, usually. The two things he packs are dreams and something to write with. You may start with a pen and a notebook. My writing professor in college encouraged us to use legal pads to write our first through third drafts, but that was back during the days of the typewriter. You might have been lucky enough to have a correction ribbon on your Smith Corona or your Royal. Since the dawn of word processing, the writer has more options. He can now write with a PC or laptop and still make corrections without having to type the whole document over.

However, the novice, often starry-eyed, may believe they are ready to pen or type that first draft of a fabulous piece of literature, which many agents and editors will be vying for the chance to read. Just try to hold back that bidding war over their one-of-a-kind novel, destined for the New York Times' bestseller list!

Others may be more realistic, setting their goals a little lower, hoping to see their name in bold font at the top of a few magazine articles. They’re just trying to get their name out into the sea we call the publishing world, while they build a portfolio.

The Christian novice writer has a whole other level of concern, because she wants to convey a message she feels the Lord has put on her heart, or help people understand biblical truths that are bursting to escape onto paper. It’s a joy for the novice to write the things they need to share, but is sometimes also difficult.

At some point novices may find themselves overwhelmed. At my first large Christian writer’s conference, in Wheaton, Illinois, I seemed to be surrounded by authors who seemed to know where they were going and what they were doing.  I felt like a fake. I found myself in Ken Wales’ class on story. Me? Really? How could little old me ever think of writing a screenplay? But the Lord gave me a gentle nudge, whispering messages of the need to trust and believe that He could use anyone He chose to do anything.

I still haven’t finished a longer screenplay, but I took away something more precious from that conference—the belief that the Lord could use my humble attempt at being a writer any way He chose. He had given the gift and desire. Was I willing to use it? 

Have you ever had a moment of clarity and guidance like that during your
journey down the write path?

Next Monday: The Reality Stage

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