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Ready to WRITE–Wonderfully

Monday, September 24, 2007

There is way too much detail about my experiences at the 2007 ACFW National Conference to blog about it all.

I had some great editor meetings, along with several requests for proposals, and I really enjoyed meeting my agent’s other clients at dinner Saturday night. Now I’m back home and ready to buckle down and get Peace in the Valley finished by the end of October.

Keynote speaker James Scott Bell gave an acrostic using WRITER in his closing talk yesterday morning, and for the rest of the week, I’m going to steal his idea and use WRITE to expound a little bit on what I learned, remembered, realized, etc., at the conference this week.


Wonder. I believe all writers need to view the world around them with a sense of wonder. As a Christian, when I look around at the natural world, I constantly experience a sense of awe and wonder at the things I see—especially when I was working on a book at work for the San Diego Zoo and looking at the pictures of all of the diverse creatures God has created. But more than that, I also wonder how things work, why things are, how they got to be that way. Through writing, it is my job to try to put that sense of wonder into everything I write about so that the reader can have the same experience. (see Job chapters 36 — 41)

    Stand and consider the wonders of God. (Job 37:14b)

Wisdom. I’m not saying that writers are wiser than other people—but that we need to develop our wisdom. Wisdom is different from knowledge. Knowledge comes from outside and is acquired. Wisdom comes from inside and is fed by indulging in wondering, reading, doing, experiencing, asking, listening, seeing, and deciding. Wisdom is the ability to discern what knowledge we need and then to seek it out. Wisdom is knowing how to accept criticism, to learn from it and apply it to our writing. Wisdom is admitting that we will never know everything there is to know about the craft of writing and that there is always more information out there to be sought.

    For wisdom will enter your heart
    And knowledge will be pleasant to your soul;
    Discretion will guard you,
    Understanding will watch over you.
    (Proverbs 2:10–11)

Work. In her book Walking on Water, Madeleine L’Engle exhorted us to write every day—that it is only when we are writing that the work can take over and become what God wants it to become instead of what we percieve it to be. In what is commonly referred to as the Parable of the Talents, Jesus told a story of a master who was going on a trip. He entrusted a certain amount of money to each of three servants. Two went out and doubled the money by hard work and shrewd investment. The third hid his, afraid he was going to lose it. The master praised and rewarded the two who had used the talents he’d given them to increase them, but called the third a “wicked” servant and sent him away. Whether it’s writing, drawing, painting, singing, sculpting, playing an instrument, sports, architectural design, math, science—no matter in what area we’re talented, we weren’t given those talents to hide them away out of fear. We are to work—to work HARD—to increase the talents we are naturally gifted with as well as acquire new skills. James Scott Bell brought up a great point—even someone with perfect pitch still needs to learn how to sing before he or she will be worth listening to. So write every day—even if you don’t feel like it. Read craft books. Find online courses. Partner up with a couple of other writers and start critiquing. Seek out a mentor. Pursue your calling with all your heart and mind.

    Do you see a man skilled in his work?
    He will stand before kings;
    He will not stand before obscure men.
    (Proverbs 22:29)

Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

  1. Monday, September 24, 2007 11:16 am

    What an awesome time! The entire conference was packed full of friends, fun, and learning. I’m ready to get down to work too, and not a moment too soon!


  2. Tuesday, September 25, 2007 12:34 pm

    Sounds like you had a wonderful time. Congratulations on your proposal requests!


  3. Wednesday, September 26, 2007 4:40 pm

    I love that verse from proverbs that you closed with. I’d never thought of applying it to writing before.



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