Whew, I’m trying to catch my breath today. It has been a wild couple of weeks with a trip to the Colorado Christian Writers Conference in Estes Park, Colorado, followed by a trip to Wichita, Kansas, for my niece’s wedding. It all added up to a lot of time on the road and not much time to get work done. Now that I’m back home, I’m trying to get caught up on everything.
One of the things I enjoyed most about my travels was the writers’ conference. It was the first conference as an editor taking appointments from authors who want to get their work published.
Yesterday at the Writing for the Soul conference, Dr. Dennis Hensley spoke about what is important in our lives. He said “Inspiration without manifestation is frustration.”
Now, he was speaking in this case to writers about needing to fulfill their dream of writing if they are going to be happy and satisfied. But I think this is true for anyone. If a person has a dream and doesn’t do everything they can to bring that dream into reality, it is difficult to be happy and feel your life has purpose and value.
How Do Clichés Start?
When I hear a cliché, sometimes I wonder how the cliché got started. I can find meanings to the clichés but no specifics on how it started. My guess is someone said something that caught the attention of the people who heard it and they all started repeating the phrase until everyone was saying it.
For example, while I was helping at AWANA we asked the Sparkies what a soul is.
As I have become more active in leadership in my two writers groups – Words for the Journey and Mile High Scribes ACFW, I have found myself in the position of finding speakers for the groups. Being an introvert, I found this very difficult. But I’m learning I just need to pay attention to who’s talking and reach out to those people.
Writers need to learn two things – how to improve their craft (including how to publish) and how to make their writing real.
The best way to find speaks on craft is by networking with other writers at conferences and through writing groups.
I spend last Saturday at INFUSE 2010, a conference for creative people serving God with the artistic gifts He has given them. After a long month of the type of stress life is so very capable of throwing at us, it was a real pleasure to spend time sharing and learning with people who don’t think I’m weird because of the worlds to which my fiction-writing mind takes me.
Even though there was a wide variety of talents; artists, dancers, musicians and writers to name a few; there was a spirit of joy and of sharing that was refreshing and heartwarming.
I’ve been working hard with a lot of deadlines right now. But while I’m getting my writing done, I’m also trying to put everything together for a proposal and establishing ways to promote myself along with getting ready for a presentation. I will soon be speaking at a conference about the Bible study workbook I’m writing, so I’m putting the speech together.
Most of this I can handle without too many problems, but the proposal and the ways to promote myself is not what I enjoy nor do I have many of the skills needed.
Today I made one small change to this website. I no longer have a “Bible Blog.” It is now called “Scripture in Your Heart,” because I have started a new phase of writing. I am continuing to work on my novel in hopes of getting it published, but I have added the project of writing about a method of Bible study. For the past few months, my goal has been to write a verse by verse personal commentary of the Bible. Now I am feeling led to write up my method of completing this project and create a workbook so others can do the same if they are interested.
Not all lessons are learned in the classroom. I was reminded of some important lessons this week at the Colorado Christian Writers Conference in Estes Park.
I took a clinic at CCWC where each person submitted the synopsis and first ten pages of his or her novel prior to the conference. Then, during the meetings we discussed each one and the instructors went over the manuscripts. The instructors were experienced authors and editors. When mine was discussed, they pointed out good aspects and some that needed to be corrected.
In the genre of Christian Romance, we are told to keep our characters clothed and appropriate at all times. However, as I was listening to a sermon on Genesis, chapter two, last weekend, I started thinking about how important it is for our characters to be naked, based on verse twenty-five – “And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.” (NKJV)
Ok, before everyone faints from the shock or starts writing me emails, let me explain. True love only occurs when we are totally honest and totally vulnerable with each other.
[NOTE: This is the same blog entry as I posted on the ACFW Colorado website] A few days ago, I think it was on Facebook, I saw these words: "Writers are people who haven't given up their imaginary friends." (Jacob Nuckolls). All the characters in my mind started to laugh hysterically. “And you never will get rid of us,” they yelled. This started a string of memories and thoughts.