My heart is overflowing with a good theme; I recite my composition concerning the
King; My tongue is the pen of a ready writer.
(Psalm 45:1, NKJV)
Many of the Christian authors I know see their writing as a calling and a ministry. If you would agree, the following tips might
~ Organize a prayer team -- Ask intercessors you know to lift up you, your family, your calling and your writing. When things
come up, enlist their help. Keep them informed and ask God to bless them.
~ Keep God first.
~ Stay in fellowship -- Keep church and Bible study a priority no matter how far you get in writing.
~ Clean spiritual house -- Ask the Lord to show you any areas of unforgiveness or unconfessed sin. Pray through whatever He
shows you. Then, you'll be uninhibited for receiving the Creator's inspiration. Take communion personally as often as God
leads in order to stay clear. If we examine ourselves and listen to the Holy Spirit, our consciences will stay clear and our ability
to hear from God will remain unhindered by sin.
~ Ask God to show you if you have any self-sabatoging tendencies in your life. If you are holding back in your calling for any
reason, you'll want to face those issues so you can fully serve God. ("Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast,
immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord." 1 Corinthians 15:58)
Procrastination is a sure sign this is an issue to work through with God.
~ If you want to be successful, be His vessel. The most prolific Christian authors are those who make themselves a vessel for
God through whom He can pour His stories. He's looking for willing vessels.
~ Focus more on His kingdom than your own. If we seek Him, His righteousness and His kingdom first, He will make
everything else fall into place. (see Matt. 6:33)
~ If you're like me, you're a dreamer. Delight in the Lord and He will both align your dreams with His purposes for your life, as
well as make those dreams come true! (see Psalm 37:4)
Now for some writing-specific tips:
~ Don't despise small beginnings. Start by publishing articles or devotionals. When we're faithful with little (in terms of word
count) God will entrust us with more. That's how His kingdom works.
~ Write everyday. This builds your voice and grows your manuscript. Set goals and work toward them.
~ Be diligent. Every human reaps what s/he sows. If you are faithful in your calling, God will reward that faithfulness.
~ Don't try to be perfect. This can paralyze anyone because it's unattainable here on earth. Just strive to please God and do
your best (honor God). He's got enough grace for our humanness.
~ Start where you are, but keep learning. Even well-published authors will often say they are still growing in their craft. Take
advantage of workshops, conferences and courses.
~ Keep reading. Familiarize yourself with your genre(s) as much as possible. Read other authors who write in your genre.
~ Interact with other writers as often as possible. When you read a great book, let the author know what you liked about it.
This encourages writers (like you'll need one day) and allows you a connection with another writer like you.
~ Join a writer's group and/or critique group. If you're on-line a lot, you might try joining ACFW (American Christian Fiction
Writers) as they are very active on-line with blogs, e-loops and forums. This group has been tremondously helpful to me for
discovering opportunities, meeting authors and interacting with agents and editors. The membership fee is minimal compared
to the benefits, including on-line workshops, fellowship, friendships, critique groups, prayer support, etc. Check it out.
~ Make local writer friends. Start a book club or writer's group in your area. ACFW offers local chapters of fellow Christians.
It's great to have writers in different sub-genres in your group for different perspectives.
~ Sometimes it helps to have other writers or an editor look over your work. They provide another POV for your writing. If that
sounds like something you could use, please feel free to contact me. I'd love to help!
Annette M. Irby
Copyright 2007-11 Annette M. Irby
Advice for writers:
Professional editing for
the busy writer