In An Introduction to Christian Writing, Ethel Herr wrote: “Writing without an audience is therapy. Writing that reaches an audience is communication.”
Though not all writers have the desire to publish, some of us feel led to share the words God gives us to write.
Communicators who choose traditional publishing quickly discover that rejection is an inevitable and invaluable part of our writing journey. Every no, not yet, and not here stings. But receiving those answers can become easier and even exciting, as the Lord adjusts our definition of a successful communicator and helps us recognize the following rewards of rejection:
Lord, thanks for knowing we need boosts of bold confidence as You help us follow You and surrender every aspect of our writing journey to You.
Please help us welcome You into our creative process and stop fretting over the inevitable imperfections of the words we write.
We are weak, Lord. Our thoughts, our faith, and our courage are small.
But Your wisdom, trustworthiness, and might are endlessly dependable.
We are Yours, Lord. Please purify our hearts and our motives.
Make us more like You, as You equip us to use the creative gifts You’ve entrusted to us.
Empower us to persevere past self-doubt, so that we never settle for cowering behind self-centered insecurities.
We can be brave, even when we’re trembling with fear, because You promise to be with us as we take each step You’ve planned for us.
Compassionate Father, thanks for giving us all we need to share Your truth in love, with gentleness and respect.
Help us keep moving forward, writing with fierce faith and surety that stems from knowing You and relying on You.
In Jesus’s name, Amen.
Xochitl (so-cheel) E. Dixon encourages women and teens to embrace God’s grace while nurturing personal relationships with Christ and others. She enjoys serving as an Our Daily Bread writer, and being a wife and mom.
So, you’ve decided that you need a bit of a break. We all do, at times. And a writing retreat seems just the thing for refocusing and relaxing, doesn’t it? But what kind of writing retreat? And where?
There are bound to be several options within a reasonable distance of your home, unless you live in a particularly remote area. All you have to do is Google “writing retreat” and your general location and there are probably several nearby.
Some retreats are very basic, offering only a simple space for people to use as they get away from their daily lives. These retreats have no formal meetings, workshops, or events. Some retreats, however, are meticulously structured . . . far more like mini-conferences, with top-notch speakers and every moment of the day accounted for. Most, however, fall somewhere between those two.
Deciding on which kind of retreat would serve you best is important. You want to return from your time away refreshed, rejuvenated, and encouraged. So choose carefully.
The following tips will help you make the best decision possible:
I often get feedback from new writers who lament the long response time (or no response at all) to their requested queries/proposals/fulls to agents and editors. I empathize with them, but I also try to help them understand the daily story of an industry professional’s life.
I have yet to sit on the other side of the desk as an acquisitions editor, nor have I been an agent, but I have many editor and agent friends. I’ve come to empathize with both sides of the story—for those submitting and those receiving.
Here’s a peek into the publishing side.
“I just want to stay home and write.”
If you’re like most writers who work full time, you’ve probably said these words at least once a month. Or if you’re like me, once a day. Forty-plus hours a week at a demanding job can suck your emotional energy to the point of going home and binge-watching Garage Wars.
What’s an aspiring writer to do? If you’re looking toward a writing career, you need a plan. These five tips will help you determine how quickly you’ll move from “I just want to stay home and write,” to “Hey, look at me! I’m in my favorite yoga pants.”
To write poems children enjoy, these tips will help:
Get to know kids!
Being around children from preschoolers to teens lets you know what’s on their minds. Research their areas of interests and stages of development, and read the poems they like.
Keep each line in line with the age of your readers.
The younger the child, the simpler a poem needs to be. For instance, young children love a bouncy beat. When they’re learning words, they enjoy the sounds of rhyming words and alliteration.
Turn up the volume.
By repeating the first sound of a word within a line, the resulting alliteration will enliven the sound and tempo of your poem. For example, “Big, bright beads of rain wet down the window.” If you carry sounds to extreme, alliteration creates kid-friendly tongue twisters such as “Suzy sells seashells by the seashore.”
Use strong nouns and active verbs for rhyming pairs.