Why Bother Sharing Your God-Given Voice?

inspire-joy-book-cover-november-2016When I attended my first Christian Writers Conference in 2010, the Lord affirmed He’d given me a voice and taught me to appreciate the other unique voices using writing to share His truth and love for His glory.

I left that conference inspired, ready to learn, and ready to write with Spirit-empowered boldness. But a few years ago, I made the mistake of listening to someone who claimed to find “nothing of value” on my blog or in anything else I wrote.

After God helped me recover from the shock of that so-not-constructive criticism, He freed me from the bondage of that debilitating lie. Still, I sometimes wonder why anyone would want to read what I have to say.

As I commune more frequently with the Lord through prayer and dig deeper into His Word, I’m learning to write with obedience as I focus on God’s voice, not on myself, my shortcomings, or my qualifications.

I’m not a writer.

I’m a Christ follower who writes.

Writing is a tool purposed for ministry, a tool designed to help God’s disciples fulfill the Great Commission.

Using my God-given voice to write for His glory is a form of worship and good stewardship.

Every voice matters. Every voice makes a difference. And every beautifully diverse voice has a specific purpose.

In my devotion “Harmonizing Voices,” published on the Deeper Waters blog, I share how God confirmed those truths so I would no longer feel the need to compare myself to others.

As members of God’s Writing Tribe, we don’t need to feel competitive or jealous of other scribes. We don’t need to judge the worth or criticize the impact of someone else’s offering to our good, good Father.

All of our voices are important because one writer can’t possibly reach every reader in the world.

But God can’t use what we refuse to offer Him.

As I continue using my God-given voice, I still battle fears and insecurities. I still fend off the why-bother-writing-if-no-one-reads-it thoughts.

But, I’m learning to simply obey God’s leading, trust Him to decide how He wants to use my offering, and encourage others to write for His glory.

And this year, I’m celebrating the debut of a new voice.

My husband’s first devotion, “Teach a Man to Fish,” joins my short story, “Pictures of Joy,” in this year’s Inspire anthology. But ours are only two of the God-given voices in this compilation, so I encourage you to order your copy of Inspire Joy today.

While Inspire Christian Writers invites members to be a part of next year’s anthology, you don’t have to wait to use the voice the Lord has entrusted to you.

There’s a simple way for writers to immediately begin using their God-given voices.

Blogging.

Have you considered starting a blog?

Are you brand-new to blogging?

Do you want to refresh your passion for blogging?

Or do you shudder at the thought of starting or continuing a blog?

If you answered ‘yes’ to any of those questions, you won’t want to miss my upcoming interview series: Brave Bloggers.

I’ve had the privilege of learning from some of God’s beautifully diverse voices in the blogging world, and am looking forward to sharing a few of those writers with you.

Until then, I look forward to hearing your stories.

How has God helped you appreciate the value and purpose of different voices, including your own?

How have fears, insecurities, or anything else kept you from sharing your writing with others?


Author Photo 2016 - INSPIRE ThumbnailXochitl (soh-cheel) E. Dixon encourages women and teens to embrace God’s grace and grow deeper in their personal relationships with Christ and others. Her devotions will be featured in Our Daily Bread, starting in 2017. Married to her best friend since 1994, she enjoys sharing God’s Word to the ends of the earth, being a mom, traveling, and photography.

Cyber Monday $99 Conference Registration!

2017 West Coast Christian Writers Conference

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Writers, you will not want to miss the Cyber Monday deal for the 2017 West Coast Christian Writers Conference!

For one day only, you can register for the 2017 WCCW Conference for only $99 per person. The one-day only sale starts Monday, November 28, 2016 at 7am. Registration with this special one-time offer will be open until 7am on Tuesday, November 29, 2016.

You must register during the Cyber Monday hours to receive this special registration price.

What can you expect to receive in exchange for your investment?

This two-day conference will be held at CrossWinds Church, 1660 Freisman Road, Pleasanton, CA 94588. on February 17-18, 2017.

Michele Cushatt and Tosca Lee will be serving as the 2017 WCCW conference keynote speakers. We’ll enjoy two full days of workshops and meetings with publishing professionals, including literary agents and acquisitions editors from book and magazine publishers. Between classes, we’ll be refreshed through special times of worship, fellowship, and encouragement.

To receive this amazing Cyber Monday $99 per person price, register online between 7am, Monday, November 28, 2016 and 7am, Tuesday, November 29, 2016.

I’m looking forward to seeing what the Lord has in store for us at the 2017 West Coast Christian Writers Conference!

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Author Photo 2016 - INSPIRE ThumbnailXochitl (soh-cheel) E. Dixon encourages women and teens to embrace God’s grace and grow deeper in their personal relationships with Christ and others. Her devotions will be featured in Our Daily Bread, starting in 2017. Married to her best friend since 1994, she enjoys sharing God’s Word to the ends of the earth, being a mom, traveling, and photography.

2017 Western Coast Christian Writers Conference – One Day Sale on Registration

$99 admission to the ENTIRE TWO-DAY conference during a crazy, ONE-DAY ONLY sale.

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$99 One-Day Flash Sale Monday, Nov 28

Sale starts at 7 a.m. PST and ends at 7 a.m. Nov 29, PST.

To make it as affordable as possible for you, we’re offering $99 admission to the ENTIRE TWO-DAY conference during a crazy, ONE-DAY ONLY sale. (The $99 rate is more than 50% off the General Admission fee… you’ll save $110!)

This sale is good one day only: Monday, November 28, 2016 (That’s Cyber Monday.)

Register: westcoastchristianwriters.com/conference/registration/

  • Starting at 7 a.m. PST, you’ll have 24 hours to register for the WCCW conference for only $99. (Check out the Registration page now so you’ll be ready.)
  • To take advantage of this crazy, one-day sale, you MUST register on Monday, November 28 (sale ends Tuesday, November 29 at 7 a.m. PST).
  • This is a one-time offer. After the crazy, one-day sale ends, the Early Bird registration rate will go back up to $189 (there will be discounts for Inspire members and full-time vocational ministers.)

The 2017 West Coast Christian Writers Conference (formerly the Christian Writers Seminar of Castro Valley) is expanding to TWO full days, February 17-18, 2017.

Conference Schedule: westcoastchristianwriters.com/conference/schedule/

Conference Venue: http://westcoastchristianwriters.com/conference/venue/

We also have a preliminary list of workshops here westcoastchristianwriters.com/conference/workshops/ and a list of committed faculty (to date) here: westcoastchristianwriters.com/conference/faculty/

Please Help Us Spread the Word

We’d love your help in publicizing the Cyber Monday $99 sale. Please take a minute, right now, to copy & paste these Twitter-length social updates and share them on Facebook, Twitter, and other places you hang out online.


West Coast Christian Writers Conference: $99 registration ONE DAY SALE, Nov. 28 (Cyber Monday) http://westcoastchristianwriters.com


$99 FLASH SALE! Register for 2017 West Coast Christian Writers Conference on Cyber Monday for 50% savings http://westcoastchristianwriters.com

 

Voice, Houses, and Other Fun Stuff

Saturday, November 12, Inspire Christian Writers held its quarterly workshop. After a fun mixer, we had two breakout sessions. I attended the Advanced Writer Workshop with Kathy Boyd Fellure. She described her voice as lyrical. She read from her recently completed novel, which takes place in Lake Tahoe. She ascribed physical and emotional attributes to the lake, and took us through an exercise to do the same thing with a house.

Several years ago, actor Kevin Kline made a movie called Life as a House. It was a beautiful story of family restoration through rebuilding a crumbling, decrepit shack into a gorgeous home. I was reminded of the movie when my fellow writer, and sister, Mary Allen, shared what she’d written during Kathy’s workshop. I am excited to share it with you.

Life as a House

By: Mary A. Allen

When I was new and fresh and all my friends and I gleamed with fresh paint and were surrounded by bright green lawns, I seemed to be the happiest. I loved to hear the sounds of children laughing and playing kickball in the street. Neighborhood dogs ran with the children. My door was never locked.

My windows are now heavy with bars. My door is laden with locks. My lawn has dried up over the years and eventually disappeared altogether.

I’m worn out, my face is grey. My welcoming appearance has melted into frightening. I cringe when people step on my stairs. I cry onto my floors when it rains.

The neighborhood is quiet now, except for the frequent police raids. We’re all ashamed when we have our secrets revealed.

Kathy encouraged us to keep searching and praying until we find our voice. It’s apparent that Mary’s voice is also lyrical.

The following is a quote from author Donald Mass:

“What the heck is “voice”? By this, do editors mean “style”? I do not think so. By voice, I think they mean not only a unique way of putting words together, but a unique sensibility, a distinctive way of looking at the world, an outlook that enriches an author’s oeuvre. They want to read an author who is like no other. An original. A standout. A voice.”

What’s your unique way of looking at the world?joy of the lord

Do you write straightforward, no frills, little description? Do you use cultural or artistic references in your writing? Do you like tension-building scenes, as in a mystery novel?

Next time we’ll look at how to find your unique voice – what Kathy Fellure says is as unique as your fingerprints.

Let me know what you think YOUR voice is.

Jane Daly is the author of two books, Because of Grace (2015) and The Caregiving Season (2016). She can be reached through her website www.janeSdaly.com. She is also the treasurer of Inspire Christian Writers and West Coast Christian Writers.

The Joy of the Lord

Heather D. Blackman

In the midst of the storm,
The joy of the Lord becomes your refuge where you not only survive the storm,
But thrive through the storm.

In the face of adversity,
The joy of the Lord gives you courage to look past your circumstances,
And see the goodness of God.

In the fight of your life,
The Joy of the Lord reveals your inner champion to not accept defeat,
But triumph in the victory of God!

In times of weakness,
The joy of the Lord gives you strength to draw from your well of praise,
And claim power in Jesus’ name!

In moments of uncertainty,
The joy of the Lord gives you confidence that no matter what comes next,
Nothing can separate you from the Love of God!

In life every day,
The joy of the Lord extends far beyond the good times,
To a lasting assurance for all times.

 

joy of the lordHeather D. Blackman recently rediscovered her passion for writing poetry as an extension of her creative spirit. Her poetry has been published in Inspire Promise and Inspire Forgiveness. It is Heather’s desire that her poems will uplift, encourage, and express the love of our Heavenly Father.