Guard Our Hearts with Truth, Lord!

Mighty, sovereign, and loving Father, thanks for the privilege of using writing as a tool to share You through the various genres You’ve chosen for us.

We hear Your gentle whispers revealing the key to pleasing You as we serve the readers You’ve entrusted to us:

“. . . pay attention to what I say; turn your ears to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to one’s whole body.” (Proverbs 4:20-21)

Thanks for the gift of Your Holy Spirit who helps us understand Your Holy Word and equips us to use the unique voices You’ve given us.

Please help us diligently plan and protect our time to commune with You daily through the prayerful study and application of Your Word, even and especially as we encourage one another to plan and protect our writing time.

Help us crave closeness with You above all, Jesus.

As we get comfortable abiding in Your constant and powerful presence, please give us an abundance of creativity, confidence in You, and contentment with the path You’ve set before us.

We hear You beckoning us to walk in wisdom:

“Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways.” (Proverbs 4:26)

Your truth guards and transforms our hearts as You empower us to write from a place of loving obedience, persevering peace, infectious joy, and unwavering faith.

May readers see You−Your truth, Your love, Your grace−flowing through the words You give us to share.

In Jesus’s name, Amen

Xochitl (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 being a wife and mom, traveling, photography, and sharing God’s Word through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and her blog.

Photo taken by and meme created by Xochitl E. Dixon.

Good Dialogue – The Author’s Goal

Readers choose books with lots of dialogue and not so much narrative, somehow feeling that dialogue makes a difference between a dull or great book. They don’t know how dialogue defines the characters, brings them to life and creates the tone of the story. Nor do they understand how the writer purposely used dialogue to evoke an emotional response in the reader.

In the following excerpt from my third cozy cat mystery, Black Cat and the Accidental Angel, Black Cat and Angel have just sent their first kitten to her new home. They discuss how they feel about the kitten leaving.

The Ministry of Mingling

Behind the Scenes at the 2017 West Coast Christian Writers Conference

After one of the toughest and most rewarding years in my writing journey, I registered for the 2017 West Coast Christian Writers Conference and asked the Lord to keep my heart open for ministry opportunities. Who can I encourage today, Lord? Who needs to be seen, heard, and loved? Who are You going to use to inspire me, as You reveal the next step in my writing journey?

God didn’t only use the people on stage or in front of the classrooms to speak truth and build up His scribes, although He definitely did that.

5 Reasons to Attend a Writer’s Conference

We writers tend to be solitary souls. We love hunching over our computers, pounding away at our latest and greatest WIP (Work In Progress). Normal people don’t understand the satisfaction we get from writing or typing the words THE END.

What’s an introverted writer to do?

Shower, get dressed in something other than yoga pants and last year’s women’s retreat tee shirt, and head to a writer’s conference. Why?

Where to Put Those Words: Scrivener vs. Word

by Michelle Janene

Where is the best place to write your masterpiece? There is the old standby Microsoft Word, and there are great programs like Scrivener. What should you use? It depends on what your needs are.

Scrivener is a software program created by writers for writers. It is very inexpensive and jam-packed with more features that any one person could ever use.

It is good for fiction authors and I think even better for non-fiction works. It helps organize not just your manuscript but every piece of research as well. It will store text, web links, photos, just about anything you need to write your masterpiece. Need a name for a character? There’s a name generator. Need some place to flesh out your characters? There is a character sketch form ready to fill in with things like age, education, occupation and more. You can also put a picture of your character on each one. Amazing!

Loving God First

A Writer’s Prayer

Lord, thank You for the privilege and responsibility of writing for Your glory.

We often declare our love for reading and writing. We’re quick to rattle off a long list of books we love, projects we’d love to write, and goals we’d love to reach.

In our longing to write words that readers love, we can easily forget the gifts You’ve given us are purposed to share Your love and to express our love for You. In our efforts to be good stewards, working tirelessly to develop our craft and meet deadlines, we can sometimes allow You to be neglected, as we tuck You conveniently into the margins of our lives.