Embracing the Wait

A Writer’s Prayer

“Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.” (Psalm 27:14)


Lord, thank You for being consistently faithful and perfectly timely.

You can handle every detail of our writing journey, simply because You are Creator and Sustainer of the world.

You are trustworthy and all-knowing and good to all You have made.


So, please, help us to be patient with You, Lord.


Show us the next step You want us to take, the next project You want us to work on, and even the next word You want us to write.

Show us when You want us to be still and when You want us to move ahead with Spirit-empowered wisdom, courage, and persevering faith.


We can trust You with the lulls, the delays, and even the unexpected U-Turns and detours on this adventure You’ve got planned for us.


When we’re struggling with impatience, please infuse our hearts with contentment.

Help us rest in the peace of Your constant presence, as we invest in the development of our voices and our craft.

Lord, please help us desire nothing above knowing You, worshipping You, praising You, serving You, and pleasing You.


As we follow Your leading, no matter how fast or how slow the pace You’ve deemed necessary, help us trust You with every moment we work, and with every moment You ask us to embrace the wait.


In Jesus’s name, Amen



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

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.

We Need You!

Why Other Writers Want You to Attend the 2017 West Coast Christian Writers Conference

When I interviewed Susy Flory, the WCCW conference director, she announced a special registration price available until the end of January. We’ll be spending two full days enjoying general sessions led by two dynamic keynote speakers, over 30 training workshops, personal meetings with editors and agents, free professional critiques, panel discussions, a writing contest, an onsite bookstore, and worship. The high quality faculty and workshops are great reasons to invest in this conference, but I’d like to share five reasons why your attendance benefits others.


  1. We can connect with others who speak our language.

There are certain phrases only writers can translate. When we say we’re on deadline or waiting to hear from an agent or an editor, writers know we need prayer and encouragement. When we’re brainstorming ideas for killing a character or growing our platform, writers don’t furrow their brows in confusion or concern. Seasoned writers don’t need to consult a dictionary when we discuss the pros and cons of using multiple POVs or the excitement of constructing great plot twists. (Beginning writers, don’t worry, seasoned writers will teach you our secret language.)


  1. We can bond with people who encourage us, because they’ve been there.

People who serve in any other non-writing ministry cannot help us with writerly-problems. How can they possibly offer suggestions for creating plot structures or combatting negative voices before submitting projects? By the time we explain the complexity of either process, our frustration will drown out those negative voices. So, I guess I was wrong. They could be helpful. Still, only a writer can minister to us from a place of knowing, of having experienced the emotions, because they’ve been there or are right there with us.


  1. We can discover we’re not alone . . . or weird.

If you’re like me, your writerly quirks surfaced before you or your friends and family realized your personality and creative thinking process would benefit your writing endeavors. When we gather with our writing tribe, we can begin to appreciate how God’s intentional design prepares writers to offer their gifts for His greater plan. We’ll connect with people who understand and can pray with us and for us as we write, even as we battle insecurities, fears, or frustrations.


  1. We can honor God by being good stewards of the gifts He’s entrusted to us.

All writers will experience times when we’ll doubt our skills, struggle with projects, and even want to quit. But Christian comradery empowers us to be diligent in learning and fearless in sharing our work with other writers and with readers.

As we encourage one another to hone our craft and persevere in faith, we’ll help one another get through the tough moments in our writing journey. We’ll rejoice with one another, as we praise God for using our words to minister to readers. We’ll celebrate the diverse voices of our fellow scribes, honoring God as we create offerings for His Kingdom purpose.


  1. Though there are many reasons to attend the 2017 WCCW conference, the most important reason is because you are you.

Your God-given voice is valuable in the writing community. Your love-offerings to the Lord make a difference. God has planned to minister to specific readers through the words He gives you to write. We’ve got a lot of work to do, if we’re going to reach the ends of the earth by sharing God’s love and truth through writing in a variety of genres. And the adventure is much more fun when we remember we’re in this together.


Click here to take advantage of the special pricing, only available through January, and register for the 2017 West Coast Christian Writers conference today.

To read my interview with Susy Flory, the director of the WCCW conference, click here.

Photos taken by Xochitl E. Dixon at the first WCCW conference.

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.

The West Coast Christian Writers are Flashing Again!

An Author Interview with Susy Flory

Flashing? That’s right, flashing, as in gleaming and sending forth light. The West Coast Christian Writers are devoted to equipping and encouraging Christian writers to be radiant lights for Christ.

And, yes, flashing, as in a Flash Sale for the month of January only.

WCCW conference director, Susy Flory, recently announced a limited-time, special registration price in January for $179 ($149 for Inspire Members). This incredible two-day conference will be featuring keynote speakers Michelle Cushatt, Michael Hyatt’s cohost on This is Your Life podcast, and New York Times bestselling novelist Tosca Lee.

Susy Flory, the New York Times bestselling author of Thunder Dog, has authored or co-authored eleven books. She’s been a reporter, an educator, a wife, and a mom. Now a full time writer, she loves chasing big, true stories with themes of adventure, courage, hope, transformation, and redemption.

The WCCW board includes five talented authors. Collectively, they’ve published over 30 books and have served through ministries such as Focus on the Family and Proverbs 31. The team excels in teaching on the craft of writing, speaking, marketing and social media, platform building, as well as book, proposal, and article writing. But they’ve invited more industry professionals to join them in presenting Bay Area writers with this amazing learning opportunity.

Please help me welcome Susy as she shares why writers will not want to miss the 2017 WCCW conference.


Susy, thanks for joining us. Would you please share what makes the WCCW conference different from some of the other two-day conferences currently available?

Glad to be here, Friend! The WCCW Conference is a warm, friendly, encouraging conference dedicated to bringing Christian writers, of all ages and stages, the latest and most inspiring workshops and keynote speakers to help us all grow to the next level in our writing. And we try to keep it as cost-effective as possible!


You’ve secured over 30 workshops for the WCCW conference. How can beginning, intermediate, and advanced writers benefit from such a wide variety of learning opportunities?

This year we’ve added workshops for writers interested in children’s and Young Adult literature, as well as workshops on screenwriting, writing Christian romance, developing your platform, and traditional vs. self-publishing. We work hard to provide something for everyone.

And don’t be afraid to cross over genres or the fiction/nonfiction distinction to learn something from an expert who writes different kinds of books than you. Some of the best workshops I’ve taken have been geared towards fiction (and I write nonfiction!)


With so many great workshops to choose from, how can writers choose a schedule that best suits their needs?

Spend some time before the conference browsing our website and reading through the workshop descriptions and the faculty biographical info. You might even want to check out individual faculty websites to find out more about them. Once you register for the conference, you’ll be invited to join a private Facebook group where you can see short videos of the faculty members and get a sense of who they are and why they do what they do. And don’t forget—if you have to miss a workshop because there are two you want to go to at the same time, you can always purchase the recording.


What can conferees expect from the quality of faculty serving at this event?

All faculty members are professional writers with the best reputations in the business for integrity, excellence, and a heart to serve other writers. Most are multi-published, multi-talented, and many have bestselling credits on their resume. They are wonderful people who love the written word and are dedicated to helping writers be the best they can be. They could each be doing something else, but they choose to be at the conference and help writers like you and me!


How can writers benefit from the one-on-one appointments with the agents and editors serving at the 2017 WCCW conference?

We have a group of experienced, wise writing mentors who will be available to look at excerpts of your work and give you honest but kind advice and encouragement. Sometimes you need someone who is experienced and can give you just the right idea or insight to get unstuck, or go in a new direction that makes all the difference in the world. Publishing is a business with many paths to getting published, and so advice from a seasoned professional can help you find that path that’s best for you. More information on this program, called Coaching and Critique, is coming soon.


How can writers prepare for meetings with agents and editors?

I remember going to my very first writers conference hoping to meet an editor or agent and feeling like I was about to meet super humans. I was shocked to find out that they wear jeans, tennis shoes and T-shirts just like we do. In fact, they are exactly like us—people who God has called to study and master words, and use those words to make a difference in the world. Every published author or publishing professional was once unpublished. They know what it feels like to be bubbling over with a message God has given you to write, but you’re not quite sure how to do that.


Why should writers take advantage of the on-site critique coaches?

There’s no substitute for good critique—meaning honest and kind feedback from an experienced professional writer or editor. They are there to help you, not hurt you. Their comments might surprise you, but listen carefully and see what you can glean to help move you forward. Also, don’t worry about anyone stealing your ideas. You and I can have the exact same idea for a book or article and it will be unique because we have different ways of carrying out that idea. Your voice and your imagination is your own. Celebrate it and use it in the way that only you can.


Why should attendees consider entering the writing contest?

First of all, it’s fun to win a prize! I think everyone enjoys the encouragement of an award certificate assuring us that we’ve worked hard and done something very well. Second, it’s a great way to spur yourself on to finish a story. Writers often perform better under the gentle pressure of a deadline. Last, the writing contest is free to enter this year, so what do you have to lose? Take a look at the rules here and give it a shot!


How can connecting with the prayer team help writers during the conference?

We have a dedicated prayer team already praying for each and every writer who will be attending. There will also be prayer team members available during the conference if you’d like someone to pray with about anything that’s bothering you—writing related or not. Every writer needs prayer, and having a writer pray for you is something special.


Why should writers plan to invest in some of the resources offered at the WCCW bookstore?

One special offering is the Christian Writers Market Guide, the definitive guide to the publishers, conference, and literary agencies in the Christian market. We’ll have a special conference price, so be sure to look for this. We’ll also have books from the faculty and attendees available for purchase, in just about every genre and specialty under the sun. I can’t wait to buy some books myself!


How can writers be praying for the WCCW team, the faculty, and the volunteers, as you prepare for the conference?

Please pray that God would strengthen and encourage each writer individually, and as a part of the writing community. We are stronger together, especially with God at the center.


How can writers make sure they don’t miss out on the upcoming Flash Sale, or any other important updates and announcements, as the conference approaches?

The January sale of $30 off goes for the whole month of January, ending at 11:59 pm on January 31. If you go to our website, you can register online for just $179 (and buy a box lunch for Friday, too, if you’d like.) Inspire Members get another $30 off for a total of $149 for the two-day conference.


What final word of encouragement would you like to share with writers who are considering registering for the WCCW conference?

Writers need each other. When I started attending this conference (back when it was led by Pastor Jon Drury) I felt like I was part of a family, or a group of close friends. That’s our dream—that you would feel a part of the writing family when you attend the West Coast Christian Writers Conference!


Thanks for investing in the training of Christian writers, Susy. And thanks for being willing to drop in to answer questions and encourage writers in the comment section below this post.  

Thanks, Xochitl. It’s an honor.


To find out more about what God’s doing in and through Susy’s writing journey, you can visit her website. Subscribe to the WCCW blog and newsletter to learn more about the board members and the 2017 conference keynotes, faculty, and workshops.

We’re praying for you and looking forward to seeing you there.

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.

What material did you acquire?

by Karen Foster

According to author Willa Cather, “Most of the basic material a writer works with is acquired before the age of fifteen.”

Her words hit home with me. I was six years old when I first became enamored with Jesus. Six years later, I asked Him into my heart when I understood that I needed a Savior. As a child, I’d pretend to be a missionary nurse and explain the Gospel to my dolls. When I was fifteen, I wrote a fiction story (which filled three spiral notebooks) based on a missionary nurse in Africa. Alas, I never became a nurse or a missionary. However, sharing the Gospel and talking about Jesus never waned. And that “material, acquired before the age of fifteen,” defines me as an author.

44598687 - children reading books at park against trees and meadow in the parkThe theme of God’s love, grace, and faithfulness revealed in ordinary people’s lives is what I write about on my blog, devotions, first-person stories. If I wrote fiction, I’d incorporate the same theme. I’ve tried to think “outside my box” and daydream about writing the next great American novel. But I always return to the subject…nay, the object of my affection…Christ Jesus.

Granted, some days I question why I’m writing. Wonder if my words make a difference. I grumble that it’d be easier if I pursued a career as a concert pianist even though I don’t play the piano. But then I read the Bible. Or someone tells me about God’s transforming power in their lives—and I’m hooked. Heart ignites. Fingers start typing. Joy trickles along my spine.

Someone asked me, “Why don’t you write a secular novel which translates to the movie screen instead of writing for Christians magazines?” The person implied I’d never earn money or fame. Great point if those were the carrots that compelled me to write. That’s why I’m thankful for Inspire Christian Writers. “They exists to provide a network of support, encouragement, education, and spiritual growth for Christian writers.” I joined years ago and can attest I wouldn’t be the dedicated writer I am today without their positive, godly influence.

What defines you as a writer? Can you trace your subject or themes to your youth?

karen fosterKaren Foster has been published multiple times in Christian magazines such as The Upper, The Secret Place, Bible Advocate’s ezine: Now What?, MomSense, Fulfill, and Discipleship Journal. Her  stories have also appeared in five Inspire Anthologies. She blogs at KarenFosterMinistry.com and is a guest blogger for ThinWithin.org.


To Blog or Not to Blog?

A Brave Blogger Interview with Greg Hurley

Many beginning writers believe the writing process requires great confidence and unfaltering courage. I’ve learned the writer’s journey requires the ability to admit we’re not brave or altogether perfect.

As Christian writers, we fare well if we possess the wisdom to ask God for the strength and discipline needed to buckle down and type the words He gives us. Of course, we may have to erase them, type them again, and repeat until we convince ourselves to click save and post.

This week, it’s my privilege to introduce one of the bravest bloggers in this series. Greg Hurley, founder of Hurley Wealth Management Group, is a new writer who recently took that first leap of faith.

Greg serves as a speaker who encourages others to align faithful stewardship with financial management. He answered ‘yes’ to God’s nudging to dig deeper into the Bible. He answered ‘yes’ to following God’s leading from Los Angeles to San Francisco. And he answered ‘yes’ when God led him into the blogosphere.

Please help me welcome Greg to celebrate what God has been doing as he writes from the heart on his first blog, “Calendar, Cash, and Calling,” launched in September, 2016.


Congratulations, Greg. Please tell us what led you to start your blog?

I dream of a different Bay Area, one where Jesus Christ is reigning as King over everyone and everything, as soon as possible. I started the blog to encourage Bay Area Christians to live as God intended in the areas of calendar, cash and calling—three areas I think we all tend to get stuck in. Why? So the other 97% will know Jesus as their Lord and Savior and live as God intended. This is what I think about most, and what drives my decisions.


What steps did you take to prepare for launching your blog?

I got advice from wise mentors, who happen to be bloggers themselves. I journaled, dreamed, prayed, and focused on knowing God more and more (not in that order). With my mentor’s help, I realized I did, and still do, have an arrogance problem. I asked for accountability and started learning more and more about what the Bible said about that subject.

Realizing how debilitating pride can be helped me along this path. I have a long way to go but I have come a long way through the work of the Holy Spirit in my life, the truths of God’s word, others praying for me, and with the support of my wonderful wife Nicole who has been so patient over the last 16 years.


What were the biggest obstacles you faced when you made the decision to share through this medium?

Confusion, fear, perfectionism, and making sure my wife and I were united in this decision fully.


How did God help you work through those challenges?

God sent me Nicole for numerous reasons, but one I know for sure. He uses her to help me accomplish what He created me to do. She’s one of the smartest people I have ever met. She’s not afraid to share her opinion with me, which can drive me nuts but is totally necessary if I am to become all that God created me to be. My wife also played a key role in helping me find the best writing coach.


Please share some of the greatest rewards you’ve experienced through your blogging adventures.

It’s most rewarding to be able to share what God has put on my heart and see people encouraged through the pain I have gone through. Being able to give talks that relate to my blog topics has been awesome. I’ve been able to interact with people face to face, answering some of their questions and hearing feedback on how my talks have helped them to think differently. It’s rewarding to see people’s lives changed, as they draw closer to this Awesome God we serve and begin to live out their purpose.


How often do you post new content and what can get in the way of your commitment to maintain this consistent blogging schedule?

I post once a week, usually midweek. I also share a Friday Inspiration quote. Balancing my schedule to include family, work, and the organizations I am very passionate about has been challenging. But with Nicole’s support, it has been okay.


How do you prepare for those distractions?

Just finishing my MBA in May of this year, I have been able to learn to do a lot of work in a short amount of time. Sometimes the work pressures can be intense, but then I go back to the promises of God’s Word, and know that God can do the impossible and surely get me through a time crunch I may be facing.


What have you done to expand your readership?

I have mostly been focusing on content and direction for the blog. I am trying to direct most of my efforts to creating great, concise, blog posts. I worked with my writing coach and my design consultant to create 30 Ways to Cultivate Gratitude During the Holidays, a free PDF giveaway. This project was meant to help me during my Christmas time grumpiness, but will hopefully help others and lead to new subscribers.


How do you prevent being overly concerned with the number of subscribers, likes, or comments on your blog posts on your website or through social media?

I believe God owns the blog. He is going to bring who He wants to read the content. I try and understand what part I am supposed to play and leave God’s parts to Him. I am trying to be patient and know that it takes time to build a platform, especially in a place like the busy Bay Area. I believe in the message He has put on my heart. I believe He wants that message to get out, in His timing.


What’s the most important thing God has taught you about using the voice He’s given you through your blog?

To be humble and to watch my tone in my writing.


What final word of encouragement would you like to share with writers who are hesitant about taking that first brave step into the blogging world?

Know God more. Wait on His timing. Enjoy the process. Have fun. Dream big.


Thanks for inspiring us, Greg. 


You can connect with Greg by visiting or subscribing toCalendar, Cash, and Calling.” You can also like his Facebook Author Page or follow him on Twitter. Greg will be available for questions, and would be blessed by your encouragement, in the comment section under this blog post.


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 FacebookTwitter, LinkedIn, and her blog.