Wednesday Writers Pad | NaNoWriMo 2018

After much contemplation, I’ve decided to participate in NaNoWriMo 2018. I’m excited about being one of the thousands (millions?) writing their novel in November. The goal is to crank out 50K words between November 1 and November 30. That averages out to 1,667 words a day. Of course, 50,000 words doesn’t exactly a novel make but it certainly is a healthy start. 

My primary impetus for taking part in NaNoWriMo this year is getting that novel idea out of my head and onto paper—well, in my case–on my laptop. 

October is known as #preptober, a time to get ready for the upcoming word joust next month. I’ve found some interesting YouTube videos on NaNoWriMo and PrepTober that discuss different aspects of this annual, internet-based, creative writing project. 

NaNoWriMo 2018 blog post

I know that October is the month to plan so that in November I can focus on hammering out a daunting 50,000 words. I’ve learned keeping a notebook is helpful, as is doing my research now rather than waiting until November. I’ve also discovered that it is helpful to plan writing time focused on my NaNoWriMo project ahead of time. Being organized seems to be something the Type-A organized folks recommend. Of course, pantsers disagree. 

Have you participated in NaNoWriMo in the past? What are some things you learned or helpful tips you’d like to share? 

Are you going to take part in NaNoWriMo this year?

I’d love to hear from you, so be sure and leave your comments in the comment section. 

I am still working on my nonfiction book focusing on prayer and worship. Hopefully, I will finish that by Spring 2019, as the Lord continues to teach me more about prayer and worship.

Happy Writing!

The Devotional Guy™

Ministering Through Writing: The World Needs to Hear Your Voice

I moderate an online critique group, the Christian Writers Circle, on Scribophile. Certainly, it is not a ministry outlet I expected when I left the private sector to work in ministry. As it turns out, God has had a different plan for ministry than I personally had envisioned. Today, I recognize that for me, writing is ministry, just as much as being a worship musician is.

Part of my writing ministry is this blog, The Devotional Guy. Since launching it at the end of 2013, I’ve seen the blog grow, albeit slowly. Ministry isn’t quick. Often, individuals minister without fully seeing the fruit of their efforts. Noah built an ark. None of his neighbors appear to have been converted by his monumental exercise in faith. Jeremiah, the Old Testament prophet, not only didn’t have any converts, he made people angry by preaching the truth. They wanted to silence him in a very permanent way (if you know what I mean). Yet, he wrote prolifically and so his voice continues to be heard in the generations that came long after his. The results of God at work aren’t always as clear and obvious as people (like me) want them to be. Yet, we press on faithfully.

You may have recently decided to use your writing talent to share the Gospel, to inspire people, and to do good things for the advancement of the Kingdom. You quickly learn that writing is often a solitary endeavor. Know that you are never alone. There are others–you just have to find and seek them out–who share your passion for blogging and writing to inspire.

writer-605764_1920

This past week, rummaging through the clearance shelves at my local Half-Price Books, I ran across the book “Writing to Inspire.” It looks like an old book. The print is reminiscent of the early word processor fonts that we thought were so impressive when they first hit the scene. Yes, kids, word processors were considered advanced technology once upon a time. Crazy. The cover is faded and slightly tattered. Published in 1982. Yikes! I feel as old as the book looks now.

“Writing to Inspire” is an anthology edited by William Gentz featuring articles written by several faith writers of a generation past. In the 1980s, the religious market for writing was exploding. The book offers insights on how to get published and find niche markets geared for Christian writers. Several of the articles offer insights into writing better and producing marketable, readable stories, poems, articles and scripts for Christian television and film. It’s a good book highlighting an expansive subject.

home-office-336581_1920

Knowing that others came before us helps us. The Bible, supernaturally inspired by God, is written by human hands. Jeremiah had a friend, Baruch, who served as his scribe and is believed to have helped Jeremiah with writing the books of Jeremiah, Lamentations, and the Book of Kings (1 Kings and 2 Kings).

2 Timothy 3:16-17(NIV) All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

So, you see, writing has played a significant role throughout the history of faith and has proven to be an instrumental ministry to believers through the ages. Blogging is simply a digital form of writing, that can be used to advance God’s kingdom and bring Him praise and glory in the process. Do not be discouraged my faith-writing friend; God promises us that He is with us wherever we go.

Keep writing and blogging! 

The world needs to hear your voice. 

 

Images courtesy of the fine artists at Pixabay.

Using Your Creativity to Advance the Gospel

Jesus loved to tell stories to teach the disciples and even the crowds that gathered in every place that He and the disciples visited. In those days, there weren’t any printed newspapers. The internet didn’t exist. No radio. No TV. Jesus and his troupe generally walked on foot, from town to town. Of course, Scripture notes the occasional boat trip. The stories of their visits traveled around the region, eventually spreading all around the world. Hardly a place exists that hasn’t heard about the story of Jesus and the miracles He performed and the healing that He brought.

We know from the beginning of Scripture that God is creative. He loves to create. He created us, after all. And everything else that IS. As image-bearers of God, we all carry a creative gene in us. Some perhaps more than others. Or maybe, some folks have the opportunity to tap into their creativity more than other people. But many of us yearn to create. I believe the desire to create is part of the God-gene that dwells inside us. Through our creativity, we can pay homage to God, bringing Him glory and praise.

It makes perfect sense, at least to me, that we use our gifts and talents to bring God glory and to tell God stories. God is at work all around us. The world desperately needs to hear, see, read, and experience stories of Jesus transforming lives. The world needs us to share how prayer IS working. We can’t keep these things quiet. We shouldn’t. Rather, we should shout them from every mountaintop.

Weds Writers Pad slide

Yes, it’s easy to get caught up in the darkness and lose sight of the good things happening all around us every single day. A plane making it from point A to point B isn’t deemed newsworthy. We prefer to stop and look at train wrecks over celebrating that millions of people got from one place to another successfully without incident. Good news travels. Bad news travels faster. At least that’s what we’ve come to believe.

But maybe it’s not that good news travels slow or that there is a lack of interest in hearing stories about ordinary people experiencing super exceptional things. Maybe we need to use the tools available to us today to share the work we see God doing and how we see prayer working. How can people know if we don’t tell them? How can they hear if we don’t speak? Ultimately, that’s our job as believers–to share the love of Christ with those we encounter. Through sharing the stories of God at work, we point people in the direction of faith. By sharing our God-stories, we point people to Christ.

How are you using your creative abilities to help advance the Gospel?