Hello there,


One of the best books I’ve read on writing and negotiating the publishing industry is called

Spiritual Writing: From Inspiration to Publication by Deborah Herman.

As I revamp of my blog life, I thought this was an appropriate book to share with my new writing friends. This book as been a huge help to me and I hope this helps someone…

Back in 2004 when I was an aspiring writer with zero confidence in my own abilities, I was handed this book by a friend and coworker you saw an inkling of talent in my writing. Tony was a man of few words and when he spoke, his words carried an air of sensibility and made me sit up and listen. He handed me the book and simply said, “I know you’re struggling to get something down on paper and I think this will help.”

The funny thing was, I didn’t remember telling Tony that I was struggling to get something down on paper, but somehow he knew. I’d made several false starts to write the book that had been rolling around in my head for years. I’d been a technical writer for most of my professional life and I understood the mechanics of writing. I did it every day for a living. Policy manuals, desk references and training materials – I could do that stuff in my sleep. But this novel was different.

This novel wasn’t a step-by-step detailed explanation of how to carry out a government regulation. This novel represented a story about life, love, purity and faith. This novel represented the tenets of my faith and the issues I held dear to my heart. These were words of life that people were going to read, not because it was required reading for the job, but because they chose to read something they found important and valuable. I could not mess this up.

This story was my legacy for my child and every other young girl with a hope and a promise in her heart. My main character was a young girl from a family of overachievers who’d risen out of the depths of poverty and despair to accomplish great things. Having benefitted from all of her families pain, struggle and determination, Trinity was to become the voice of reason and the example of purity and abstinence for every girl who read my book. It would be (and is) a life-changer.

Yet, to my horror, every time I sat down to tell her story, I could not find the words. I knew what I wanted to say. I had the story memorize from cover to cover. I could see the images of every scene and I could hear every conversation in my head. I had lived with these characters for years. I knew them and they knew me. But every time I tried to sit down and tell their story, I drew a blank. Everything I’d put down on paper was flat, superficial and uninspired. I was devastated and ready to chuck the whole idea of being a writer when Tony showed up in my office with this gift wrapped package. By the time I tore open the paper and read the title, Tony was gone. As I started to read, I realized his work was done. He’d delivered to me just what I needed.

After reading just a few pages, my eyes were opened to the writing process. The truths I read helped my find my voice and gave me the courage to try again. Basically, it cleared up a lot of questions for me and gave me permission to just do me. What’s even more astonishing to me is that these lessons have stayed with me through six novels.
Here were the most helpful for me.

As I’ve mentioned earlier, my biggest struggle was just getting started. Chapter One were the only words I wrote many, many nights and those two little words were pretty daunting. But thank God Tony gave me that book because the writer made one simple statement that changed everything for me and it went something like this.

“If God has given you a story to write, it’s there. If God has given you something to say it’s there on the inside of you, but it’s not coming from you. It’s coming from God and the only way to get that story out of you is for you to yield to the spirit within, but God is the true author. The writing comes from you and your connection to God working hand in hand. You make the choice to be a vessel for this information.”

Oh…that made so much sense to me. Then writer the suggested that when you sit down to write, go to the header first and type the words, “Holy Spirit speak…” I know it may sound a little loopy to some of you, but I promise when I did that and waited a moment, I felt the presence of God come and the words simply flowed. I finished my first novel in three months and I’m currently working on my sixth. I no longer write the words in the header, but I never write a word without asking God to give me what to say. I am continually amazed with what He comes up with. It’s always from His heart, always based on His word and just what needs to be said.

This one tip had the most profound effect on me, but here are a few more that I keep close by when I need a refresher.

“If you have a calling to write, if there is an inner voice begging to be heard, you are already blessed.”

“Many writers hesitate because they are afraid of not being good enough. Don’t let that be you. Remember you have a message to share, from your own unique perspective. If you feel compelled to write assume that you have the ability. If you area able to get your fears out of the way and tap into the divine, you will have no reason to think otherwise.”

“Set your intentions. Be clear about what it is you want from your writing. Do you want it simply to help you reflect and deepen your understanding of life and it’s happenings? Do you want to publish your words so that they are out there for whoever can find value in them? Or do you want nothing less than a blockbuster? It’s important to be clear about this, because when you set your intention, events are put into motion.”

In all fairness, let me make this disclaimer: This book is a little on the “New Age” side. The writer makes a lot of reference to spiritual ideals that some may not agree with, but the book is not sacrilegious. It doesn’t try to attack or explain religious view points or differences, but it does address the challenges writers face when they write from a spiritual perspective. It’s called Spiritual Writing for that reason. In my opinion, in spite of the New Age inferences, the practical information for the serious writer is invaluable. The information is direct, straight forward and extremely helpful. I suggest you read it and if you come across something you don’t agree with just eat the corn and leave the stalk.

For anyone who has a desire to write, but can’t seem to pull it together, I highly recommend this book. It kept me from throwing my career away.

Blessings and much success to you in your writing!

Melissa

Comments

  1. Thanks for sharing this. I've found that there are people who have a story to tell but don't know how to get started. Just yesterday I was talking to a lady who's not sure how to get started. Maybe this book is what she needs. For those writing Christian fiction, there's no place better to start that seeking inspiration from the Holy Spirit.

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