Monday, November 10, 2014

A Step in the Write Direction, November 10, 2014--Trained to Write for Him

A Step in the Write Direction
November 10, 2014

Update: Sunday morning, at 1:20 a.m., I lost my dearest friend of 69 years. Kathy and I had known each other since second grade and shared many great experiences together, including a 14-day tour of Great Britain. I shouldn't say I "lost" her, though, as you only lose something you don't know where it is—and I have no doubt where she is today. When we were in England, we saw Balmoral Castle where the queen was staying and visited Crathey Chapel where she attended church. Just as we left we saw a team of horses pulling a carriage. "The queen is leaving the castle," the tour guide told us. "If we had time, we'd pull over and watch her pass, but we have to stay on schedule." So we missed seeing the queen, but as shown in the song below which was sung so beautifully in church yesterday, Kathy is now in the presence of the King. I'll miss you, Bestest! You brought a lot of joy into my life!

Thought for Today:
I'm a little pencil in the hand of a writing God, who is sending a love letter to the world (Mother Teresa).

Song for Today:
In the presence of Jehovah,
God Almighty, Prince of Peace
Troubles vanish, hearts are mended,
In the presence of the King
            "In the Presence of Jehovah," Geron and Becky Davis

Laugh for Today:
A lady, taking music lessons, was nervously singing her first solo in church.  She came to the phrase, "the fairest of ten thousand," and her voice broke on the word "ten."  She tried a second time and failed.  "Give me my note again," she told the organist and she made the third attempt in vain. Then came a voice from the audience, "Why don't you start over and try for five thousand?"

Writer's Tips:
Trained to Write for Him

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved,
a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who
correctly handles the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15).

Donna Otto tells of a friend, a city girl, who loved plants and decided that gardening was a hobby she’d like to explore, even though the only gardening tools she ever saw in her parents’ garage were a lawn mower and an edger.

She started by reading articles and books and discussing her project with gardening friends. She received a wealth of tips and hints, but when the time came to actually break the soil and start the garden, she found herself stuck.

She explained her problem to Donna. “I have all this information, and I know what I want to do in this garden, but I still don’t have any idea what to do with a hoe!”

What a lesson for writers! We’ve all met people who have a talent for writing, but don’t know what to do with that talent. They’ve read articles and books, talked to friends, attended conferences. They know what they want to do, but when they “break the soil”—put the first word on the page, and eventually finish their manuscript—they don’t know where to go next.

I’ve always liked the slogan Reg Forder, director of American Christian Writers, uses: “Trained to Write for Him.” We may have all the talent in the world, we may be totally inspired, but we need training.

Writing is no different than any other field of work. No one with a mere interest in medicine would attempt brain surgery, nor would someone who can play a few notes on a violin join a symphony orchestra. Yet we often hear someone say, “I want to be a writer,” and think that desire is all that is necessary.

The exciting thing about being a writer is that we never stop learning! No matter how long we’ve written, no matter how many manuscripts we’ve sold, there’s always something new to learn. And we learn by reading writers’ magazines and other authors’ works, attending conferences, meeting with editors, talking to other writers. Grammar rules are updated, publishers’ needs change from year to year, snail mail submissions evolve into e-mail attachments. If we’re going to continue to be successful, we have to keep up with these changes.

There’s one important point to remember, however: We can read every writers’ magazine published, every book on writing, attend writers’ conferences, join writers’ groups, but unless we sit down and write, we won’t be a writer. Some people want to have written, like a girl who “wanted to be a returned missionary.”

It has been said, “Knowledge plus action produces change. Knowledge alone is not enough.”

If you haven’t yet attained your dream of being published, what steps can you take to further reach this goal?

 Have a good week spreading the
gospel through the printed page.

Donna Clark Goodrich


  1. I absolutely love this, Donna. I've been looking for a site to remind me how to start writing when I'm running out of words to write so to speak. It's overwhelming to be writing 2 articles per day, not including the article I need to write on my personal blog at least twice a day. So I always ask God to make me His instrument, a pen to write His message for His children to read. Never fails every time. Blessings!

    1. I'm glad you liked it. You can read past blogs from the last 2 years at the
      same blogspot. Also, a lot of this information is taken from my book "A
      Step in the Write Direction--the Complete How-to Guide for Christian
      Writers" which is on sale right now for half price ($12.50) plus $3.17 s&h.
      I only have 20 left before it comes out in a new edition. My email is: