Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Serious faith. Serious fiction. Serious Fun. Marilynn Griffith inspires writers!

Serious faith. Serious fiction. Serious Fun.

Grappling With Goals
by Marilynn Griffith

What's the difference between an author and a writer?

A book.

Sounds blunt, but it's the truth. Every day we change as people, and our words change too. Are you still stirring ten-year-old sentences hoping to make the time to bake them into a book some day?

Well, as my writer friend Wanza Leftwich loves to say--flour ain't bread until you bake it. All the writing books, email groups and grand ideas in the world won't help until we see our writing for what it is--an assignment from God.


In 2001, an obedient friend from church emailed a scripture passage from Second Corinthians that changed my life.

"And in this I give advice: It is to your advantage not only to be doing what you began and were desiring to do a year ago; but now you also must complete the doing of it; that as there was a readiness to desire it, so there also may be a completion out of what you have." (2 Corinthians 8:10,11)

I had abandoned a novel about the previous year. In the wake of a false heart attack, abandoned characters and untold truths marched across my heart. I realized that God's focus wasn't my publishing or my perfection, but my completion. My obedience. I vowed that if He let me walk out of that hospital, I would write and I haven't stopped since. I didn't wantto carry my dreams to the grave.


Dreams don't have deadlines. Goals do. Don't say you'll give yourself a year to write, edit or sell a book, just make it your goal to do so. If it doesn't happen, you won't give up on your dream and you will have completed many of the steps necessary to make it happen.

So grab your pen and go. What do you want to happen this year? Complete a manuscript? Write ten articles and sell them to a hundred markets? Break into hardcover? Find an agent? Whatever it is write it down. For a real treat, make your list and give it to a friend with an envelope and a stamp. When next year arrives, have them send the list back. It's wild, believe me!

So we've resolved to complete the works God has given us. Does that mean we can finish them and shove them in a corner? No. Every minister has someone to minister to and he or she won't stop until they can share their message with those people. So after you've written from your heart, you have to go back and edit from your head, moving the story from your mind to your reader's heart.

As you polish your work, seek the Lord allowing him to direct you to the proper place. For some that might be a writer's conference or correspondence course. For others self-publishing, and yet others the process of finding an agent. Just remember that for all your market research, glowing story and compelling message--God has a plan which supercedes your own.

So get a grip, set a goal and go for it! Just don't forget that you're just the scribe for the greatest writer, Jesus Christ, the author and finisher of our faith. After all, His book is the best seller of all time!

Copyright 2004, Marilynn Griffith. All rights reserved. Do not reprint without permission.

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