Light Up Your Writing
My one hundred-pound German Shepherd is afraid of the dark. It’s true. He’s huge, has a big scary bark, and he’s a baby.
He’s also the sweetest dog and we’re crazy about him. And, I don’t fault him for his fear of the dark. It’s scary sometimes.
And it reminds me a lot of writing.
Because folks, writing can be extremely scary. Regardless of the writing time you’ve put in. Whether you’re a new writer contemplating if you’re “allowed” to call yourself a writer, to the seasoned writer struggling with those days of self-doubt. Writing can be scary.
When I first started writing, I refused to tell anyone outside of my home what I was doing. I was harboring a deep secret. And, if I failed, no one would know. I wouldn’t be disappointing anyone. There was no risk.
I just wrote and enjoyed the process. The problem was once the story was done, it sat there. Hidden in my computer. The only way to move forward was to expose the story to the outside world and into the light.
So…I did. I entered my first writing contest.
And all of my excitement was shot down in flames when I received my scores.
I had two choices. Give up or roll up my sleeves and learn.
I chose learn. I wanted to grow and become a better writer. So, I continued learning craft, attending conferences, reading books, anything that would help me. (Incidentally, that learning process never ends).
Then something changed. I realized that this writing thing I do isn’t just for me. I want to share a message. To share whatever wonderful gospel message I can through story. And that meant allowing God to bring those stories into the light.
Do you write to be seen in the light? Is your writing illuminating the darkness around you? Would someone reading your words think you were writing to show your works are done to carry out God’s work in your life?
“But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.” John 3:21 (ESV)
God gives us what to share and we do. He gives us the creativity and the stories that change our hearts before changing the hearts of our readers. I don’t know about you, but I am fully convinced that without him, I can’t write a thing worth reading.
John answered, “A person cannot receive even one thing unless it is given him from heaven.” John 3:27 (ESV)
Isn’t that great news? I know so many people who are determined to force things. They are determined to meet their word count. To spend X number of hours writing each day. No. Matter. What.
But what if writing is so much more than that? What if it’s about creating with God as Allan Arnold teaches, and just sharing those amazing moments in the light of his presence? What if it’s about so much more? And what if in those moments, we discover the story flowing freely through our fingers almost faster than we can get the words out?
I’ve been there. Both sides of it and the one where I create with the Lord is so far beyond my imagination wonderful. You see, he never intended for us to do it alone. That’s why he’s always with us.
All of that to say, don’t be afraid. Let God illuminate your writing. And enjoy the journey.
Colorado native Sharee Stover lives in Nebraska with her real-life-hero husband, three too-good-to-be-true children, and two ridiculously spoiled dogs. A self-proclaimed word nerd, she loves the power of the written word to transform, ignite and restore. Her Christian romantic suspense stories combine heart-racing, nail-biting suspense and the delight of falling in love all in one.
She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Romance Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and Nebraska’s Writer’s Guild. Sharee is a three-time Daphne du Maurier finalist and the winner of the 2017 Wisconsin Fabulous Five Silver Quill Award. Her debut book, Secret Past, was named the 2019 Best First Book by the National Excellent in Romance Fiction Awards.
When she isn’t writing, Sharee enjoys reading, crocheting and long walks with her obnoxiously lovable German Shepherd. Visit her at https://www.shareestover.com/.
Suspected of a crime she knows she didn’t commit…
All she wants for Christmas is to remember.
Blood on her blouse. A gun in her hand. A cartel leader’s dead body in front of her. Widow Asia Stratton can’t remember what happened—just that she’s been framed. The only way to prove her innocence is to work with her ex-sweetheart, Nebraska state trooper Slade Jackson. But can they clear her name before this Christmas turns even deadlier?
You can find Silent Night Suspect on Amazon and other retailers now. Sharee has graciously agreed to give away 1 paperback copy to a US resident. It is a great book! (I’ve just finished reading it). One winner will be drawn from the commenters on December 11, 2019.