Just Write

ProfessionalPic1 - Laura ZimmermanBy Laura Zimmerman

Last year I attended the “Write His Answer” Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference. Although excited to attend, I also had my reservations since I hadn’t published anything traditionally. For months my heart had been heavy at the thought that it might not happen.

My first morning at the conference, I heard a message from a published pastor. He mentioned that after he’d released his first book, he attended a writers’ conference thinking people would line up for his autograph. But they didn’t. He found that he was a tiny fish in a huge sea of authors, and when it came to notoriety, he’d missed the boat.

Then it occurred to him—Maybe publishing that book wasn’t where his worth should reside in the first place.

His words hit home.

Two weeks prior I’d felt God speak to me in prayer. ‘Why do you write? Is it for fame or for Me?’ He had spoken His message to me before the conference, and now He confirmed it. As I sat on that bench and listened to the pastor, I fought back tears of joy and peace. God had spoken to me.

But God’s nudging didn’t end there. I attended a class with a similar theme—then another, and another. God had a message he wanted me to hear.

‘Write for Me, not for them.’

This idea was liberating.

To write God’s words—and not my own—takes away the pressure of having to attain the world’s idea of success. It releases me from the burden that I must see my name displayed in some bookstore window to gain worth. Not to give up those dreams all together, but realizing that the pressure of attaining them belongs to God alone.

Maybe I will see my work traditionally published—maybe not. It’s possible my work will be read by many, or that it’s intended for an audience of One. The important thing is that I write what the Lord has laid on my heart, regardless of fame or fortune.

That’s my job. To seek the Lord, write His message, and share it.

Just write. 

Bio:

Laura L. Zimmerman resides in Phoenix, AZ and is a homeschooling mom to three beautiful daughters. She just moved there from Pennsylvania. She is thankful for a supportive husband, who is always quick to encourage her love of singing, reading and drinking coffee. Laura writes young adult and middle grade fantasy fiction. You can learn more about her at http://www.lauralzimmerman.com, on Twitter @lauralzimm, and on Facebook. Laura is represented by Cyle Young through Hartline Literary Agency.

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Praying for Readers

wessel-HR-8by Cass Wessel

My Canadian friend, Rev. Katherine Burgess, writes the best prayers. Today’s prayer for readers spoke to my writer’s heart. The reason? Readers are among the reasons we do what we do.

Oh yes, we love writing. That flow of ink across parchment, the clicking of the keyboard as words appear magically on the screen in front of us. We simply love to put words down for others to read. The satisfaction that fills us when we complete a project. Even more, we love having our readers respond. Positive responses rock, but negative ones morph into rocks thrown. Not nice . . . besides, good boys and girls play nice, right?

My friend, Katherine, posts a new prayer on Facebook almost every day. I’m grateful for her posts. I pray her prayers, even if I omit stuff because I believe differently. Always, I ask the Lord to change the hearts and lives of those who live contrary to His Word as presented in the New Testament. After all, as another friend’s post read, “forever is a very long time.” So in my mind, I always add a line to her prayers for those who don’t yet know Jesus Christ. I pray they open their hearts to Him, because, eternity is forever. I really, really think withholding the way to heaven isn’t playing nice, so with permission, I’m sharing my friend’s prayer. And that’s my take on writing for today.

A Prayer for Readers
by Rev. Katherine Burgess

I pray, Lord, for readers
For young readers
Who are still mostly
At the stage of picture books
Who tell stories
Instead of reading them
Who like bring cuddled
While they are listening
To a book being read to them
May they always find a thrill
In reading

I pray for those readers
Who have just begun
Chapter books
Books with more
Words than pictures
Who now prefer reading
By themselves
May they still want
To share their books
To talk about what they have read

I pray for adults
Who are often hard-pressed
To find the time to read
In the way they used to
Grant them space
In every day
To spend a few minutes
Or hours
Lost in the world of books

I pray for seniors
Who may be finding it
Difficult to read
Due to failing eyesight
May there always be someone
To read to them
And to spend time with them

Most of all, Lord,
I pray that all who read
Will read your word
So that they will find direction
In a world where
Many are lost
Amen

 

Bio: Cass Wessel is a member of ACFW and ACFW Pennsylvania State Chapter who spends her time reading, writing and critiquing stories to win the heart. A multi-published devotional author, she lives in Tionesta, PA. She’s a mother, grandmother and great-grandmother.