Monday, March 31, 2014

It's Not a Waste of Time by Nola Passmore



One of the reasons I write is that I want to change the world.  Okay, maybe that’s a bit lofty, but it would be nice to think our writing is having some impact.  If you’re like me, there are days when you really feel like you’re making a difference, and other days (maybe even seconds later on the same day), when you wonder if you’re just deluding yourself.  Is anything I’m writing really having an effect?  Is there anyone out there who feels challenged, uplifted, or entertained by the words I write?

If things don’t seem to be going well, it can certainly be an opportunity to consider whether you need to make some changes.  However, if we’re faithful to what God has called us to do, we have a guarantee.  Nothing we do in the Lord’s service is in vain.  I love the way Paul’s words to the Corinthian believers are translated in the Message Bible: ' ...don’t hold back.  Throw yourselves into the work of the Master, confident that nothing you do for him is a waste of time or effort' (1 Cor. 15:58).  That doesn't mean that we run ourselves into the ground trying to wring the last second out of each day, but if God has directed us towards a task, we know that it's worthwhile.  The famous missionary and explorer David Livingstone reportedly had only one convert during his 32 years in Africa, yet he sowed the seeds for the hundreds of missionaries who came later.  What if he had given up after a year because he didn't feel he was making an impact?

I've also been thinking of the value of a blog like Christian Writers Downunder, so I thought I'd share some statistics with you.  Since it started in July 2011, there have been 324 blog posts by more than 50 different writers.  The site has had almost 140 000 page views.  All of the blog posts attract comments.  Most have at least 70 page views, with many in excess of 100.  Rose Dee's post 'Who needs Minions when you have perspective' received 633 views and Paula Vince's post that likened readers to pickled onions received 530.  Imagine what could have happened if they'd written about Minions who like pickled onions!

If you have 10 minutes spare sometime, browse through the archived posts on this blog site or look for particular authors and themes using the search function.  There's an amazing array of different topics and viewpoints.  Truly something for everyone.  Thanks to the internet, those posts are a lasting legacy that can be read again and again, reminding us of Jesus' words in John 15:16a: 'You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit--fruit that will last' (NIV).

Please hear my heart.  I'm not mentioning the achievements of the group so that we can give ourselves a collective pat on the back.  Christian Writers Downunder is God's group first and foremost and we're just one of many Christian writers groups that are trying to make a difference (e.g., Omega Writers, Australasian Christian Writers and FaithWriters to name a few).  None of us is perfect and there are sometimes bumps along the way, but God can work through us to encourage each other, bless the wider community, and help advance His Kingdom.

Do you ever wonder if writing is worth it?  Commit it to God and you'll be amazed at what he can do with a heart submitted to Him.


Nola Passmore is a freelance writer who has had more than 100 short pieces published in various magazines, journals and anthologies (including poetry, devotions, magazine articles, true stories, and short fiction).  She and her husband Tim have just started their own freelance writing and editing business called The Write Flourish. She loves writing about what God has done in her life and encouraging others to do the same.  (Some call it 'nagging', but she calls it encouragement).

Thursday, March 27, 2014

What Could I Say?

By Dianne Riley


It is hard to write a book, much less get it published!

My friend’s eyes were sparkling as she told me about the book she was writing.  
We were in the food court at the local shopping centre and she believed our running into each other was a gift straight from God.  
It took some time to hear about the autobiography and I have to say, I was a good listener.  
Then the question came.  “So how will I get it published?”

My friend’s eyes were eagerly watching me, expecting.  
A thought ran through my mind 'Speak the truth in love'.  
Ever so gently I gave my friend some tips.  
It was her turn to listen. 
Everything I was saying seemed very hard for her to take in.

My friend’s eyes were darting from my eyes to my mouth, waiting for an opportunity.  Her responses were fast and frequent in coming as I spoke.  She didn't own or know how to operate a computer, her story was in long hand.  Her friend, who is a teacher, was good at editing.  Everyone she knows wants to read her book.
 
What could I say?
I encouraged her to keep writing, to get her story down, even in long hand.  
I told her to be careful not to over use the word ‘that’.  I encouraged her to go to the Library, to read lots and to have a turn of the computer there. (Particularly to look up Christian Writers Downunder blogspot)  
I encouraged her to keep writing, to never lose the enthusiasm for her story.

My friend’s eyes were still sparkling as we parted.  Her emotional tank was full and she felt truly blessed to have bumped into me…..a real author, with a real book.

I’m not sure whether her story will ever make it into book form but as Lucy Swindoll says ‘Nothing is wasted in God’s economy’.

My emotional tank was full too, I loved being able to share my writing journey and the experience I have gained over the years.


What do you think; did I give the right answer?


A self-published real author, with a real book.
Visit Dianne Riley's website

Monday, March 24, 2014

Who Are You Writing For? – By Natalie McNee



“Can you believe it?!” I screeched at my husband, “I didn’t even get a mention! Not even a thank you!” anger rang through my voice but hurt was etched across my face as I shook a book in front of him. I was holding the published work of a client’s book that I had spent many hours over a few months editing/rewriting pro bono as they couldn’t afford my services but I really believed in the message of the book and felt led by the Holy Spirit to help them out. I had just read the acknowledgement section which had listed everyone from family members to the illustrators and cover designers, listing their websites and contact details but there was no mention of my name or a thank you for my help anywhere on the page. My husband just looked at me matter of factly and asked, “Who are you writing for?” I stared blankly back at him, what did he mean who was I writing for? Again he asked the question and then the light bulb switched on – “For God.” I sighed. I didn’t mention the book or incident again.

Fast forward a few months - I was eagerly awaiting an email reply with a critique to a manuscript I had sent in, I was so proud of this piece of work, as a writer I am my harshest critic but this one I was actually satisfied with, I had first sent it to my critique group and they all loved it, I made a few edits according to their suggestions and then sent it off to the publisher. Not once did I have a nagging feeling that I should dissect and re-write it a million times (isn’t this what most writers do with their work?). The email finally popped up but WHAM it was like a whack in the face; “We suggest you tear this up and partake in some studies of your craft before you write another story again!”
 
“This has to be some sort of cruel joke.” I thought to myself. I’ve been writing professionally for seven years and some of the books I’ve ghostwritten have been number one bestsellers on Amazon within the Christian market and now I’m being told that I’ve got no talent! I’ve received rejection letters before – it comes with the territory but this time I burst into tears, again I ran to my husband, he listened sympathetically but when I told him I was quitting, that I had had enough he asked; “Who are you writing for?” I knew the answer first up this time, “God!” I sighed again. I sat quietly and asked God what He thought of my work, there was no denying His presence and I sensed His face smiling down on me.

I didn’t tear the work up and I didn’t quit writing, I went straight back to the keyboard and started on a new piece of work. As writers we are often told to write for the reader; publishers have specific requirements which pertain to their readers buying habits but through experience I have noticed that if you write from your heart and dedicate your work to the Lord there will always be readers who will genuinely praise your work for speaking into their lives and there will always be sales but even better than this you will experience the satisfaction of the Lord’s smile upon you. He has gifted you with penmanship, He will guide your work and His praise is far more worthy than anything received here on Earth. Be encouraged to follow your dream and write for God


Bio
Natalie is a freelance copywriter and ghostwriter servicing the Christian market. She is also the co-owner of Flowers To Remember. Natalie proudly supports Compassion through the Child Advocate Network and volunteers for the Street Chaplains in her free time. To connect with her on various social networks please visit her website www.nataliemcnee.com
 

Monday, March 17, 2014

A Cool Drink of water

The other day we had a family dinner & movie night - home-made pizzas and the Disney Pixar film The Incredibles. There is a scene early in the movie where two under-cover superheros are rescuing people from a burning building. Lucius Best AKA Frozone has the ability to create ice, from the water in his body, and the water in the air. In this hot burning environment he is too dehydrated, and there is no moisture in the air. The building starts to fall apart and they find themselves in a jewelry shop - mistaken for thieves.

Frozone is empty, he cannot use his powers. He has to take a quick drink from a water cooler to get back his abilities. This got me thinking. Often in life we can do things that empty us in some way, and need to re-fill. I thought about this in both spiritual and creative senses.

If we keep trying to "do stuff" for God, but never refill from his word and time spent with Him then we’re going to run dry and not be effective. In his post last week, Gregory Morris did a good job of talking about refilling and refueling from God’s word, and there’s certainly nothing more I could add to this.

In relation to our creative life, I think similar laws apply. In our writing, we are pouring out creativity but we need to refill our creative tank sometimes. I’m not talking about reading writing craft books and here, that is also absolutely vital, but I’m think of that as equipping ourselves with the right tools. I think we can refill our creative tank by consuming good stories.

I am trying to change the way I read stories. Traditionally, I've just become swept away by the story, but not thought too much about what the author is doing, and how they’re doing it. I am trying more and more to be a little more aware of what is going on around me when I read for pleasure. I’m not talking about full-on studying the text, but just having a greater awareness. Maybe other people are better at this and just do it naturally.

As example of this happened with me recently.. I’m currently reading A Cast of Stones by Patrick W. Carr. This Christian Fantasy has as its protagonist Eroll - a young drunk. He has no ambition or purpose in his life but to raise enough money for his next ale binge. There is nothing about him to make him a sympathetic protagonist. Contrast Eroll with another character - Liam. Liam is attractive, intelligent, kind and better than most with a sword. In addition to all of this, He is humble about his abilities and not at all stuck up. Everything about this character says we should love him - he is the perfect hero. The fascinating thing is that as we read the book, we identify strongly with Eroll, we care about him, and we quickly learn to dislike Liam. Why?

The author has done a very good job of making Eroll sympathetic to us. We stick very close in his point of view. We live through the danger with him as unknown assassins try to kill him. Then, we view Liam through the lense of Eroll’s jealousy. I was quite shocked at myself when I realised that I had resentful feelings toward Liam. That just shows what a good job the author did. Later in the book, when we find out why Eroll has descended into a drinking problem, we feel for him even more deeply because we already feel close to him.

I think this kind of observational reading can help recharge our tank, just like Frozone drinking that water, and I am going to try to more consciously do it.


Adam CollingsAdam Collings is a writer of speculative fiction and video blogger. He is actively working toward becoming a published author. He lives in Tasmania, Australia. Adam discusses books and movies on his youTube series Stories. You can find Adam on-line at collingszone.wordpress.com or his Google+ Profile

Influencers in the Business Realm

God champions the heart of business owners; we are called in God’s Kingdom to influence the business realm in its many varied forms.  One of my favourite stories in the bible is that of Nehemiah: God put on his heart a burden for a city and then took him and showed him the plan.  Nehemiah had to go to action and press on in faith when so much seemed against him. 

Yet in the midst of being told by outsiders that he was wasting his time (heck it was just a pile of rubble after all) and told by insiders (his colleagues as it were) that maybe he needed to just pull back a little and reshape some things because it wasn’t all going to a nice tidy streamlined plan. 

Oh I love the heart of God who places us as business men and women amongst a pile of rubble, puts a plan in our hand and pours out his favour and grace in measures way beyond what we understand.  In 52 days the city was rebuilt because of our incredible God who is so faithful to every word He has promised.

A couple of weeks ago I wrote the following poem.

IN THAT MOMENT

Glory, glory, I sense the glory
And I am brought to my knees
For His love is so intense
Yet so refreshing as He wraps around me

I bow my head in awe
As He reaches out to me
But who am I but a battle-weary soldier
As I kneel before my King

But in that MOMENT
All my fears and anxieties are swept out
His eyes of warmth and of fire still me.
He whispers close: “Warrior do NOT doubt”

For His glory as it rises
As it swirls, as it dances upon me
My soul knows well: I can be strong in the One I have found
For indeed I am standing on holy ground.

As a woman in business to find a moment can be one of the most challenging things to do.  There is always the juggling act; and yes we have to continually think about ways we can work smarter and not harder – what can I outsource, who can I train up, what are creative ways I can get some help?  We do need to literally diary those slow moments and sometimes we just have to toss the list out the window. 

My life can look somewhat hectic at the best of time and the good old guilt starts to creep in that I am not spending enough time with family, or that the windows of the house do need a good clean; or if I don’t put my name down on a church roster I may be considered a heretic – LOL! 

I am real, I am passionate and I know this that God has called me to do life through the vehicle of my business to the glory of His name.   I need Him to remind me to take deep breaths and to not shoulder the burden: for in Him I live and breathe and have my being.

Ask God to take your business [or your community initiative, or your book you are writing or the music you are composing and so on] and explode it upon the nations for His pleasure and goodwill.  Ask God to place a marketing plan [or book chapters or notes and lyrics] in your hand that will astound any social media marketing guru.  God delights in us and the filing cabinets of heaven are open wide to those who would call out to him in prayer – conversations as you drive the car on the school run, as you go down the grocery isle, as you walk in to the business negotiation meeting and so on.  

Soak yourself in the Word, listen to podcasts, read and study in the area of your business industry; be at the forefront of what is happening in your business sector.  Put the prophetic trumpet to your lips and blow it loud – take those ideas nestled in your heart and give it a go.  Apply wisdom, get advice, put it to prayer, but don’t hesitate, take action, take a step and then another step. 

Being in business as a women is not about filling in time because you can’t think of anything better to do; but it is the Father’s heart for you to minister to many through your business – ministering to people does not mean ending every sentence in thus saith the Lord, but it is the way in which you speak to your clients, the integrity of your products and services; how conflict is handled when it arises among employees and so on – these are just a few examples.  

Your business is forging a legacy, a path for the next generation to stand on.  You are building for the sake of the Kingdom and even though you will feel at times like that battle-wearied soldier, take that MOMENT to remember as you put together both faith and action – both the sword and hammer as it was in the times of Nehemiah - that momentum will build.  Many will marvel and will exclaim surely only the Lord could have done this.

To your business growth and success!


Maree Cutler-Naroba
Ideas 2 Propel U
Igniting Dreams | Evoking Action



Friday, March 14, 2014

Sight But No Vision... by Gregory R. Morris

Where there is no revelation, people cast off restraint; but blessed is the one who heeds wisdom’s instruction. ~ Proverbs 29:18 (NIV)

At first glance…you may not readily recognize this verse but we’ve all heard a man or woman of God minister from this passage or we’ve probably quoted it a time or two as well. The King James frames it this way, “Where there is no vision, the people perish but He that keepeth the law, happy is he”. In other words, without divine guidance, vision or prophetic revelation from God…we are prone to “cast off restraint”, run wild and literally stumble all over ourselves” in a futile attempt to find our way. What a vivid description of the human condition apart from total reliance on God.  If there was ever a time to immerse ourselves in the Word of God…that time is now. “A lamp to our feet and light to our path” (Psalm 119:105)…we find direction for our lives as we make time to open His Word, meditate, study, prayerfully consider and apply it. There is no sliding scale or “let’s make a deal” or quit option concerning the importance of the Word of God and our submission to it. Spiritually so…it is literally a life or death scenario.

Stripped of her hearing and sight at age nineteen months by illness…Helen Keller said it best, “The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision." So imagine the blessing of placing your life under the authority and guidance of God’s Word on a daily basis. Imagine the spiritual growth, discernment, insight and vision you would gain over the next few days, weeks, months! There’s nothing like abiding in God’s presence as He readily reveals to us what’s on His mind and His heart about us. As awesome as 20/20 vision is…someone possessing 20/10 vision can see things twice as clearly. It’s vision with greater clarity, focus and direction. King David articulates this way, “Before I learned to answer you, I wandered all over the place, but now I’m in step with your Word.” ~ Psalm 119:67 (MSG)

So my friend why settle for the mundane, the status quo and the “just enough”? Go for “GREATER”!! 

Pastor Gregory Morris is a communicator at heart with a passion to share the Gospel via the spoken word, the written word and song. As the “pen of a ready writer”…the mandate upon his life is twofold: a) to reach a hurting, broken world by extending hope through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and b) to equip and empower born again Christians by igniting a greater thirst and hunger for God’s Word through sound, balanced teaching and preaching. 

Monday, March 10, 2014

Animals from Left Field by Rachel Timmins

One morning when I was feeling a little fragile God suddenly began to show me a story to cheer me up. It was a simple story which made me laugh like a child. I typed the story and showed a variety of people who all enjoyed it for different reasons.

I had an idea that God intended me to write children’s stories, but though I waited on God in prayer it was about two years before another story came to me. When I write I often see the story unfolding in my mind with no clear idea of its ending. Sometimes the characters come to life with their own personalities without my efforts.

I decided to use animals as characters that were not the typical domestic or farm animals so that I could educate children a little. 

For two of the stories the characters and plot were inspired by celebrities.  I was wondering if that person were an animal would kind would they be?

One of the celebrities was Richard Hammond from the television program Top Gear.  Richard loves motorcycles and nature. He also likes a creature called a Honey Badger. He stated once that he would be a Honey Badger if there was another life after this one.  I decided to write a story about a Honey Badger who was in a motorcycle race in Africa where the animal is native.  I knew of another African creature called a Rock Hyrax.  They raced each other around a rough track, had an adventure and became friends.

The second celebrity was controversial journalist Julian Assange. Would he be a good guy or a bad guy? It may be hard to say, so I chose an animal with spots and white fur - a snow leopard. The leopard in the story was a journalist and the story fell into place.

The stories were printed into a small book which I illustrated myself. If you want to illustrate your work but can’t draw you could trace a picture, taking care not to breach copyright. Cartooning pens, pencils or crayons might work for the colouring and shading. Alternately you could use your own photography.

Children’s stories are a great opportunity for humour for adults as well as kids. For example, in one of my stories two hedgehogs were friends who hugged each other ‘very carefully’.

No theme had been planned for the collection of stories but it turned out to be ‘friendship’. All the stories had a positive ending while a couple also addressed more serious subjects like injury or death.  They are aimed primarily at children who are recovering from illness or trauma, so nothing truly upsetting occurs in any of the stories.

If you are considering children’s story writing, your goals/themes could include:
.  morality
.  humour
.  educational
.  healing / ministering
.  spiritual

If you have any ideas, write them down and let your imagination run wild creating a story around them.


BIO

I am an amateur writer and I have been involved in a writer’s group for the past four years. I have had devotionals and poems published in the anthologies, Penned from the Heart, Footprints magazine, The Mozzie, The Voices Project, and a travel article for the Sunday Mail. Poetica Christi is to publish a poem of mine in their upcoming anthology.

Many of my poems are cathartic or helpful to others relating to a background of abuse. As a Christian I believe God has healed me of trauma. I hope by writing to encourage other women to believe that healing is possible and that life is worth living.  Overcoming the past has been a long journey for me.


Thursday, March 6, 2014

You have to be there

I was giggling at my computer this afternoon. Real throat chuckles with a couple of good snorts thrown in.
My husband, sitting out of sight, could hear me.
“What is it?” he asked.
I tried, between breathless guffaws to describe the video clip I’d just watched.
“…And then he kind of let go of the ball and the whole thing went into the ceiling… ha ha ha!” Tears of laughter ran down my face, but my husband seemed unmoved.
“Huh,” he said. “Guess you had to be there.”
I didn’t answer him. Actually, I couldn’t. By this time I had slid off my chair and was writhing on the floor. (Yes, I’m committed to my humour. When something’s really funny and I’m with other people I have to leave the room or risk embarrassing myself by being unable to control my giggle reactions.)
Finally, my husband walked over. I scrolled back up to the top of the list of ’37 Fails’ so that he could see the whole collection of clips. By number two he was laughing. By 15 he was snorting. When the guy finally threw the bowling ball into the ceiling he yelled with delight.
It turned out he was right. You definitely had to be there.

* * *

At the close of the day I’m usually in the kitchen with my mind on pasta or chicken or whatever-the-heck-I’m-going-to-feed-the-kids-today. One night last week my eight year old son came running through the back door, beaming with excitement.
“Mum, mum!” he said. “Come and look at this! You have to!”
“What is it?” I said, half-heartedly, checking the boil of the pot on the stove.
“It’s a sunset!” he said. “It’s amazing.”
“Lovely!” I said. My enthusiasm was minimal. I mean, I’ve seen lots of sunsets. “That sounds great.”
“No! You have to come and see it!”
He dragged me outside, reluctant, apron-clad and busy. But as soon as my eyes saw the palette of colour and light spread across the sky, I was uplifted, enriched and overjoyed. There were no words for the enveloping beauty my son had taken me to be part of that evening.

* * *

Here’s the point. You’ve got to be there.
To be overtaken by the joke and laugh until you’ve nearly wet your pants, you’ve got to see the clip, sit in the audience, be in the room. It’s not the same to try to picture what someone’s relaying to you. It doesn’t allow you to wince or cringe at the really bad bits or read that double-meaning typo again and again, giggling more each time.
To be moved and transformed by a sunset, you have to put your apron aside, walk out the door and lift up your eyes. It’s not the same to imagine a sunset in your head. It doesn’t bring with it the sparkle of the light or the gentle fatigue of the evening breeze.
You have to be there.
But what happens when you flip this around?
I’ll be honest. I don’t like hard things. If I could organise my own life, I wouldn’t choose a year of being bullied at boarding school as an eleven year old. I wouldn’t choose 30 years of constant grief and goodbyes. I wouldn’t choose to parent a child with a disability who for 6 years only communicated via impressive meltdowns.
I’d prefer an easy existence. Most of us would, I’m sure.
However, I’m also pretty convinced that most of us would prefer books that include some challenges. Where’s the learning, the suspense, the thrill or the adventure in a story where the main character has no issues, and an idyllic childhood, perfect friends, a snug, middle-class home and a lucrative career to boot? Yeah. Boring.
To be a good, even a great writer, you’ve got to create challenges for your characters.
It’s pretty hard for me to create a scene where my character is suffering intense embarrassment if I’ve never been embarrassed. It’s difficult to write about bullying if I’ve never been bullied. It’s impossible to write the deep, dark nights of the soul if I’ve never had to claw my way out of depression.
To write well, I’ve got to have been there. Or at least close to there.

* * *

God’s a writer.
And here’s the question. Is it fair for us to expect him, the master author, to create boring stories for our lives?
Yes, I’ve whinged (often and long) about the challenges in my life. I’ve been cranky, bitter and self-pitying about them. I’ve desired other things and looked enviously at other people’s apparently happier lives, thinking that I’ve probably missed out and that (my personal favourite) It’s Not Fair.
Clearly a change of perspective is needed. If you ‘have to be there’ to understand it, and if you have to understand it to write it, I’m a pretty fortunate woman.
Because I’ve been there.


Cecily Paterson is the author of the award-winning memoir Love Tears & Autism. She now writes teen fiction for girls.

(Oh, and if you’d like to see what the giggles were about, go here: http://www.buzzfeed.com/alanwhite/37-people-who-failed-so-spectacularly-they-almost-won)

Monday, March 3, 2014

The Hard Knocks of Editing

by Charis Joy Jackson

There comes a time in every writer's life when we must edit our manuscripts. Beautiful prose & our favorite paragraphs are often the ones that end up on the cutting room floor.

If you're anything like me, you'll know how painful these edits can be.

Let me introduce you to The University of Hard Knocks by Ralph Parlette, a delightful little book I found recently at a book festival. Initially, I was attracted by its worn surface & romantic aroma of vanilla & dirty almonds held captive between the pages. It was published in 1928, which just furthered my delight. There's something about holding a book filled with words from a different time that makes my head giddy.

Imagine my delight when I opened this little treasure chest of wisdom to discover the whole thing was about choosing to walk into the "bumps" life gives us & let them be our teachers. I'm delving into the second draft of my first novel now & much as I love to write, it's still hard to cut things I cherish from the first draft, even though I know my story is becoming stronger.

The University of Hard Knocks is a great addition to my library at work, not only because it's old & looks cool on my desk, but I thought it would be funny to peg it at people who complain about their stories & tell them, "Welcome to the University of Hard Knocks. Now stop complaining & get back to work."

I'm not really that mean, but the idea made me smile.

I may not toss the book at people (it might get damaged) but I do encourage them to read the first page titled, The Books Are Bumps.

The University of Hard Knocks by Ralph Parlette                                        

I am being pulverized.

I work in a film office where we write new stories & edit them all the time. When someone is stubborn with their script, their story suffers. If they hold their story with an open hand & welcome the constructive criticism, their stories become stronger.

The first short film I wrote was very special to me. Every time I was given even the slightest of criticisms, I would hold my story even closer & say "My characters aren't like that." The closer I held it, the worse it became. In the end, I didn't have a story, because I refused to take the advice. Instead of being a project I am proud of, all I can see are the mistakes I thought were pearls.

Thankfully, I have learned my lesson. I hear a piece of constructive criticism & the person can barely finish when I'm already making the necessary changes.

How did I finally learn this lesson? When I realized the story was still my story. I always thought if I changed the story to the way it was suggested, it was no longer mine, but this is simply not true.

It's like makeup.

Applying makeup doesn't change me into a different person, it just enhances the beauty already there. Editing & constructive criticism are similar. They are meant to enhance and reveal what we have said & make it clearer.

When it comes to my novel, I've discovered I'm still in need of a few "bumps" to help me push forward. I tell myself, "Don't be afraid to cut lines you love most." or "It's all part of the University of Hard Knocks." It's true. In the long run it will only make our stories stronger, leaner & more easily enjoyed by the masses. Even if you have to make one of your favorite characters into a "bad guy".

So here's a challenge for us - hold our stories with open hands. Instead of getting disheartened or hurt by criticism, see it for the good it is, allow the bumps to teach us how to make our story stronger.

What do you think, wanna take the challenge with me?





Charis Joy Jackson is working as a missionary with Youth With a Mission (YWAM) a non-profit organization & is part of The Initiative Production Company. She loves creating stories & is currently writing a novel, which she hopes to create into a seven part series. 

Here's to a life lived in awe & wonder. 
Welcome to the adventure.