Thursday, September 29, 2016

What is in Your Hand

Sometimes we feel desperate for inspiration and try all kinds of techniques and courses to get creativity flowing again. While this approach can be successful to a degree, I’ve realised more and more that I must use what is in my hand.

In Exodus 4:2 the Lord commanded Moses to throw his staff on the ground whereupon it turned into a snake. In other parts of the Bible we read that Moses stretched out his staff to part the Red Sea and struck a rock with it to bring forth water. The staff would have been something he used in shepherding flocks – an everyday occurrence, but God used it for a variety of unexpected purposes.

As writers, it’s easy to confine ourselves to our favourite genre or topic and leave the rest for someone else. I’ve felt challenged to step out of my comfort zone this year and use what is in my hand. At heart, I’m a fiction writer and love weaving stories and creating characters. However, I decided to spend some time on non-fiction using my life experiences.

My first project was to write an e-book about packing wisely for an overseas trip. As a frequent flyer, this was easy to write and it’s been selling consistently. I’ve actually decided to make this a series and am working on book two which is about air travel and book three about choosing accommodation.

My second project is almost ready for release and this is a picture book about Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome (RTS) the rare genetic condition my sister was born with. With the help of a group of Kickstarter supporters and a gifted but affordable illustrator from Fiverr, the book has become a reality. Picture books were never on my agenda but I have intimate knowledge of RTS and discovered there wasn’t anything like it on the market. I used what was in my hand – what I had that could make a difference to others out there.

My question to you is what do you have in your hand? What skills, experience and passions do you have that you could turn into a book? The answer might surprise you.






14 comments:

  1. Great post Debbie. Your blog spoke to me and helped me get a step closer to deciding what God requires of me next. I love it how you wrote a book about RTS and I pray it blesses many families. What a beautiful 'gift' to your sisters it must be. Likewise God has been prodding me about my own experiences with illness - so it seems like I need to use my skills, passions and experiences for His purposes in this too. So thank you for making it clearer for me as I've sought Him about it. Good to hear of your books on travel. Perhaps it's one I should read since I usually pack everything possible, being a Girl guide who is always prepared for any contigency. Well done for using what's in your hand and doing it well.

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    1. Thank you - so glad it's helped bring clarity and move you a step further in your own writing journey!

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  2. Congratulations, Debbie, on getting those non-fiction books out there and using 'what's in your hand' in these ways! Your reminder from Scripture re Moses' experiences has really challenged me today in a different context, so thank you. I have no doubt too that the skills and gifts you use in writing fiction will have overlapped into your non-fiction books as well--this is what I have discovered in my own journey of writing both fiction and non-fiction.

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    1. Wonderful to hear that, Jo-Anne. Thanks for reading my post!

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  3. Thanks for your post, Debbie - very encouraging.

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  4. Hi Debbie, your post about using what already is in our hand spoke directly into the topic I had been mulling over for the past few weeks. Just need to get a couple of promised jobs over the line, and then I can start, taking this as a confirmation from the Lord. Thanks!

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    1. That's great to hear - all the best as you continue on your adventure with God!

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  5. Hi Debbie - love your insight that God used what was for Moses an everyday thing - his shepherd's staff. Thanks.

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  6. Thanks for this excellent post Debbie. I am so happy for you that you've been able to write this book on RTS, and I am certain it will bless many people.
    I have been considering writing about my own disabilities (and my husband's) lately. You've given me a spur on. Thank you, thank you xo
    I shall endeavour to use what God has already put in my hand, more often :-)

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    1. Thanks - it's a real encouragement to know my story has helped someone along their own journey!

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  7. Great post Debbie...so true!
    (Are you an Anne of Green Gables girl? Gilbert Blythe gave Anne the same advice after she was mortified by her fanciful story ending up as an ad for Rollings Reliable baking powder!!)

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  8. Thank you! And no, I have never read Anne of Green Gables! I've always preferred contemporary fiction - but maybe I should make an exception and read it now :)

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