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


  1. Great post Di. I think you handled that really well. You told her the truth, but without taking the wind out of her sails. It's great that you were able to share from your experience and also good that she was able to receive it. I love mentoring people too. It can be a real buzz to know that God is helping you to help others with the knowledge and experience He's given. Take care.

    1. Thanks Nola
      I had that split second do I answer without taking the wind from her sails....that's when speak the truth in love REALLY helped me answer!

  2. As one who began in longhand and asked my husband to type it up for me, I understand where she's coming from. Oh my, did I have a l-o-n-g way to go. But I loved every step. You were both kind and a good listener, Diane, and your advice can only help her. Time will tell whether she has the resolve to continue on despite the inevitable setbacks. Everyone has to start somewhere.

    1. Thanks Rita
      I think my friend is very courageous considering she is in her early 70's!
      Knowing how therapeutic writing can be I hope she manages to get her life story down....perhaps her only audience will be herself - still worth it!

  3. Bless you Dianne. That was a beautiful post. Loved that God opportunity and bless you for blessing her. Just the fact that 1. She ran into you and 2. You listened to her and 3. Helped her with some practical tips was awesome. As you said - perhaps it would be only for herself and that would be good. Perhaps her children and grandchildren would delight in it. Perhaps your wisdom would have paved the way for her to get it published. I love the way we Christians all need each other - perhaps one day she will in turn be encouraging another aspiring young writer just the way you encouraged her. Of course you gave the right answer! :)

  4. Yes Dianne, you gave her the right answer. Bless you for what you have done in her life. Whether we are published writers or not yet published writers, we must encourage all who have the courage to try getting what's in their heads down. I know, from the writing group I facilitate, just how hard that can be sometimes but nevertheless it is necessary. Those of us who have a 'real book' of our own, know through our own experiences how difficult the road to published author can be but, the way I see it, we have a responsibility to pass on information and/or help others in any way possible if we can. Our talent or gift for writing is God given and I live by the 'pay it forward' principle. It warms my heart to see other writers becoming published authors and if I have had the opportunity to assist them in any way - it is a double blessing.