I just had my first ever article published.
And this blog is a little behind-the-scenes look at why it’s a wonderful surprise to me.
The city where the Protestant Reformation with John Calvin (and others) happened in the 1500s. It’s a city known to educate and bring life. Today it’s comparatively small population (500,000 residents) is the world’s place to seek peace and a significant financial centre. My fellow Writers Intensive participants and I went to take a Reformation tour to see and hear about some of the cities heritage. The Cathedral of Saint Pierre was part of this tour. After visiting keys points within the Cathedral, we had time to take in the atmosphere and explore.
Earlier that morning, we were challenged to write an article and submit it to Fathom Magazine. This was to help get us out of our comfort zones (the books we’re all writing) and to try something short and different on a theme set by the Magazine. As an on-line publication, they are open to new writers, so an opportunity to be able to develop our publication writing skills.
As I sat on a pew in the Cathedral, my mind and spirit were drawn to the story of how a woodsman all those years ago (600), choose this wood to start on a process he wouldn’t see the end product. Then all the people who’ve stood in front of these wood carvings to lead the congregation in worship. The stories this wood could tell.
I have never written an article,
but Mary our speaker for the week has such a loving and encouraging heart to help all of us bidding writing to step out of our comfort zones and believe we can do more than we think we can.
You see, at school, I was in the bottom 3 for spelling and any grammar lessons we did have seemed to bounce off my ears – thus making my sentence’s awkward and hard to read. If I didn’t know how to spell a word, I’d try different ways in the hope one of them would be right. Because back then, we didn’t have personal computers, just a trusty pencil and paper. No red wavy lines to tell me I’ve got it wrong or suggested spellings of what you may be trying to spell. Although at times, my computer still has no idea what word I’m trying to use at times.
Writing assignments were torcher, once I’d finished the homework assigned, I handed it in without a second read. There was no point, I couldn’t see what was wrong with the first draft. The fact that I passed my higher English is still a mystery to me. I didn’t think I was stupid. I just wasn’t good at writing.
When God gave me that picture of a shocked older teen and leader and told me to help them – by writing a book – I almost laughed like Sarah. Me write a book! Do you know who you’re talking to God? Do you remember my writing skills? But last year, when I kept meeting authors in random places and God kept on at me about finishing the book. I knew I needed help – not just a saint of an editor. So at a leader’s gathering in Romania, Roy stood up and shared about an Author’s Training School, YWAM would start later that year. Long story short – I took the leap of faith for finances and help and applied for the school.
What a year it’s been since then. The staff, speakers and students in that school were all gifts from heaven. To give me belief, confidence and skills to see I do have things to share in written form that will bless others. Yes I need help with editing, but an editor can only work with the ideas and content the writer gives them. I have content which is gold to others.
As we worked on different assignments to practice writing styles, structure… slowly, very slowly, my writing needs less dramatic editing. I can spot some grammatical errors and think my way through structuring a paragraph which makes sense to a reader.
The practice hasn’t made me perfect yet, but it has enabled me to write my heart without others wanting to throw my work in the bin and have to start from scratch again.
These first few blogs aren’t good writing (I do know that), but they are a start, even Grammarly says I’ve been practising.
There is a writer in me slowly coming out to express an idea or question helping others ponder, see a different perspective from or bring encouragement through. So in faith, I take out my pencil or open to a new blank page and put into words what comes to my mind and heart.
I try, knowing it’s not perfect, but trusting God has called me to write for a reason. To share my ideas and experiences with others so they too can believe not only in themselves but our Heavenly Father. He who calls us is faithful – He who started a good work in us will bring it to completion. And it will be good.
As I write ideas come, points to bring depth to the concept follow and my heart brings the exhortation to help others (you, dear reader), believe in God and yourself more.
I was surprised when I finished the 2nd draft of this article about wood. At how inspired I was to be more active in my future planning to think further ahead than just the impact of this coming year. And how I’d managed to bring it back to finish sitting on the pew again. But that’s what I did. I wrote the rough draft in the time we had to explore the Cathedral.
I am still surprised and shocked that Fathom loved my article. (but part of me is also yeah – of course they did, it’s a great piece). I thought I was far away from having others (strangers) read my work and want to publish it. But apparently, God had other plans. And for that, I’m very grateful.
So, what little dream, calling, idea do you have that God’s asking you to trust Him to bring into reality?
When you have that spark of creativity or vision – take it, partner with God and run with it – because He’s in it and it’s going to be great.
I’d love to help you, so if there’s a topic you’d like me to cover here on this site – please let me know – through Ask Patience Form. You are the ones God asked me to help.