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photo: graphic: Martha G. Brady

photo: MGDboston/Morguefile graphic: Martha G. Brady

Today is the 9th in the series at Kate Motaung’s blog titled On Being a Writer by Anne Koeker and Charity Singleton Craig. The book is also available at the website. This is week fiveShe has links to all this information and earlier posts on her site. Here are the links to my earlier posts: IdentifyArrangeSurroundNoticeWrite. SendPromoteDiscover, Engage.

Each week, I read the chapter from On Being a Writer and think to myself, “This is my favorite chapter so far!” But this week? Oh my goodness! I feel like the tumbleweed who has learned to be a gardener without anyone to tell me what was happening!

I often feel like a tumbleweed but my Shepherd has been purposefully guiding me along a path that often felt random at the time!

It had to be GOD leading, guiding and shepherding my writing journey so far because in many ways it has seemed so random…at least while it was happening! Looking back, I see much more order to it than I did while walking through it!

It had to be GOD leading, guiding and shepherding my writing journey so far, because it has seemed so random. Click To Tweet

So much of my life has seemed like the tumbleweed in terms of planning, but particularly my writing life. It was impossible to plan for. I had no idea I wanted to be a writer. It would have been fun to work it into my retirement planning. But so little of my life worked out according to anything I would have planned…in both good and hard ways, that I’m not sure the planning would have done me any good.

However, now that I’m closing in on the last decade(s) of my journey, I feel I must plan to make the most of the time I have left…so it doesn’t disappear into thin air!

So little of my life worked out according to anything I would have good and hard ways. Click To Tweet

I definitely didn’t plan to be a writer. It just wasn’t on my radar! But in the course of moving, feeling a bit at loose ends and disconnected, I was introduced to blogs in about 2005 or 6. As I read, I felt there was a need for something I could contribute. Whether the words I wrote would be read? Now that was a different story.

Continuing to stretch and grow…and learn my style.

As a result of conferences and online classes I have taken since 2005ish, I have a much better idea of what it takes to be a better writer, where I fit and where I want to go. It has taken much longer than I expected for me to understand the process and what it looks like to walk my own path in the middle of all the voices trying tell me what makes up a successful blog. It also takes awhile to meet up with the people I truly link up with…in my heart!

My recent interview with Dan King of Fist Bump Media opened my eyes to the fact that it might even be possible for me to be published…online. That was something I never dreamed of…even in a nightmare.

In order to do it, I will have to plan…plan for the use of my resources…both time and money. Plan for the way I will write my new 31 day series. Plan for the use of all my resources…as well as how I will keep my house clean! Yes, that…the ordinary rhythms of life that help us function. The eating, wearing of clean clothes, living in a clean house…those details that we don’t always love to deal with!

I’m one of those that drop-everything-and-plow-through when it comes to projects. But this isn’t the kind of project that can be done that way! I have to live my life and keep up on the details as well as be disciplined in my writing. It is a marathon, not a sprint.

I love Anne’s gardening analogy! As a gardener, I appreciate it. Planning my blog, my goals and mission, planning where I will send my articles and even planning strategically for where I fit.

Stretching to learn new ways to communicate, new genres & continuing to develop my style.

But also stretching into new places, trying new genres. It is like planting seeds, watering them and waiting for them to grow. I don’t know which ones will come up or when exactly. Too much rain at the wrong time drowns them and they don’t survive.

The timing is not totally up to me. I can plan and work toward the goals I hope for. The rest is up to GOD who often surprises me in ways I don’t expect! Sometimes an overnight success can take 5 or 10 years! Sometimes it is very slow and steady and I may never make a splash. But over time, if I am able to influence others in positive ways with my words? That will be good won’t it?

Yes, I would love to make some money at it. For certain. It represents many hours of work! But knowing I  was able to influence others to trust Jesus in their day to day lives?

There is some scary, intimidating and a pinch of terrifying mixed in for sure as I grow and plan! That’s where brave comes in…along with courage and faith.

Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; 
and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; 
and there are varieties of activities,
but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone.
To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.

I Corinthians 12:4-7

 But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” 
And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can’!
All things are possible for one who believes.”

Immediately the father of the child cried out and said,

“I believe; help my unbelief!”
Mark 9:22-24

So I will keep moving forward…I now realize I am a writer. I am also aware that I encourage in the genre of  Christian lifestyle writing. I try to use normal words and for the most part stay away from Christian-ese…a language that is totally foreign to the uninitiated. I’m not as intellectual as I wish I were. I’m rather down-to-earth and my nursing has made me more so! There are very few elephants in the room that I just allow to let sit there and take up space!

So I continue. Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief! That is why I write. To encourage Christians, to shake up those who don’t believe, to help people like me, who sometimes prefer riding the fence or being comfortable, to get up and move around…and know what we stand for!