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What is the best writing advice you have ever received?

I’ve been contemplating this question for quite some time now. A thousand different words of wisdom tumble through my mind. All of them valid and valuable. But my favorite? I think I finally found the answer.

At first, I thought about sharing my conversation with the amazing Julie Lessman who encouraged me to join ACFW. ACFW has been a treasure trove! From learning the craft, networking, marketing and making life-long friendships both locally and nationally…well, I can’t even imagine what life would be like without it. But as invaluable as ACFW has been, joining them was not the best advice I received.

I considered words of wisdom I gleaned from an industry professional, who encouraged writers not to worry about writing for the market. Just write what you love. Write what excites you. Don’t try to keep ahead of the trends. After all, who could have predicted the latest craze in fiction would be Amish zombies from space?holding hands

But was that the best advice I received? No.

You can google ‘writing advice’ and find thousands of pages overflowing with wisdom. Embrace criticism. Follow blogs of industry professionals. Step outside your comfort zone. Write daily. Focus on compelling characters. Write in a way that scares you. Goal, motivation, conflict. Avoid adverbs. Blah, blah, blah.

You want to know the best writing advice I’ve ever received? It actually came from an old book. Old but timeless. And it was accompanied by a still, small Voice.

” Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.” ~Proverbs 16:3

Commit. To pledge. Entrust for safekeeping. After all, who better to entrust with your writing than the “Author and Finisher of your faith”?

I love the way Beth Moore put it:

“Man’s vast creativity and capability to spin a tale or unveil a mystery is just another part of how humans are created in the image of God. He is the master storyteller, weaving a thousand story lines together over the course of 66 books and many centuries. True stories! With every story the plot thickens and the veils thin. Different beginnings toward a perfect end. Bad guys lose. Good guys win. But not until we’ve bitten our fingernails to the quick, wondering if the villain will prevail and the hero will fail. Our souls are fitted for excitement and intrigue, and though we sometimes scream and shut our eyes, we will one day get off the roller coaster and shout, ‘What a ride!’ ” (The Patriarchs. 2005.)

Whether you’re new to writing or a seasoned, award winning professional, my advice is stay close to God.

Want your creativity to bubble over? Stay close to God.

Want energy and focus to finish what you’ve started? Stay close to God.

Want comfort when those rejections make your confidence crash down? Stay close to God.

Want doors of opportunity to swing open wide? Stay close to God.

Want your writing to touch the deepest recesses of your readers’ hearts? Stay close to God.

Chase after God with abandon. Seek Him. Passionately pursue Him. And the Author of the greatest story every told will raise you up for His purposes and for His glory.

  1. Lisa M. Collins08-29-13

    Excellent words and reminders. Stay close to God. Just like in Jeremiah 29:11…”For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Stay close. Listen. Write.

  2. Debbie Archer08-29-13

    THIS is the best advice EVER! Well done!

  3. Tara Johnson08-29-13

    Thank you, ladies! Love y’all!

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