Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Gift of Writing

I received a gift recently. It was small, simple, in fact it was only a card. And even though it was a store bought card, it had a timely message directed uniquely to me.

Of course I was immediately drawn to this gift. I held it for a time in my hand, looked at the front, back, and inside then set it in a prominent place in my writing nook, the corner of the house belonging to me.

Even today, during my work break when I am writing this post, I thought of the gift carefully written in such a way to touch a heart in need.

God gave me a gift for writing. It needs a few more bows, ribbons, perhaps packaging. He has given me the supplies to finish off the gift. Each time I study the art of writing or write a work I am adding these touches to the gift. Each time someone reads my work and is touched, I have shared the gift with them and brought a smile to God's loving face.

At times I take the gift and hoard it.

I choose to waste freetime set aside for writing or learning the craft.  This is not referring to important family time or other important tasks, but true time set aside for writing. At times like this, I have set the gift God gave me in the back corner of a closet where it is dark, dusty, and ignored.

Other times I work hard to write a work then get lazy or arrogant, convinced that the first draft was great work. I become offended when crits offer little praise. I use "something shiny" as my excuse and toddle off to a different work, ignoring the one God prompted me to do at that time.

And other times I work diligently on my ms, listening to crits, judges, and friends editing and polishing the work to be pleasing to God, but then heed the words of a few who say this work is not of today, no one would read it, no publishing company would want it. I lower my head and allow sadness to fill my heart and snuff my drive. The work is set aside.

I have often heard the words: to be a writer you must be strong, have steel skin, Mt. Everest tenacity, a Fisher Price heart (unbreakable), and a wild passion.

All these are true.

Sometimes God sends a kindred spirit to rekindle these in us.

May we here at the Writer's Alley offer you the spark to start, complete, polish, and/or submit your work today so that you may offer your gift to others.

How can we pray for you today?
(if you prefer you can email us your prayer request-our email address is in the upper right corner of this page.)
Photos courtesy of

This blog post is by Mary Vee
Mary lives in Montana with her husband and loves to hear from her three college kids. She writes Christian young adult fiction (pirate tales, missionary and Bible adventure stories).

Come Step into Someone Else's World with Mary's writing

To learn more about Mary, visit her blog


Unknown said...

Oh, this post is so beautiful...and uplifting...and I loved it. :)

How you can pray for me about that I maintain a good attitude at my day job when what I really want to be doing is writing full time... :)

Lindsay Harrel said...

Love this!

And I'm with Mel!! :P

Also, please just pray for patience as I wait for feedback on my MS. I really just want to know if I'm on the right track, and have submitted to contests, etc. But of course, I won't know much for a few yes, patience. And peace.

Ruth Douthitt said...

Amen! Thanks for this! I have been rewriting a MS after some critiques from my editor.

I have hit so many walls lately: my lack of desire, computer crashes, harsh crits, interruptions from family, etc.

It is tempting to just QUIT and go back to just watching TV at night.

Thanks for the encouragement to keep keeping on.

Anonymous said...

Mary, such a beautiful post! God gave me the gift of time today. My kids are at home, and I'm at Panera, settling down to write. For about four hours! :)

If I was to ask for prayer today, it would be for God's guidance in re-creating my characters and gaining a better grasp of who they are as I work toward making my story better (via re-writing with a better understanding of my characters). :) Thanks!

The Writer's Alley has definitely been a gift to me. :) Encouraging words, helpful posts, sweet spirits all wrap the gift of yourselves for your readers. Thank you!

Mary Vee Storyteller said...

Dear Jesus,
We all struggle when at our jobs, whether we like them or not, because we truly want to be writing. Since for this season you have called us to do both, help us to stay focused first on You. When we do that, we will keep our focus as it should be when we are at our day job and then when we are writing. Thank you for our day jobs that provide the funds needed to do our writing. Thank you for our writing that keeps us going to our day jobs.

In Your Name

Mary Vee Storyteller said...

Dear Jesus,
Thank you for helping those of us who have completed their ms at this time. We are so excited to hear feadback. Some have been submitted for contests, some to crit partners, and some to publishers/editors. Direct our extra energy to new projects. Fill our minds with new stories that will occupy our time while we wait. Thank you for understanding our desire to please not only others, but You as well.

In Your Name

Mary Vee Storyteller said...

Dear Jesus,
Sometimes Satan discourages us so much. We fall into spinning wheels, wasting time and not using the gift you gave us--because we think our work isn't and won't be good enough.
We need Your help to think of a writing friend to call or email, give us an idea that is irristible to write about, stir our desire to research interesting information, anything that will prove our appreciation to You for the gift of writing. Wrap your arms around us please and let us know its okay to keep writing not matter what anyone says.
Thank you Lord for being there for us.
In Jesus Name,

Julia M. Reffner said...

Oh, wow, Mary! Such true words!

I, too struggle with all these things!

Question: How do you know if starting a new work is chasing after something "shiny" or if you're just not ready for edits?

Joanne Sher said...

What an incredibly wonderful post, Mary. Thank you.

Mary Vee Storyteller said...

Dear Jesus,
Some of us are struggling with getting to know, I mean really know, our characters. You Word shows us that we are to get to know You. We read Your Word and meditate on what is written. We think about You and draw closer. You are willing to be our friend. As always You are the great example for us. Help us to not necessarily dwell on our characters, but to become so familiar with them that they can be used to tell the story you have given us. thank you for showing us the way to accomplish the task you have given us.
In Your Name

Mary Vee Storyteller said...

Good question Julia.

How can we know for sure if choice A is bettern than choice B?

The best advice I can share, and if any reader has other advise, please hop on board, is to first write down the benefits of spending time with choice A and then the benefits of spending time with choice B. Then look at the list and pray. Ask God if there is anything else that should be on this list. By spending time focused on the problem and asking God's guidance, He will direct you which is the best use of your time at that moment.

Julia M. Reffner said...

Thanks, Mary. I think I got my answer. It came from an online friend without even broaching the subject AND something I read in Writer's Digest that I'll probably post about next week.

Mary Vee Storyteller said...

Perfect, Julia. Can't wait to read it.

Anonymous said...

Mary, today your post is a gift to me!

Jenn said...

Lately I've felt God calling me to use writing for His glory, but feel unsure of how to do so. So I've been kind of paralyzed, not writing, just waiting for direction. I don't want to be that servant that buried his master's money. Thanks for this beautiful and inspiring post!

Mary Vee Storyteller said...

Thank you, Diane :)

Mary Vee Storyteller said...

Oh, Jenn, what deep thinking you are doing at this time.
With you heart showing such a desire, God will show you the way. Step out, keep writing.

Pepper said...

Beautiful and timely, Mare.
Thank you.