Sunday, October 03, 2010

My Reminder


Ten years ago, I owned a Christian bookstore in rural PA. Part of that job meant I attended CBA each year. I not only purchased gifts but all the latest books.

Back then, CBA was a huge event. Aisles and aisles packed with product and companies. We received bags of promotional items and spent hours enjoying the concerts and shows.

But my favorite part of CBA was waking up each morning, rushing to the convention hall, and grabbing the morning paper put out for attendees. I would circle all the book signings for my favorite authors and make my schedule.

I still remember meeting Mary Hunt, author of Everyday Cheapskate. I had read her book before the show and put into practice many of her suggestions. When I shared my success with her, she gave me a hug and I could see how thrilled she was that I had a working Freedom account.

That was the beginning.

Someday, I told myself, I wanted to stand on the other side of the table and share the story God has placed on my heart and hopefully make a difference in someone else’s life.

So here I am, years later, learning to trust my instincts when I write. Learning to put down on paper those lessons God deems me worthy enough to learn or not to learn. It also means being honest with my words and digging deep inside of me when I reveal those experiences.

I’m sure I haven’t said anything that most of you don’t feel the same way about.

But every now and then, I need to remind myself why I’m doing this.

What do you remind yourself about why you write?

48 comments:

Patti Lacy said...

Great post, girl!
Hmmm. God reminds me enough that I don't have to do too much of it.

Write for me, dear one. Write the stories I whisper. Isn't it enough??

You go, you writer you.

Out of the cave for the weekend!
Patt

Deborah said...

Before I self published my book, I really wondered if I should bother, then I had a couple of people who had read it for me say how much it had helped them. So, when I need to, I just remind myself that even if just one person is encouraged by something I write, or one of my songs draws someone closer to the Lord, then it really is worth it, and besides it's what God has called me to do...HE is my reason to sing!

Joanne Sher said...

Love this. I remind myself that God has given me stories to write (and a life story to tell) and that He wants me to use them to impact others for Him. And it isn't gonna happen if I don't work on it.

Jolene Perry said...

It is a very nice reminder

Jan Cline said...

It's funny how we all have that in common...reminding ourselves why we do this. Good story.

Lin Floyd said...

thinking of my audience I'm writing for helps...

Diane said...

Great reminder! Hugs friend :O)

Amy DeTrempe said...

Great post. I need to remember to listen. When I have blocks or not liking the story, it is because my characters and I went off on our own without listing to Him. Kinda like real life - we stop listening, we get in trouble.

Clarissa Draper said...

I think that my characters remind me why I write. When I'm not writing they complain.

CD

Shelley said...

My reminder is to just sit down and write...if I want to ever be published, I need to write.

Shelley said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
BECKY said...

Hi Terri. Great post! I don't think I remind myself about anything....I just want to write...therefore I write! Seriously! I hope that doesn't sound silly or like I'm making fun of your question. Not at all! Hugs!

Susan said...

Hello Terri....It is important for me to write since it gives me tremendous joy to share my writing with others. Life, without writing, would be so bleak, I think. With all my heart, I believe God gives writers talent and wants them to use it by sharing it with others. Thanks for your post. Sincerely, Susan

Linda O'Connell said...

I remind myself to be thankful, for my writing ability and my contacts. Sometimes I have to remind myself to let go. Good post.

Janet Johnson said...

I remind myself that I write because I love telling the story . . . not just to get published (though it's definitely a goal!).

Karen Lange said...

Great post. :) I remind myself that I've felt called to write for a long time and I am trusting God to order my writing steps.

Blessings for your week!
Karen

Lynn said...

'Learning to put down on paper those lessons God deems me worthy enough to learn or not to learn.' So beautifully said. I realized recently I've put success before God. Success was being a good, publishable, respected writer. So, now I'm not sure where my writing is going. Studying His word, photography, reading, and revision of a few pieces is placed on my heart right now. But I'm not pushing anymore, learning to trust His timing. Letting go. Not easy!!

Rosslyn Elliott said...

That it's not up to me, that these aren't my books. That's the most freeing and humbling thing I can tell myself.

careann said...

I didn't intent to write in the genre that now takes up all my time, but God kept niggling and prodding until I changed direction. Whenever I start second-guessing myself I remember my job is just to be obedient and trust his leading. The results are his.

Carol Garvin

Rachna Chhabria said...

Terri..thanks for this wonderful post. I have to remind myself that God is urging me on this path and he wants me to tell these stories.

Jeanette Levellie said...

This is great that you remind yourself of the dream the Lord stirred inside of you so many years ago. That helps keep you focused.

I remind myself that this wasn't my idea, but the Lord's, and that I can't do it alone.

Have a great week, dear friend. May it be one of victory for you!

Sassy Granny ... said...

It is always good to celebrate the birthdays of when dreams were born. They are ageless and timeless and, therefore, ever new!

Write on ... Right on!

Warren Baldwin said...

Good story, great dream.

I write b/c I think that someday, after I'm gone, my kids, grandkids and great grandkids will read some of what I write as it pertains to faith and family.

Good question to help us refocus on today's goals! (Although most of today's goal will be to follow my high school daughter around a golf course for 18 holes :).

Jennifer Shirk said...

What a nice reminder. :)

I sometimes get reminded when I re-read soemthing I've written and think even if no one else likes it, I DO. LOL

Deb Shucka said...

I've had similar experiences, waiting for the time I could be the author and not just the adoring reader.

It seems I'm needing to remind myself a lot these days as I write this first draft alone with no guidance beyond my heart and the small still voice that says it's what I came here to do.

It helps knowing I'm not the only one who loses sight from time to time.

mohan37 said...

I don't always get a lot of readers, so I have to remind myself that I do it to grow.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Terri -

Great story of how that author inspired you!

I keep going back to the early days when the vision was brand new, and I had not yet encountered obstacles or tests of my determination.

Blessings,
Susan :)

T. Anne said...

Fun post! I love hearing about you bookstore days! I think that alone would make a terrific novel!

Why do I write? Because I am too far gone to quit! I really believe the more we practice the better we will be. I plan on practicing quite a bit.

sarah said...

Hey Terri...I love how open and honest you are! After my talk at the women's centre, I met with the director. She wants to endorse my next book, Dancing Softly, and she wants to take me to speak to service agencies to show that nothing is impossible to overcome. why I write? to have my voice...to free myself and then for others...so they too can be free.

Shirl said...

I understand totally!

Lynda Young said...

Reading other writer's journeys helps remind me. God has a way of reminding me as well. He expects us to use the gifts He gives us. It's an honour. I just hope I can honour Him in return.

Julie Musil said...

Terri, I have Mary Hunt's book too! I credit her with giving me the the know-how to manage our money where I could become a stay at home mom. She's amazing, and I can't believe you got to meet her!

I love reminders like these, so thanks for sharing.

paulgreci said...

Beautiful post, Terri. I remind myself that it is amazing just to be able to write at all. That I even have the opportunity.

WritingNut said...

Wonderful post! I have to remind myself that if I really want this, I need to stick with it, through all the ups and downs, even when it seems impossible.

Jackee said...

Great thoughts! I have so many reasons to write, I just have to keep them at the forefront so the daily reasons NOT to don't interfere. Mainly, I can't stop even if I wanted to.

Love that you owned a bookstore! Good luck with the agent search--I'm rooting for you!

Rhonda Schrock said...

Yes! Yes! Yes! Me, too.

Just the other day at the coffee shop as I was getting ready to write, I opened my journal and wrote at the top of the page: "Why I'm writing today." Short version, here's my list.

1. Obedience. God gave me a gift and a place (the newspaper) to use it. I write in obedience.
2. Faith. I write in faith that He will use that weekly column to encourage others, to spread joy and laughter, to strengthen families and individuals, and that all of it will honor Him and advance His cause.
3. Hope. I write in hope that all of the above things are true that and that there is a future in it for me and my family as well.

And then a stranger walks up as I'm writing and says, "Are you...?" and I say, "Yes, I am," and he says, "I love your column," and I hear a whisper from God, "Keep writing."

So I do. I keep writing.

Emily said...

Those conferences sound like a great experience!

I write for all the teens who are bombarded by fiction that teaches them empty lessons about life. I do it to offer them real hope in Jesus Christ. And to entertain them along the way! ;)

Dwayne said...

That is such a good question. I find that when i let GO and trust in what is going to come out, then it sounds great once it's done. I started a blog THEWORDSFORINSPIRATION.COM because of this type of channeled writing. I love it because when i read it back several weeks later, its like i don't remember the ideas that brought about the writings but it always comes from my heart. Have a great day!

Amie B said...

i remind myself that i'm worthy and good. that i have a talent to share - worth sharing. thanks for helping me remember that. i'm going through revisions and i'm almost bald....

send me an email at amiegr8tstuff (at) aol (dot) com and we can discuss the query. :)

Yolanda said...

Terri,

Your job 10 years ago, sounds amazing. But your life today is very rich and rewarding as well. Looks as if your getting closer to having that book published. :-)

Lovingly,
Yolanda

Tamara Hart Heiner said...

I'll admit I don't always know why I write. I just do it. If it doesn't drive me,I don't.

But I love the slogan on your blog!

ginny said...

Hi Terri, I just wanted to comment on your post about celebrating. I have not been on the computer very much as I am in a little bit of a slump. But I came on today to check out the ones that I missed. I really liked that post. Your words made me weep. I feel much the same as you. It is amazing how blessed we are in spite of the financial woes. But God is bigger than our financial problems, so I am trusting Him to take care of us. Great post and very encouraging.

Nancy said...

You have done so many things I admire with your writing.

And I write because whatever gift I have has to be used.

Travis Erwin said...

My addiction reminds me every day.

Jill Kemerer said...

I LOVE Mary Hunt! I've read almost all of her books. She gives such practical advice.

I, too, relate to other authors. I want to share the stories inside me with readers, because above all I am a reader.

Sally said...

Hey Terri, thanks for stopping by the soup post. I got my critique back for my novel, that did not make the second round of the contest. I was surprised by the tone and direction the critique took. It takes some affirmations after that to put your heart straight. Forward, though, always forward.

Sally said...

Hey Terri, thanks for stopping by the soup post. I got my critique back for my novel, that did not make the second round of the contest. I was surprised by the tone and direction the critique took. It takes some affirmations after that to put your heart straight. Forward, though, always forward.

kathy taylor said...

Hmm. Good question! I don't think I remind myself. I've been doing it so long. Does a singer (I'm not one so I have to ponder) ask herself why she sings?