I will thank the Lord with all my heart as I meet with his godly people. How amazing are the deeds of the Lord! All who delight in him should ponder them. Psalm 111:1-2 NLT

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Hard Work: Being Grateful for the Chance to Grow as a Writer

 Two years ago God put me in the right place at the right time to attend the first My Book Therapy (MBT) StoryCrafters Retreat and become an original MBT Ponderers. God also aligned circumstances so I could attend this year’s retreat, where I gained even healthier respect for Susan May Warren's, aka Susie, writing craft books:  Inside ...Out, Book Buddy, Deep and Wide, Kiss and Tell, and all the future books whose pages I hear rustling even now. Working hard and moving forward, this is my new favorite song variation: “I love to go a-pondering, along the story track, and as I go, I love to sing, my Book Buddy in my pack . . .”

You know how we think we know subjects until we’re tested? This most recent Storycrafters tested me as I attempted an opening scene for my first ever historical fiction. I had focused more on historical accuracy than on being a novelist. I produced a literary-flavored historical lecture and got caught red-penned. You know, like when you bite into something expecting one flavor and totally get another? Like when my accomplished baker friend confused her sugar and salt containers and her beautiful cinnamon buns tasted like debris from the Dead Sea?

Good historical writing balances fact and fiction—like that needed to stay upright on a unicycle. And good instruction helps us master rides to spin gracefully around any writing ring.

What’s your challenge? What balance do you need? Susie Warren, Rachel Hauck, and the My Book Therapy team offer more inspiration, encouragement, prayer and mentoring per square inch toward writing goals than any group I know of—and I’m a college English prof who’s attended beaucoup writing seminars and workshops.

Joining My Book Therapy’s team gives full access to constantly increasing tools from the best writing community out there. These sharpen our skills, point us to the Lord for inspiration and purpose, sending us toward goals with the whole team cheering to produce polished results for the record books—not to mention the great friendships, prayers, and stay-in-touch caring of other member/players along the way.

Remember, writers, life without God is like an unsharpened pencil...it has no point! 

What are you doing to make sure you're the best writer you can be?

~Delores Topliff


  1. I have a book buddy and I rave about it! I don't always get to the Monday night chats, but I take away so much from the ones I do get to be part of. Even if I stay quiet in the background. :)

  2. Thanks--I understand. I'm tchg. on college for 3 more Monday nights so can't attend those chats either, but after that, will look for you.

  3. What am I doing to become a better writer -- the best writer I can be?
    I attend the Monday night chats. I attend as many of the MBT retreats as I can --this will be my third Deep Thinkers retreat. I attend ACFW conferences, as well as local conferences. I follow blogs ...
    and I try, try, try to never, ever, ever give up. I don't let doubt win.

  4. And you've got some wonderful miles charted on your writing odometer to show for it. Keep up the good work. You inspire the rest of us and make us proud.

  5. Great post, Dee. I am seeking to learn and implement as much writing craft as I can. And, I share my writing with those further along the writing journey than myself. I'm gradually reading through books, and attending what retreats and conferences I can.

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  7. Dee, great post. I'm doing the retreats and conferences and Monday night chats, but I think depending on God to spark my creativity and to whisper in my ear when something isn't working is the most important part of the process for me...had that to happen just today on a story thread that I'd had since I first started my WIP. I've been praying about the story because something just didn't jive. When I woke up this morning, in those quiet moments between waking and getting up, it's as though God said, cut it. So I did and the story is flowing better.

    I deleted the earlier post because I left out a sentence. lol

  8. Dee, I love your final quote about life without God--so true.

    My biggest challenge right now is creating solid plots. I'm trying so hard to peg my story into my outline chart and worry about forgetting a particular piece. Thankfully I have Susie's Kiss and Tell book to help me ensure I have all the necessary pieces.