Category archives: Writing

How My Daddy Helped Me With My Writing Life

When I was just a girl, oh around the fourth grade, I believe, I came home one afternoon with a school project. The assignment was to build a bird’s nest, as best as we could and bring it into class to be assessed as to whether or not our nest-making abilities were as good as the bird’s. When I got off the school bus and mentioned it to my Mom, she suggested that I ask my Pa to help me with it, since he was the artist. My Dad was always a hard-working mechanic man, and a day or two later, he walked out to the front yard with his greasy hands and his blue work shirt and we set out together, looking for twigs and leaves and a few strands of bendable brown grass. My Pa told me how the birds often like to gather bits of hair or fibers, something soft to line the inside of their nests wi[...]

On Six Years of Blogging (And Why You Should Keep Writing)

Six years ago, I began a couple new adventures. For one, I became a momma. It had always been in my heart to stay home with my babes once they came along, so I shut off the computer down at the office, came home and entered into a new season. At first, it was a lot of trying to figure out how not to spend the extra paycheck or what to do all day without anyone sending me task lists and evaluating my work through performance reviews. Let's just say I felt a little bit lost. And lonely. And purposeless. And confused. So, I decided to write. Throughout my childhood, I had written often, usually sitting underneath the oak trees, with my journal in my lap and the river rushing by. I wrote poetry, mostly. As I got older, I journaled thoughts and short stories and even went through a se[...]

The Process of Writing a Book: What it Means to Me

I've been scratching out words for another book. Now, I haven't signed a contract. However, I did send the book proposal last week and then realized I hadn't followed the directions. (Mom, are you laughing? You can stop now.) I'm secretly hoping that the acquisitions editor hasn't had time to open my email yet. I should probably just tell her swet self to scratch that...I'm trying again. When I get my act together. On the way over to the coffee shop today to do some writing, I had this internal struggle. Sometimes I forget the value of my work and I veer off and begin thinking this project is just another book "to get under my belt." You know, because if I have more books under my belt, then I am somehow more qualified. I'm somehow more valuable. More respected. More important. [...]

When You Want to be a Huge Success

When my book first came out, I had lots of questions and ambitions swirling around in my head. Would it be successful? Would my blog readership skyrocket? Would I become a speaker? Honestly, I struggled along with bouts of both insecurity and of pride, because my writing had never been published and I wasn't sure how that would change my life. On the one hand, I wanted to become famous. But, on the other hand, I didn't. Suddenly, I felt pressure to build a platform and to do great things. Meanwhile I was embarrassed if anyone took notice of my work, and I mostly just wanted it to go out quietly into the world and do the thing God had intended it to do, while I stirred mac-n-cheese over the stove and rocked my babes. The thing is, it did go out quietly into the world and my life r[...]

For the Love of Writing

I'm sitting here at my kitchen table, my laptop propped right next to the sippie cups and the bowl of crusty ramen noodles and bits of leftovers from lunch. My kitchen floor is atrocious. There's some hot dog scraps and some paper scraps and some plastic dishes and although I'd like to clean this place up, I'm taking some time to scratch out words instead. It's funny how, being in the middle of all the mess, I do feel right at home. I've been processing a lot of things. I've learned to take a few days off of social media here and there partly because I'm on there a lot and I don't like how it feels--that dependency. And also because I post a lot and I worry that I become annoying to folks and so I like to practice a little solitude and silence so as not to talk too much. I also t[...]

Book #2 (Doesn't that title sound poetic?)

So, I’m in the process of writing another book. Which is fun, because I like writing. A lot. I like it so much that I try to do it a little bit each day of the work-week. Though, sometimes I’m so excited about writing that I can’t focus and so I check facebook and then read some blogs for inspiration and then check facebook again, and before I know it, all my writing time is gone. But, hey. I’m not doing that. Did you hear that self? Don’t do that today. Now, I haven’t signed a contract or anything quite yet. I wanted to get a plan down first, because I hear plans are good things to have and once a contract is signed, well, then that’s serious business. Deadlines have to be met, which is exciting and exhilarating but there’s no more loli-gaggin’ around if you know what I mean. [...]

For the Free Spirits: Why Making a Plan Isn't Such a Bad Thing

These northern winters, I've watched a lot of snow fall. I've sat for long amounts of time, just gazing up into the sky, seeing which way the snowflakes go. Did you know snowflakes don't fall straight down? Each one of them is born on the wind, so they tumble this way, at first, and then they swoop up and twirl around a bit, before wafting slowly, slowly down to their resting place. I read the whole book of Galatians this morning because I was so hungry for it and utterly captivated and it spoke to me a lot of following the Spirit. I learned once that being born of the Spirit is kindred to the ways of the wind. (John 3:8) You can't see the wind, where it comes from or where it's headed next, but you can hear the movements of the breeze. The way it lifts the branches and rustles thro[...]

What A Writer Knows (And Why a Writer Keeps on Writing)

The writer knows that she’s not gonna live on this earth forever. That one day, these dirt-digging, creek exploring, laundry folding, baby holding, toilet scrubbing days will be over. She feels it now-- how she’s actually only got a little bit of time left here to be helpful to the world and influence others. And the writer knows that her words will last longer than her earthly self. Because words have this ability to stay on the earth long after a person is gone. And she hopes that someday, when she’s standing barefoot somewhere on the warm shores of a certain Kingdom, that her kids and her grandkids will still have a little piece of her left. And they’ll be able to read again and again all the most important things that she would tell them if she could hold them close. The writ[...]

What I Learned in the City about Life

The other day, Brent and I drove into the big city. We went to Chicago to see the folks at Moody Publishers because we had never been and we wanted to thank the team that worked on the book. Now, I don't go to the city much. I live in a little neighborhood across from a great big corn field and I only have to drive a few miles before I'm in the middle of grape vineyards and apple orchards and strawberry fields and a big ole view full of sky. So, as we entered Chicago, I was struck by the strange beauty of all those grey skyscrapers huddled up together and the impressive labyrinth of overpasses and roads. Everywhere, there were just so many people. I looked over and noticed these two men in bright orange vests way up high on the roof of one of the buildings and in my heart, I grasped [...]

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