Called to Write?

Originally published on the Northshore Baptist Church (Bothell, WA) site http://www.nsb.org/news

by Lydia Harris

“I sense God nudging me to write,” I told Lorinda Newton one Sunday after church.

 “Then why not attend Northwest Christian Writers’ Association?” she said.

I shrank away from that suggestion. NCWA included the word writer, and I wasn’t a writer. Nonetheless, a few months later, Milt and I attended an NCWA meeting. The members warmly welcomed us, and the speaker, Hope MacDonald, inspired me. After the meeting, I thanked her and then boldly added, “Someday I’m going to write a book!”

After another meeting, I borrowed writing tapes by Evelyn Christenson and learned how God had used her prayer books to touch lives. She asked, “What could God do with your book?” I didn’t know, but I tucked the question away in my mind. That was thirteen years ago.

Before long, writing friends encouraged me to attend writers’ conferences. At my first conference, the director said a good way to break into print was to write book reviews, devotionals, or short stories for Sunday school take-home papers. I followed her advice and began writing reviews. Then after Lorinda invited me to join her small writing group, I learned the value of input from experienced writers. How exciting to see my writing published!

A few years ago, NCWA changed locations and now meets at Northshore Baptist. We gather on the first Monday of the month from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., and some writers come early to participate in writing groups. Whether you feel led to write book reviews, devotionals, articles, or books, you’ll find help and encouragement at these monthly meetings.

Our church also hosts the annual Northwest Christian Writers Renewal with editors and agents attending. This year’s conference held on May 7 and 8 will feature fiction writer Brandilyn Collins. For more information about writers’ groups and the conference, visit NCWA.

I’m thankful God used Lorinda, a fellow Northshore member, to encourage me to write. As a result, my Bible study, Preparing My Heart for Grandparenting, will soon be published. (See amazon.com and Christianbook.com.) It’s a six-week study for grandparents at any stage of the journey and is suitable for personal or group study. As I anticipate its release, I still wonder, “What could God do with my book?”

Is God nudging you to write? If so, please join us at NCWA and the Writers Renewal in May. If you feel reluctant or have questions, please e-mail me: LydiaHarris@Qwest.net.

God continues to further his kingdom because Northshore opened its doors to equip writers. What could God do with your writing? See you at NCWA.

Lydia E. Harris served on the NCWA board for five years and has taught at the Writers Renewal and other conferences. She writes devotionals, book reviews, articles, true stories, recipes, and the popular column, “A Cup of Tea with Lydia.” She has contributed to thirteen books. This June her first book will be published by AMG. Preparing My Heart for Grandparenting is a six-week Bible study for grandparents at any stage of the journey.

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