Monday, October 09, 2006

Encouragement for Writers from a Non-Writer

The following is a message for writers from my husband, Doug. The picture is of him and Liz Curtis Higgs at the book signing, where he shared these thoughts with her.

In September, I was both honored and privileged to attend the American Christian Fiction Writers Conference in Dallas with my wife Jill. She wasn't sure I'd like hanging out with a bunch of wild and crazy writers, and she thought I might get bored when she had to be at sessions.

The conference was an eye-opener. The excitement! The terminology! The only "pitching" I knew about before was in baseball, softball or horseshoes. Through all the feverish tension, I was overwhelmed at the love and encouragement people had for each other. And I thoroughly enjoyed the praise and worship, followed by devotions.

One morning after devotions, I went back to our room and spent time with the Lord, reading in the Amplified Bible. He took me to Romans 10 where I read, "But how are people to call upon Him Whom they have not believed (in whom they have no faith, on whom they have no reliance)? And how are they to believe in Him of whom they have never heard?" Then I looked at Mark 16, where Jesus said, "Go into all the world and preach and PUBLISH openly the good news (gospel) to every creature (of the whole human race) . . . And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord kept working with them and confirming the message by the attesting signs and miracles that closely accompanied it."

I had never noticed the word "published" before in the Amplified version, and it jumped out at me, considering all the writers everywhere I went. At a keynote speaking session, the scriptures I had read were confirmed by testimonies shared by Liz Curtis Higgs.

People's lives are changed because of books. I believe God has called and commissioned Christian fiction writers to reach lost and hurting people who couldn't be reached any other way. If you're a writer and feeling tempted to give up. Don't! You will be surprised when you get to heaven at all the lives your stories have touched and how great your reward will be for obeying the call.

P.S. At the next conference, I suggest they have sessions for the spouses of the writers who don't understand and for the writers who don't understand their spouses not understanding. Make sense?


Donita K. Paul said...

Wonderful insight. Makes me wish I had been there to meet you, Doug.

eileen said...

Awesome post, Doug. We owe you chocolate. Thanks for being such a supporter.

Michael Ehret said...

Nice to eat a meal with you (and your wife!) Doug. Doug was so funny...we're going around the table, as we always do, and he says "I'm just a spouse."

With a uniformity of spirit, the stable spoke. There's no such thing as "just a spouse" in a married writers life!

We all laughed. But clearly Doug is not "just a spouse." As my wife is not just a spouse, either.

Trish Perry said...

Doug, it was such a pleasure meeting you in Dallas, and for you to take the time to post those comments for us writers . . . well, that's just really being Christlike. I hope you realize that. I'm sure Jill knows she's got a gem of a guy. Thanks so much for the encouragement and thoughtfulness.

Paula said...

This is encouraging. When I first joined ACFW, I'd read some of the loop posts to my husband. He said something like, "I think I'm beginning to understand you." He shakes His head at my craziness sometimes, but he is my biggest supporter. Someday I'd like to have the finances to take him with me to a conference and let him experience it like you did.

Thanks so much for this post.

Kathy Kovach said...

I brought my dh to the first ACRW conference in Kansas City. He had the same experience. Even though I was just starting out writing seriously, I have been one of those "nutty" writers that talk to themselves and ask obscure questions for research. Even though he's always been supportive, after that conference, he understood that my quirkiness is shared by nearly every fiction writer out there.

Doug's a keeper, Jill, as is my hubby! Aren't we blessed!

Michelle Pendergrass said...

Wow. Great post Doug. Thank you so much!

My husband, Phil was at the conference and I kept joking with him that he'd sell a lot of books if he wrote "How to Deal With Your Novelist Spouse."

Maybe you two need to talk!

C.J. Darlington said...

Thanks for the much needed encouragement, Doug! Sometimes, as you know, the writing life can be so isolating. Sometimes I wonder, is what I'm doing really going to minister to somebody? That's my goal, and hearing your words help me realize that yes, my words CAN impact someone's life. But they won't impact anyone if I'm not diligent to get them out into the world and "publish the good news".

Ramblin Regina said...

What a blessing this was, Jill and Doug! There have been times when I wondered if I am being selfish in this pursuit of writing because it's something I love so much. But if I can touch even one life...lead even one person to open a Bible or whisper a prayer, then I know I've done a good thing and it is all to the glory of God!

Deborah Raney said...

Doug and Jill, I'm very late in responding, so don't even know if you'll see this, but I was SO blessed by Doug's comments, and his desire to support you, Jill, in this calling. I have an equally supportive husband. I'm not sure how a writer makes it without a spouse who will stand behind them. Thank you for this wonderful post. And thanks for the permission to share it with Ken as he prepares a workshop exactly like the one you suggested! : )