We are honored to have Eva Marie Everson as our guest today on The Write Editing.
By Eva Marie Everson
Have you ever done one of those tests to determine your spiritual gifts? I tend to rank high in “teaching,” which—for those who know me—is no big shock. I have always enjoyed taking what I know (or what I think I know) and passing it along to others.
When I look back over the course of my writing life, and when I listen to the stories of others, I realize I had a Cinderella story. And it seems I instantly wanted others to be a part of what I was learning at the time. Word Weavers, which is now Word Weavers International--of which I am the president--had started two years previous to my first open publishing door. In those two years, I learned. I grew. I watched. I listened.
Then, as my publishing journey went into full swing, I continued to grow and learn and—as is my way—to pass along everything I experienced. When I failed, I shared. When I had setbacks, I was an open book. When I succeeded or when I discovered what I felt everyone should know, I passed this along.
Word Weavers grew. And grew until it had members not only in Central Florida (where it began), but across the world. Running it took much of my time and—I have to tell you—I didn’t mind. I kept writing. I taught at conferences. I presented workshops locally and away. I worked as a mentor for Christian Writers Guild and met some of the greatest folks on the planet. I served as an adjunct professor at Taylor University—a time I still say was the second most fun time I’ve had while working.
A year or so ago, I accepted a part-time position as Acquisitions Editor of Firefly Southern Fiction, an imprint of Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. Once again, I found myself opening doors for others … and I loved (and still love) it.
In October 2014 I received a call from BeliversTrust (yes, it’s one word) asking if I would write the fiction eight-week course for their new curriculum. Right up my alley, so I said yes. Then, in November, as I drove from Georgia to Florida, the Lord and I had a little sit-down about what was going on in my writing career. He made it pretty clear: I’d be writing less (though still writing), and teaching more.
“What?” I asked. “Can’t I do both?”
“Yes, but one will now overshadow the other.”
I knew what He meant.
Shortly after, I had another vision for Word Weavers, which I shared with my trusty vice president, Mark Hancock. A month later, I received another call from Rebeca Seitz of BelieversTrust. She asked if I would accept the position of VP at BT. My job would fall mostly within what we call The Classroom. Creating. Teaching. Guiding. Bam!
“See,” God said, “I told you so …”
So what’s this all about, this blog? What are you, the reader, supposed to learn from my ramblings? Well, I’ll tell ya … but this goes back to two things that happened two years ago. First, I read a work of fiction by Robert Goolrick, A Reliable Wife. Nothing about this book is CBA. Everything about this book cries the story of redemption. God’s story. Second, I read a work of nonfiction by Rick Bragg, All Over But The Shoutin’. Also not a CBA book, but within its pages fell a section about the author’s spiritual journey. While I had spent the majority of the book laughing heartily, these few pages brought me to tears. To absolute tears.
And I came to a realization. They are doing it better than we are. They are preaching God’s message better than those who should do it best. And this is where the Lord birthed my new desire to teach others (and myself) to write better!
We cannot ever stop learning. We can’t. And we should never, ever stop sharing what we have learned. And we should never ever, ever stop listening when God says, “See that open door over there? The one leading a new way on your journey? Go that way …”
Eva Marie Everson is a multiple-award-winning, best-selling author of both fiction and nonfiction. She is the president of Word Weavers International, the director of Florida Christian Writers Conference, the vice president of BelieversTrust, and the managing editor at Firefly Southern Fiction. In her spare time she enjoys her life as a wife, a mother, and a grandmother. She is pretty much owned by her dog, Poods. For more information on Word Weavers, you can e-mail Eva at WordWeaversInternationsl@aol.com.
Is God leading you in a different direction in your writing journey? via @EvaMarieEverson (Click to Tweet.)