Monday, May 28, 2018

Writer, Shift Your Focus


By Andrea Merrell

I’ve met with many, many wonderful people at writers’ conferences over the years. In fact, I just returned from an overnight trip to the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference (BRMCWC) in the beautiful mountains of North Carolina, where I chatted with several ladies in the coffee shop.

One question that seems to pop up quite often is what these attendees hope to gain from the conference. The answers vary, but all seem to relate to doing.

  • I have a book in me, and I have to get it out.
  • I need the world to hear my story.
  • I entered a contest and hope to win.
  • I need to get a contract and get my book published.
  • I’m seeking an agent.
  • I’m trying to network and build my platform.
  • I’m trying to learn as much as I can.
  • I’m planning to meet with as many industry professionals as possible.

Each of these answers is important, but they’re all about doing. As I was driving up the mountain, a sermon on the radio caught my attention. The speaker was talking about how we are so tied to our to-do list that we forget to create a to-be list. He shared a few items on his to-do list, then admitted how difficult it was to examine his heart and come up with what he wanted to be instead of do.

Because my book, Marriage: Make It or Break It, was a finalist in the Selah contest, my drive to the conference was primarily to attend the awards ceremony. But even more exciting for me was the thought of seeing and spending time with so many of the wonderful friends I’ve made over the past ten years. As I continued to listen to the radio message, my thoughts turned to my career and how I could apply the man’s powerful words.

I prayed, Lord, there are so many things I want to do concerning my writing and editing. My list is long. But more importantly, what do I want to be? Here are a few of my thoughts:
  • I want to be a godly woman and good example.
  • I want to be a woman of integrity.
  • I want to be someone others can depend on.
  • I want to be a positive influence.
  • I want be an encourager.
  • I want to be generous.
  • I want to pray for others.
  • I want to be a person who helps others succeed and reach their God-given destiny.

If you’re a writer, especially one who is just starting out on this wonderful journey, allow God to mold you as you take one step at a time. There will always be many items on your to-do list, but maybe it’s time to shift your focus and concentrate on who you want to become as you travel this road.

I will always treasure the certificates and awards I’ve received, but above all, I will treasure the friends God has placed in my life and the wonderful way He continually works in my heart to make me who He created me to be.

Take delight in the Lord, 
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Psalm 34:7 NIV

What are the desires of your heart? Create your own to-be list. God will honor your efforts, and He will bless you in ways you can’t imagine.


TWEETABLE


21 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. So glad, Pam. Thanks so much for stopping by. Blessings! :)

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  2. Thank you for sharing this important message. I will pray and create my to be list as God leads.

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    1. You're welcome, Jeannie. The idea spoke to my heart so profoundly that I wanted to share it with others. Blessings! :)

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  3. Great reminder, Andrea. :) Thanks for sharing your heart. :)

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    1. Thanks, Lynette. I felt like it was something that needed to be shared. :)

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  4. I wholeheartedly agree with your message. I went this year with no agenda. My heart too broken from many losses. I listened to God as He led me to step down from a great position interviewing authors. I listened as He guided me to speak with certain people. This conference was life-changing for me. I feel closer to my Abba and my brothers and sisters at Blue Ridge.

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    1. Oh my, Cherrilynn, thank you for sharing this. God's guidance is so crucial. For me too, some of my most life-changing moments have happened when I went "with no agenda," other than to be a blessing. Your words are inspiring. :)

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  5. Therein lies the crux of the matter. Do I want to be a writer, or am I spinning my wheels? To be or not to be, that is certainly the question in Spartanburg.

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    1. Only God has the answer to that question, Warren. I will tell you this ... just edited a devotion you wrote for www.ChristianDevotions.us. As always, I enjoyed your words and message. Just sayin'. :)

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  6. Thank you for sharing. I love how God uses sermons on the radio to send us messages.

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    1. Me too, Karen. Thanks for stopping by. Blessings! :)

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  8. Awesome post as usual. Thanks for sharing your heart, Andrea. Happy to see and hug you at Blue Ridge last week.

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    1. Thanks, Joann. It was good to see you too. Blessings! :)

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  9. Loved this. Our be list is so much more important that our do list.

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    1. It really is, Ginger. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Blessings! :)

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  10. I love this post because the focus is so aligned to God's calling on our lives. As Christian writers we're reminded that our Father is looking at our hearts not just our"to-dos."

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    1. So true. God is much more concerned with our hearts than all our accomplishments. Thanks for stopping by. Blessings! :)

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  11. God has been dealing with me on this subject. He's been directing my reading so it all focuses on "follow." If I follow Him each step, He will take care of the to-do and the to-be list.

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    1. So well said, Sherry. Thank you! Blessings! :)

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