Wednesday, February 20, 2013

ARE YOU A WRITER?

Debby presented a workshop to the
 Atlanta Sisters In Crime, on FEB 9, 2013. The group
gathered for a photo following the program.
Debby Giusti here!

The Lenten journey to Easter always invites reflection, and this year is no exception, especially in regard to writing and where God is leading me. While a number of topics came to mind when I was preparing for this blog, the question below is the one that demanded attention.

Are you a writer?

Most of us would immediately say, “Yes.” End of discussion. But wait. Let’s dig a bit deeper.

Is writing your heart’s desire?

Could you stop writing and still feel fulfilled?

How hard are you willing to work to make your dream come true? (That is if being a writer is your dream.)

What are you willing to sacrifice for your writing?
The SINC members were put to work during the interactive workshop
Debby presented.
I believe in setting priorities: God first, family second. But what’s third?

All of us are gifted in multiple ways. Some pursue professions outside the arts. Many have demanding day jobs. Others work hard within the home.

Are you a writer if you don’t give 100% to your craft?

What about 50%?

If you can only allot a few hours each week to writing, are you still a writer?

Surely, you’ve realized there are no right or wrong answers, and the questions posed here bring others to mind that beg to be discussed as well.

When do we become writers?

Is it when we've verbalized our desire to write or claimed writing as our ministry or vocation?

Are we writers only when we’ve completed an article, short story or manuscript?

What if we’ve landed an agent or made a sale?

“Silly woman,” you might be saying. “Why are you struggling with such a simple question? If I write, then I am a writer.”
         
Really?

A totally committed and fully engaged writer?

In my youth, I wanted to be a writer but ignored the inner voice and chose a different path for my life.

Was I a writer because I wanted to write? Of course not.

When my children were young, I penned and published a few articles.

Did that short-lived success make me a writer? No.

Years passed, and eventually, I began to freelance and saw my byline in numerous magazines.

Was I a writer then? Of sorts, yet the desire of my heart was to publish book-length fiction.
A book signing followed the workshop. Notice the
Seekerville bookmarks.
Rejections, rewrites, new stories, more rejections.

Was I a writer when I was struggling to succeed? A real writer?

My first book sold and a second followed.

I said I was a writer, but there was always a niggling doubt that circled though my mind.

Were my sales due to right place, right time, namely that the editors had scheduling holes my stories could fill?

Were the sales merely luck or happenstance?

Would there be future sales?

Last August, my tenth book was published, and with it came the realization that, without a shadow of a doubt, I am a writer.

Could I be a better writer? Definitely.

Do I struggle? Everyday.

Does life often get in the way? Well, of course. But at least after ten books, I know God’s will for my life.

I am a writer…by profession…by desire…by the grace of God.

So now I pose the following questions to you.

Are you a writer?

If so, when did you first call yourself a writer?

What stage of the journey are you on?

What are the doubts that hold you back?

What sacrifices are you willing to make to follow your dream?

Is writing your heart’s desire?

Share your thoughts to be entered in a drawing for one of my books, winner’s choice, along with a surprise gift.

Happy writing!

Wishing you abundant blessings,
Debby Giusti

THE GENERAL'S SECRETARY
By Debby Giusti
Trusting the Wrong Person Can Be Deadly...
Lillie Beaumont's dark past has just turned up on her porch--fatally wounded. The dying words of the man imprisoned for killing Lillie's mother suggest hidden secrets. Criminal Investigations Division special agent Dawson Timmons agrees. He has his own motive for seeking the truth, and it gives Lillie every reason to doubt him. But even as they reluctantly begin to face painful secrets together, Dawson fears that a murderer is waiting to strike again. And this time, Lillie is right in the line of fire...
To find Debby's books at Amazon.com, click HERE!
Read more about Debby in MORE TO LIFE!

109 comments:

Helen Gray said...

I didn't start writing until my last child started school. After years of wearing out typewriters, I finally put the manuscripts away to concentrate on my growing family, church, and work responsibilities.

But the urge was still there.

I retired in 2005 and spent the first year fixing up our house and completing the list of projects I had laid out. In the fall of '06, now a computer user, I began writing again.

I've reached the point that I know I'm a writer. Whether I ever get published, I'm compelled to write story after story. Addicted? Yep.

Okay, the coffee pot's ready.

Helen

Vince said...

Hi Fellow Writers:

Zig Ziglar used to say that he never read in the morning paper that Mrs. Jones just gave birth to a 6 pound 7 ounce writer. (Actually he said, “Salesman” but the point is the same!.)

We are all so much more than writers. I prefer to say, “I’m a ________ who writes.” A famous doctor with many published books might well tell you that he’s a doctor who writes books.

Trying to determine if you are a ‘writer’ or not is a form of self-validation. If I’m a writer then all my writing efforts are worth the effort and expense. If I’m not a writer then all my efforts are dreams and a waste of time and money.

I don’t think it is a question of whether God made us writers or not. I think it is a question about whether God wants us to write. We can write without being anyone’s definition of a writer.

What value is there in trying to determine whether you are a ‘writer’ or not? Are you seeking someone’s approval? Why?

If you believe you are a writer, or if you want to be a writer, then affirm you are a writer. Start the day saying the “Writer’s Prayer”, which begins:

“Lord, inspire me to write stories that touch readers' hearts. Breathe your spirit into my characters so they come alive on the written page. Help me develop intriguing plots full of twists and turns that capture the imagination and move the story to a satisfying resolution…"

In the end it’s not who you say you are. It’s who you have become and by which fruits you will be known.

Vince

Melissa Jagears said...

I bet most people who like to make a line between writer and non-writer would not define me as one. I haven't written since I could hold a crayon, and I could live life without writing--in fact, I have, and in the future, I probably will again.

But lets take doctors for example. A doctor doesn't have to be bandaging up kittens since he could open a band-aid wrapper or be unwilling to retire and pursue another career path sure he could never find fulfillment elsewhere to be legitimately called a doctor.

If you are practicing medicine in the capacity of a doctor, you are a doctor. If you are practicing writing then you are a writer. Simple. Whether you are good or not is a qualification judgment, but you are one.

If you feel you're a writer. Own it and ignore what everyone else says about how you ought to behave and act to merit the title.

That's my take on it.

And, um, yes, I'm highly opinionated on this! ha.

Melissa Jagears said...

Hear, Hear, Vince!

Though I'd not say it's a question of whether or not God wants you to write to decide whether you should become a writer. He doesn't tell me He wants me to own chickens or crochet either, but I do ..... I don't believe God needs me to be a writer, but I do feel he'll use me as one if I'm right with Him in how I proceed.

(BTW, I'm going to just be clear here, that I often find Christian author interviews to make me feel like they are--got. it. all. together. Superchristians--and that is not me at the moment. I know some things God wants me to do to make my life/writing more effective, and I'm struggling to do so quite frankly, so I'm preaching to myself.)

But....the truth doesn't change just because of my subjectivity....

I am commanded in 1 Cor. 10:31 that all I do must glorify God, in Heb. 13:15 that my life should be an outpouring of praise and in Phil. 4:8 to dwell on wholesome thought.

Whatever I choose to do, if it follows scripture and I am wise about my decisions, then I can choose to write, doctor, work on cars, work at Wal-Mart, etc. I have the freedom to choose. (Unless of course I have some heavenly mandate I am ignoring to do so).

So, if you don't feel like God is "calling you to be a writer" you can still be a writer.

Jenny Blake said...

I can honestly say I am 100% not a writer. I am 100% a reader. I have never been inspired to write or felt a calling.
I am still not sure what my calling is I know for awhile it was a carer and I guess Im still working out what it is.

Cindy W. said...

I would have to say I'm not a writer at this time. It is my passion to be able to create stories that touch hearts. I have characters running rampant in my mind and they are demanding their stories are told. My major problem is not believing in myself. That inner voice that keeps trying to take me down by telling me I'm not good enough. I am in the process of turning it all over to God.

Thank you for your post today. Thank you also to Vince's comments they touched me.

Many blessings to you all today.

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W.

countrybear52 AT yahoo DOT com

I would love to be entered into your giveaway Debby.

Debra E. Marvin said...

Nothing fulfills me like writing. It's the only thing I can do that makes me forget to eat--I think that says it all.

If I wasn't a writer, why would I sit here, struggling, doubting myself for hours...just for those moments when I can say "Yes! Perfect!"

Writing is painful and when I'm not writing I'm thinking about it and rushing back.

Debby Giusti said...

Helen,
You are a writer!

Thanks for sharing your journey. Loved your use of the word addicted in conjunction with writing. It seems like that at times, doesn't it? You can't stop writing.

I can relate to putting your writing desire on hold for the family and for church responsibilities. Glad you came back to writing in 2006. So glad you're part of the Seekerville family of writers as well.

Grabbing my first cup of coffee. Just what I needed. Thanks!

Debby Giusti said...

Vince, you always provide sage advice and words of wisdom.

Thanks for mentioning the fruits of our labor. So important.

You said you don't have the need to say you're a writer. Seems that men always own their work. When they're in charge, they'll often use the personal pronoun "I" when talking about what a group of co-workers or subordinates accomplished. "I produced this new system for the company," or "I developed the new policy for..."

You suggested saying, "I am a doctor who writes." What if we don't have that primary profession to mention? Am I a housewife who writes? Am I a mother of three who writes? Or am I a writer, which is my primary profession?

For whatever reason, I needed to produce a certain body of work before I could fully accept that I am a writer. Prior to that, I wondered if this was a momentary pause on my way to the next job or next assignment in life.

You also mentioned self-validation. This industry is filled with rejection, as we all know. We have to believe in what we're doing, even if that means self-validation, in order to overcome the negatives we encounter so frequently. Am I seeking approval? Maybe I'm giving myself permission to write. If I am a writer, then I need to write. No excuses. When confronted with two choices, I need to choose writing. (The only exception being God and family, who always come first.)

Is anything making sense, or am I adding more mud to the already cloudy waters?

Debby Giusti said...

Melissa wrote: If you are practicing medicine in the capacity of a doctor, you are a doctor.

I want to ensure the doc I visit has the education, training and expertise to practice medicine. He is a doctor because of his degree and the schooling he received. Anyone could say they were a doc and could even practice some type of medicine and not be a credentialed physician. Right?

You wrote, "If you feel you're a writer, own it." I agree. But the question is "Are you a writer?"

Could you stop writing, Melissa? Really?

What led you to write if it wasn't an inner desire?

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Debby, talk about a Holy Spirit nudge, isn't this the perfect post to follow up Susan's post yesterday? I think it's positively prayerful to have you girls exploring this, back-to-back because we question our calling so often.

Melissa you touched on something Mary blogged on last year, the desire to serve God by being your best no matter what job you do, what place you're in, what things you say. That's great wisdom in one so young so I might have to threaten you bodily harm for being so smart, except I think I knew that at your age too, so you've made me feel better about myself. Lots of hair-net and name-tag jobs later, I believe your words to be even more true.

Good job!!!! :)

(Most folks back then just thought I was bossy and opinionated. OOPS. Another similarity. ;)

Deb, there's such a professional and personal fine-line here. I remember seeing someone get scolded on a Christian loop because she called herself an "Aspiring author" and the loop person corrected her and told her she was unpublished and not to mince words, that there was a distinct line between published and unpublished and IT SHOULD NOT BE SMUDGED....

Oh. Sigh. Really? Because most published authors I know publish stuff they wrote years before once they find a place/editor/house that loves their work. So they were no less an author before then, they were simply not being paid. Unrecognized.

I'm yammering, but my point is to never give up. God wants his children happy, healthy, whole. And if writing makes you happy, even with the learning curve struggles, you should write. And laugh. And love. And now I need more coffee. And something with peaches, to celebrate our Georgia authors.... Where's Patti Jo "CAT MOM" with our peach stuff????

Debby Giusti said...

Waving to Melissa again!

Yes, anyone can write. It doesn't have to be a call from God. But for some, it is.

I think more of mission. What's the mission He has given me to do? What's the job only I can accomplish...perhaps the one book that will touch that one person?

Yes, I'm free to do whatever I choose to do, but what's the desire of my heart? Often when I'm working within that "desire," I'm more finely aligned to His will.

Debby Giusti said...

Jenny, you know we love readers in Seekerville. And we always love reading your comments. Your insight helps us become better writers, and your support means so much to us.

You're an encourager for sure!

Debby Giusti said...

Cindy, you are a writer, but you haven't validated yourself, which I can relate to as mentioned in the blog.

Actually, I believe that if you write, you are a writer.

My switch in thinking at the ten book mark was to realize this IS what I'm called to do. To accept it fully and to not continually wonder if there was something else I was supposed to do but hadn't yet recognized.

Maybe I hoped there was an easier job God had picked out for me. One that didn't involve being holed up in my office for long periods of time. LOL

Debby Giusti said...

Lovely, Deb Marvin.

You've hit the nail on the head. You are a writer. Amen.

Thanks for sharing!

Debby Giusti said...

Ruthy, the idea for this blog hit a couple weeks ago. I tried to ignore it and work with other topics. But this silly question kept niggling me: Are you a writer?

When I read Susan's blog yesterday, I thought dovetail! Maybe I caught some of the inspiration God was giving Susan...we're only a hour-plus apart...because her blog was inspired. Mine remains that one question: Are you a writer?

Before Speedbo and the big push to complete a manuscript, I felt we needed to dig deep and affirm ourselves.

Most of us are writers, whether we've sold of not. Publication doesn't make a writer. It's a state of mind. I just needed more time and "fruit," before I could accept the role.

Debby Giusti said...

Time for breakfast...

Scrambled eggs, hash browns, sausage and bacon, biscuits with gravy (or honey), an assortment of fruit and grits!

Enjoy!

Sandra Leesmith said...

Morning Debby and what a great post. Thanks for the scrambled eggs, hash browns and sausage too. I'm hungry. smile

I was told by a writing instructor that anyone who writes is a writer. If you are published, then you are also an author. I think that might be some of the clarification you are seeking.

If you write a grocery list, a honey do list, a daily prayer journal, etc. you are a writer. JENNY you are a writer because you write a lovely blog and lovely comments on our blog.

I agree with MELISSA, when she said 'If I'm right with God, whatever I do will be right." So true.

Those of us writing for publication are aspiring authors and will be authors when we sail off unpubbed island.

Thanks again Debby

Debby Giusti said...

Sandra, excellent point about writers and authors.

If you write, you are a writer.

An author comes with publication.

I agree.

When did you first think of yourself as a writer?

Annie Rains said...

Ten books? Wow, that's great!

I am a writer, be it a closet writer, because every spare second I get is spent writing. Because I study writing, think about writing ALL the time. Because writing is the reason I wake up before anyone else in my household instead of staying in my warm, cozy bed. I am a closet writer though because if I told people I was a writer, they'd want to know who my agent was and if I was published. The non-writing world has different standards, I think, for who they call a writer. Doesn't matter. In my heart I'm a writer, and I thank God for giving me this passion.

I'd love to be entered in your drawing today. Thanks for such a beautiful post.

Happy Wednesday, Seekerville!

Rose said...

Hi Debby,

You certainly gave me food for thought on cold winter day.

I think that I determined I was a writer when God lead me to the Christian markets, first for children then inspirational romance.

That was back in 1994, and I've trusted his lead even when I had children's authors tell me there was more money and opportunity in secular markets.

Lindi said...

Debby! Hello love!! I always love a Debby G post. :) I wrote my first book in the 5th grade--The Anchor Mystery--complete with penciled cover art. I didn't write another novel until many years later, but I was always making stories up. I always had characters in my head. In the 90's, when I started putting these stories on paper, I feel like I became a writer. It was more than I could hope for that I would actually finish a book as I was a very undisciplined person. But I did finish. And I finished another, and another. At this point in my life, I feel like I still have stories to tell. So for now, I'm still a writer. Thanks for a great post and I love seeing the pictures. :)

Debby Giusti said...

Oh, Annie, I can so relate.
I, too, was a closet writer for years.

I still remember the day I told some close friends that I had been writing. They furrowed their brows and didn't get what I was trying to say. Probably because I was stumbling over my words.

You're right about the non-writing world having different standards. Especially in this age of e-publications. They think everyone can publish and question if you haven't. Surely something is wrong if you haven't snagged an agent or an editor, if you don't have a book on Amazon, if you're not earning the big bucks. I'm LOL here!

Sounds as if you have that writing addiction Melissa mentioned earlier. :)

You are a writer!

Debby Giusti said...

Hi Rose,
Sounds as if the Lord led you home! Finding our spot in the writing world is important. So glad you found Christian publishing. The switch from secular to Christian was the turning point for me, as well.

Debby Giusti said...

As writers, we do have characters in our heads, don't we, Lindi! And stories to tell.

Love your comment: So for now, I'm still a writer.

Sounds as if you're open to a future change of direction, which is where I was a few years ago. Waiting to see what would come next. Now I realize writing is where I'm supposed to be...until I can no longer see the computer or hold my fingers over the keys.

At least that's the way I feel today. :)

Jackie said...

I've had the at least since middle school. I grew up in a practical family, and looked for a practical career with a steady pay check.

At last when my youngest entered high school I revived the dream and started to write seriously.
I still work the serious job though.

When I'm not working I weigh every decision against time writing. For instance, this Friday night I've been invited to hear a friend's son play with a band at a restaurant. Sure it'll be fun. My hubby already said yes. My friend left church a few years ago, and we need to woo them back. So I'm going, but all week I keep thinking I'd rather be home and write.

I'm not published, but I'm still a writer.

I enjoyed today's post. Thanks!

Jackie L.

Janet Dean said...

Thought provoking post, Debby! Fun to look back at this journey. I wrote short romances when I was twelve. Boy meets girl stuff that I even illustrated and wish I had, but somewhere along the line, I must've tossed them. I let some classmates read them so I was not shy about my writing. I stopped writing those stories in high school and never went back to it until our girls were in high school. That's made me wonder if I truly have a writer's heart. For me the bottomline is when I write, I try to write stories that honor God. And He's allowed me to see them in print. I'm very grateful.

Janet

Janet Dean said...

Thought provoking post, Debby! Fun to look back at this journey. I wrote short romances when I was twelve. Boy meets girl stuff that I even illustrated and wish I had, but somewhere along the line, I must've tossed them. I let some classmates read them so I was not shy about my writing. I stopped writing those stories in high school and never went back to it until our girls were in high school. That's made me wonder if I truly have a writer's heart. For me the bottomline is when I write, I try to write stories that honor God. And He's allowed me to see them in print. I'm very grateful.

Janet

Bridgett Henson said...

This kind of post is why I love reading this blog. We all have different views of what makes a writer a writer. To paraphrase VINCE, No one looks at a newborn and says he/she is a writer. But they are born with the gift of writing. And when we are born-again, God calls us to a specific profession. A doctor who writes isn’t a writer. He is a doctor who writes to promote his medical career. The same is true with any other profession. There is nothing wrong with this, but there is a distinction between a writer and someone who writes.

I believe God has a specific call for every Christian. At salvation, we gave our life to Christ. The potter makes us into the vessel He wants us to be. (Albeit some never answer His call.) Not only does He call writers, He calls them to a specific genre, a story or a blog post. He has a unique work for each of his children to do. He may call you to teach and then use you to write a book. Perhaps, He wants you to ride a garbage truck down the streets of a large city to show His love at every resident and then ask you to write a book helping people recycle items that are often found in the trash.

If He has placed a story in your heart, WRITE it. And when he gives you another, write that one as well. How do you know if it’s of God? My pastor says, “If it’s of God, it won’t leave you. You’ll think about it. You’ll dream about it. It may withdraw for a season. But until you give in, it will always return.”

I know God has called me to write. I’m not one of those Super-Christians who have it all together. Just because I’ve been called doesn’t make is easy. The enemy places doubts and hindrances in my path. Prayer is something I couldn’t live without. I’m not a multi published author on the New York Times bestseller list. In fact, I’m Indie published, but God can use my writing to encourage someone who is down.

So whether, He’s called you to be a writer, or called you to another profession and has given you a story.

Write.

Thanks Debby for a beautiful post. Sorry if I’ve a bit long winded this morning.

Connie Queen said...

I think of myself as a writer, but I don't tell other people that. I normally say something like, "I try to write." I do that so they don't think I'm published. Also I don't want them to feel sorry for me like I got hopes up if I never get published. Embarrassing, I know, but true.

Marianne Barkman said...

Jenny, more and more i feel like we are alike, both readers, not writers in a sea of authors! And yet we do write, if just on our blogs to tell others about these amazing people and the stories they write!
Thanks for the coffee...and i'm drooling for biscuits and gravy, tho that is all i'll do.
Again, the comments are great! Love to hear your take on careers! i would love to feature your book on my blog, Debby, so please put my name in the hat or cat dish or whatever! Have as great a day as you all are!

Melinda said...

I started writing in school. Loved it...It has been a hard journey but one I will not let go of. I have 4 books published and once I got published is when I really considered myself a writer.

I love to write and it means everything to me.

Melinda

Melanie Dickerson said...

Oh, Debby, in my philosophical mood today, this was the perfect post for me. Plus, I like hearing your voice in my head and imagining you talking to me, because I like you and you are a sweetheart. :-)

I was a writer in high school. I wrote two novels, lots of short stories and poems, and then I just quit. Completely. Even stopped reading fiction for about 15 years. Now when I look back on those years, it seems like I was only half alive. Part of me--a BIG part--was missing. What would I sacrifice for my writing? Everything and anything, except the two things you mentioned, God and family.

Now when I speak to young writers I tell them that they should never stop writing completely, because if you're a writer, it's part of who you are.

Now that I've gotten my first mult-book contract for an adult series, I feel like God has given me the desire of my heart, which was to have a career as a novelist. He gave me three YA books published by a major publisher, with a fourth coming later this year, so that was a huge answer to prayer and such a blessing. But there was something about getting that contract for an adult series from B&H that just whispered to my heart, "Here you go. Your dream has come true."

Mary Connealy said...

I love this post, Debby.
I often say being a writer isn't something I do it's something I am.
I've always been a writer. Before I knew I wanted to write I was a writer. My old highschool assignments that included essays and such were always too long.
My children's baby books are covered in writing, margins, empty pages in back, far more words than pictures. Sure a picture might be worth a thousand words, but I don't mind writing a thousand words so....
I just always wanted to tell the story in writing.
Honestly whether I'd ever been published or not, I think I would have always been a writer.

Cara Lynn James said...

For years I dabbled in writing, but I couldn't by any stretch of the imagination call myself a writer. I was a would-be, wanna-be writer. It took an actual decision to begin writing seriously. From there I was eventually published. I considered myself a real writer from the point where I wrote consistently and worked toward publication.

Mary Connealy said...

The other thing that your post brought to mind was, someone said to me after I received my first contract, what now? What do you want out of your writing?
And I said, "I want a career."
It felt strange to say that. Arrogant I suppose, foolishly arrogant. I was fifty years old. People don't start a career at age fifty, right?
But those words came out of my mouth without me giving them much thought at all, but I remember that feeling. The stunned amazement that I'd sold and that little, surprising surge of wanting MORE.
I want a career.
And I'll be darned if I haven't gotten one.

Melanie Dickerson said...

LOL! Yes, Mary, you definitely DO have a career in writing!!! ;-)

Kav said...

Wow -- I enjoyed the post and all the comments. A room full of writing philosophers!

I'm a writer/reader. Can't separate the two. They've meshed into one. I'd cease to exist if I had to give one up. I believe that God gave me this love because He knew I would need both.

I grew up in a very dysfunctional home and words (at first in the pages of books and then in my own writing)kept me sane. I like to say that books raised me and am eternally grateful for the publishing standards back then and the wonderful authors who made a difference in my life. I think of Jesus and how he taught in stories and it just seems right.

I wrote my first book when I was 11 -- my memoirs when I was 13 (LOL)and never stopped writing since then.

It never occurred to me that I could pray about my writing. Hadn't heard of that concept until Seekerville! I didn't do it right away though. I thought it was a fine idea for other writers. Insecurities kept me from believing I could do the same thing. But you seekers kept working on me with intriguing blog posts like this one so I toe-dabbled in the whole prayer thing. Apologetically. But then I felt a little spark, you might say a flash of inspiration and pretty soon I was hooked.

I pray before I read too -- that I might be sensitive to the inspirational threads in a book; that I'll be able to apply them in my own life. Then when I finish reading a book, I journal about what touched me. I find it a really interesting and 'novel' way to include romance reading in my devotionals!

Susan Anne Mason said...

My grade 6 teacher told me I should write a book. He was the first person to make me feel special, that I might be talented at something. I did write that book - took me years to write and years to type (once I learned how to type) and I did submit it (as a teenager). Got a lovely rejection and hung up my pen.

Fast forward to a 40-year-old housewife, mother of two little ones, and the urge came back!

I am a writer.

Wouldn't have it any other way.

Glad to be in such great company!

Cheers,
Sue

Debby Giusti said...

Jackie L, you are a writer!

Thanks for mentioning what you are willing to sacrifice...sounds as if you often say "no" to yourself so you can say "yes" to writing.

I'm already praying for Friday night when you'll be with your friend. May she see Christ in you and be drawn back to her faith.

Praying for your writing too...as I pray for all the Seekervillagers. May the work of our hands bear good fruit.

Hugs and love!

Debby Giusti said...

Janet, how interesting that you wrote romance stories in your youth. Mine were always suspense. Guess our genres were formed even back then. :)

I admire the folks who are able to write with a houseful of children. Evidently, I couldn't muti-task. :)

Plus, I needed more water under the bridge so I could better understand human nature.

You mentioned writing stories that honor God. That's beautiful, Janet, and the perfect focus for anyone hoping to serve Him.

Vince said...

Hi Debby:

I think you have a point there. I’m such a man. I think a good wife and mother outranks a writer any day.

As far as facing rejection and wanting self-validation or at least encouragement, I think that is a different issue. Being a writer does not entail being a good writer. You could be a bad writer and still be a writer. In fact, a sincere bad writer might bring more souls to Christ than a better writer.

I just loved this comment from Melissa which I think says what I was trying to say better than I did:

“I don't believe God needs me to be a writer, but I do feel he'll use me as one if I'm right with Him in how I proceed.”

BTW: I can tell you of three doctors who would probably tell you they were writers who had medical degrees. Arthur Conan Doyle, A. J. Cronin, and Michael Crichton.

I think there are at least two questions here: 1) the proper use of the word ‘writer’ and 2) the psychological need to be empirically justified in being called a writer.

It’s strange in a way: I’ve put over 3,000,000 words of advertising in print and I don’t worry if anyone considers me a copywriter. I’ve given 3,000 three-hour seminars and don’t see myself as a seminar giver. I’ve taught at many levels for over thirty years and don’t see myself as a teacher.

If I’m anything, I’m probably a philosopher who tries to do a little of everything that interests him.

I have a solution: we should baptize writers as we do Christians. Then the only question would be: are you a good one or a bad one? (But not are you one.)

I must thank you! This is not only a great post but the comments are also exceptionally interesting. I’m home today on pain pills and I’m still reading these comments. : )

Vince

P.S. If you rather write than eat, then you are the writing equivalent of a saint.

Jan Drexler said...

It took me a long time to say I was a writer. It was like there was this part of my personality lurking in the background. Waiting.

But years later it was like God opened the door and released the writer that had been absorbing and learning while I thought I was busy with life.

Mary Connealy, I'm with you. I want a career - and mine didn't start until I was 55!

Digging for Pearls said...

I am a writer. It's the response I wanted to say yesterday when I was on the phone preregistering for a medical procedure on Monday. Perhaps I would have had the gumption to say it if the woman hadn't first said..."You're still unemployed, right?"

Yes, in the world's eyes I've been unemployed the past 25 years of my marriage. But was I jobless....no. I just didn't get paid for my work in our home, raising and home educating our sons from preschool through their high school graduations. And in those rare spare moments I wrote - novels, articles, women's Bible studies, two children's books, and even a nonfiction book. Have I gotten paid for any of them? No, at least not yet, but lives were still touched in the process, including mine. My homeschool articles are published bimonthly. My only payment is a copy of the magazine. But do I believe that one day my dream of having a book published will come to fruition? YES!

I've known since I was a young girl that God called me to write. When I do it, I feel His pleasure. So yes, I am a writer. :)

Blessings,
Jodie Wolfe

Debby Giusti said...

Lovely, Bridgett!

I agree about God placing stories on our hearts that need to be written and having a certain mission for each of us to do. I sometimes talk to folks who struggle with whether they are to continue doing a certain ministry or are being called to something new. If the "old" ministry can be done by someone else and the "new" ministry is something only they can do, then they should make the change. If we always do jobs anyone can do, and we're busy doing so, then we might miss the one job only we can do.

Love what your minister says about the Lord continuing to bring something to mind. Which happened with this blog. I kept getting, "Are you a writer?"

Chill N said...

You know, this is one of the many things I enjoy about Seekerville ... the discussions and sharing of ideas that a post generates. Your thoughts encourage me to reexamine my thoughts, figure out what feeds them and why.

As a person who isn't fond of labels -- except on canned goods -- I hesitate to describe myself as much of anything because doing so seems to put me into a slot filled with preconceived notions. Now why those preconceived notions should bother me ..that's what I need to think more about.

I had written non-fiction for a long, long time, Debby -- magazine, newspaper, promo work, training manuals --but interestingly I didn't list my occupation as 'writer' until one of my short stories was published. Until then, I listed my occupation as 'journalist.' Wonder what's up with that? :-)

Nancy C

Debby Giusti said...

Connie, I know exactly how you feel. Been there, done that!

Once I started to freelance and published in magazines on a regular basis, I told folks I wrote...but I still wasn't the writer I wanted to be because writing articles wasn't the desire of my heart. However, freelancing turned out to be a stepping stone to writing fiction. Plus, it helped me feel more confident about my writing.

Debby Giusti said...

Hi Marianne,

You're in the drawing!

Seekerville is a place for everyone who loves writing and books and stories. Readers and writers and anyone else who wants to stop by are always welcome! Plus, Helen keeps the coffee on, and Ruthy usually bakes something good for a mid-afternoon snack.

Hint, hint, Ruthy!

Then sweet Patti Jo brings peach-filled yummies for evening dessert!

No calories. No weight gain. Lots of good conversation and support.

We're so glad you're part of the family. Keep up your blog. The work you do is greatly appreciated by all of us.

Hugs and love!

Debby Giusti said...

Congrats on your four books, Melinda! You've realized your goal and your heart's desire, which makes my very happy.

Keep working so we can all enjoy your stories!

Missy Tippens said...

Fantastic post, Debby. And so thought provoking.

It's really interesting to me how many views we have on this. It shows how God works in each of our lives--and meets our needs individually.

Melissa said: "I don't believe God needs me to be a writer, but I do feel he'll use me as one if I'm right with Him in how I proceed."

This echoes a thought that has hit me more than once while asking God if He really wants me in this career. I've been hit with the strong feeling that God doesn't really care (and I don't mean that in a negative way! LOL). I take it to mean that God wants me to glorify Him. Period. And I can do that in many different ways. I've also had the sense that He wants me doing something that's fulfilling.

So I'm left with a choice. And I choose to be a writer. I enjoy writing. And it's fulfilling to touch lives with my stories. (reader letters are such a blessing!) I've even come to feel like it can be a ministry for me--a way to reach out to hurting people.

I feel as long as I'm doing my work (whatever it is) for His glory, then He'll bless that decision.

Melissa Jagears said...

Ha, I wondered if someone would want to pick apart my doctor example because of the degree thing. (It didn't use to be that way, btw, you hung up your shingle as a doctor, and therefore you were.) But you can replace that with something else easily. If you are practicing dance, you are a dancer, if you are landscaping yards, you are a landscaper whether or not you have a masters in it or you learned to do it through practice. The act of doing is being. Whether you are good or bad is a different thing all together.

Now, when to call yourself a writer to the outside world? Technically, you can call yourself that the moment you start--it's the denotation of the word. ACTUALLY you can call yourself an author the minute you finish a piece of writing. (Look up the definition, published ISN'T in the definition of author--it means this person is the originator of a writing piece.) BUT the connotation of calling yourself an author means you are going to get asked about your books for purchase. So for your sanity, you might want to wait until you feel comfortable answering the question, "So you're a writer? Where can I buy your book?"

Debby Giusti said...

Oh, Melanie. I choked up reading your comment today. So powerful!

The YA books were your stepping stones to adult fiction. Amazing how God works!

Any idea why you put your writing and reading aside for 15 years? Was it while your children were little?

When mine were young, I read short stories because I never knew if I'd find the time to finish a full-length novel. :)

Guess what I saw on the shelves at SAMS CLUB last week? Your latest release: THE FAIREST BEAUTY. Of course, I had to have it and can't wait to start reading.

Looking forward to your adult books when they come out. Congrats on your well-deserved success!

Debby Giusti said...

In my mind, Mary, you’re the quintessential writer. You’re also who I want to be when I grow up.

Some blogs ago, you mentioned the difference between being a storyteller and a writer. You said you're a storyteller. Evidently, a born storyteller.

Bet you've never struggled with the question, "Are you a writer?"

Debby Giusti said...

Interesting, Cara. You had to make the decision to write in earest. I think that often happens. We finally decide we can do it and want to do it, and then we start producing and eventually publish.

CatMom said...

Wow, Debby! This is an amazing post--just this morning I was thinking about these very thoughts. (I love it when I read something that I really, really needed at that moment! Another example of God at work *smile*). I've wanted to be a "full-time" writer pretty much my entire life, but it wasn't until the Lord closed the door on my teaching career (due to my severe spinal issues) that I realized He was opening the door for me to write full-time. However....in a way I didn't take myself seriously until these past couple of years--I mean REALLY seriously. And I realized--the Lord has given me this wonderful opportunity, but it's up to ME to work hard---VERY hard. So yes, now I happily tell folks I'm a writer (unpublished as yet, but working hard) and I can honestly say I am loving this journey. Thanks so much for sharing this today--you look wonderful in those photos, and I'm sure those ladies were thrilled to meet with you! Hugs, Patti Jo

Mary Vee said...

Thanks, Debbie. Yes. I am a writer and so much more. I am a complex creation of God. Sometimes too complex for my own good:)

mimary_vee@yahoo.com

Debby Giusti said...

Mary, the "what now" question is important.

A career! Great answer. I'm not sure I'm at that point yet.

Especially since I'm still grappling with "Are you a writer?" LOL

If pressed, I'd say I'm more ministry focused than career minded. Writing gives me the forum to get to know, to interact with, and yes, even minister to God's people. I like to mix and mingle. God has given me that opportunity through my writing and because of my writing.

Debby Giusti said...

Kav, how lovely that you pray before you read.

And then you journal about what you've read. LOVE that idea and love you!

I'm sorry about your dysfunctional past. Wish I could hold you and pray away the problems you had to endure. Children in difficult and sometimes painful places are always on my heart.

So glad you're praying for your own writing. I truly believe God is raising up HIS writers to minister to HIS people. We've been called. Prayer helps to open doors and gives us the courage to step out in faith, even when we don't know where we're going. But God knows. He has wonderful plans in store for you.

Sending prayers especially on FEB 26th.

Julie Lessman said...

Ooooo, DEB, talk about stirring the pot this morning!!

I first called myself a writer at the age of 12 when I wrote half a ms. that ended up 40 years later being the basis for my debut novel. I wrote poetry and stories all through my teens, 20s and 30s, so I have considered myself "a writer" for a long time now, basically meaning I HAVE to write and it is therapy for me.

I think anyone who loves to write and incorporates it in their lives in any way, whether they are published or not, are writers. It's a gift, a talent, a desire given by God and the icing on the cake is if you can do it for Him and His glory.

Thanks for making me really think this morning, Deb, and making me reevaluate my calling.

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

MELISSA SAID: "BTW, I'm going to just be clear here, that I often find Christian author interviews to make me feel like they are--got. it. all. together. Superchristians--and that is not me at the moment."

Uh, Melissa ... have you ever read one of MY interviews??? Having it "ALL TOGETHER" is definitely not one of my talents, and that's for darn sure!! The truth is, NOBODY really has it "all together" all together, it's just that some people are a little more honest about it than others, that's all. We're human beings first, after all, and we'll be blowing it till the day we take our last breath. Or at least I will be!! :)

Hugs,
Julie

Melissa Jagears said...

Yes, I think I could stop writing. I didn't write much beyond school/job requirements and long emails for 29 years and was a fulfilled person, I don't know why I couldn't again, though I might be more tempted to write out my ideas that come to me much more often since I know the craft on how now. But I doubt I'll be doing it on my deathbed. Do I have an inner desire? Well, I doubt anyone would write if they had no ideas.

Harper Lee, the Pulitzer Prize winning Author for To Kill a Mockingbird wrote one book and never wrote again. Would you say she's not a writer?

To be a mechanic doesn't necessarily require passion, but the practice of turning wrenches.--Though passion and desire, I'm sure, would make it more fulfilling.

Perhaps the question isn't, "are you a writer" but "what do you need in order to believe you should devote your time to writing?" Perhaps I'm just hung up on a definition is a definition. :)

Do I think God wants certain people to write, sure--we wouldn't have the Bible if He didn't. :) (Though theologically, I don't agree that each individual has a specific will of God, the Bible outlines a sovereign and moral will of God...but that's a discussion for another blog. ;)) But I don't think one should make a person working at writing feel like less of a writer because they don't meet qualification not included in a dictionary definition of the word.

Melissa Jagears said...

Yes, JULIE, I love you for that actually. Being transparent and authentic.

We had a discussion about that in Sunday School this week. How does it feel for someone who hasn't got it all together to come in and see no transparency and everyone having the answers? They're going to leave to find a group of people who they can identify with.

Melissa Jagears said...

Oh, and Debby, I hope I'm not coming across poorly, this would be a much better discussion across the lunch table. :) It'd also be easier since I wouldn't be typing one handed while being peed on by a potty training 2 year old. :D

Debby Giusti said...

Sue, what a great teacher you had in 6th grade. Good for you to have written that first story. Did you save the rejection letter?

I always told my kids they could write. That affirmation paid off. They always tackled their school writing assignments with enthusiasm. Now I'm working on my young granddaughter. We recently wrote a "book" together. Three chapters. She dictated, and I typed. She visited this weekend and read the story out loud to anyone who would listen. She's so proud of her work and so am I.

Yes, Sue, you are a writer!

Walt Mussell said...

When you make the decision to place a priority on writing, such that you willingly, purposefully regularly carve out time in your schedule to pour out onto paper what's in your head, then you are a writer.

I do not stuggle with calling myself a writer. However, I do see me struggling with calling myself an author.

Debby Giusti said...

Vince, sorry to learn you're in pain. Praying for your return to good health!

I don't think the quality of writing has any bearing on whether a person is a writer. IMO, it's a personal decision that each of us has to make. Some have no problem embracing the role of writer, no matter what they write. Others set parameters that must be met first.

It's almost like a mindset. Am I ready to fully embrace everything the writing life entails? Such as perseverance and hard work, long hours at the keyboard, putting the work ahead of recreational activities or other tasks that are good to do...

Most women are nurturers. Perhaps the question is important to me so I can give myself permission to put writing ahead of those activities that filled and fulfilled my life before writing. Does that make sense?

If I fully embrace writing as my vocation, my ministry, my mission at this time of life, then I can more easily say "no" to other things that were good for me to do in the past but are not part of my writing journey today.

It's not that I need to announce to the world that I'm a writer. It's that I need to know--in my heart of hearts--that it's okay to be a writer. I can't be all things to all people. But if I know what I am called to do, I can pick and choose the "other" jobs in light of how they will impact my writing.

Debby Giusti said...

Jan, if you want a career, God will give you one. I'm sure of it!

So glad God released the writer in you! He has great plans for your writing future!

Debby Giusti said...

Jodie wrote:
I've known since I was a young girl that God called me to write. When I do it, I feel His pleasure. So yes, I am a writer. :)

Beautifully said!

And you're not unemployed! Oh my goodness. Being a mom and homemaker is the hardest but most rewarding job there is. Congrats on raising the kids and writing at the same time.

Your published articles in the homeschooling mag will provide great writing credits in your cover letters to editors!

Debby Giusti said...

It's the fiction thing, Nancy C. You're called to write stories. You were a writer. Now you're a fiction writer, which is probably your heart's desire.

Not that I want to label you, of course. :)

Gina Welborn said...

Vince said: "In the end it’s not who you say you are. It’s who you have become and by which fruits you will be known."

Excellent!

I was thinking, oddly, about this topic (blame yesterday's post) before I fell asleep last night.

Some jobs we do because it's a job.

Some jobs we do because it's what we've been trained to do.

Some jobs we do because it's who we are. So even if we aren't getting paid to do it, being a doctor or a pastor or a teacher or a writer will naturally flow from us. It also colors our perspective.

Debby Giusti said...

Nice, Missy. Glad you're a writer. Glad our paths crossed through GRW and continue to connect through Seekerville.

I've enjoyed all the comments today. Vince is making me think too much, but that's okay. :)

Debby Giusti said...

Melissa, thanks for stopping in again. See my response to Vince a few messages above.

It's a personal decision I needed to make to give myself permission to write...

Debby Giusti said...

Patti Jo...

You said: ...in a way I didn't take myself seriously until these past couple of years--I mean REALLY seriously. And I realized--the Lord has given me this wonderful opportunity, but it's up to ME to work hard---VERY hard.

It is a mindset, isn't it? We need to believe we're writers so we'll be able to push forward, even when the going is tough. If we weren't sure about whether we were supposed to write or whether we should write, we might NOT work hard enough to succeed.

Anything peachy in your oven today, Patti Jo?

Debby Giusti said...

Hi Mary Vee!

So glad you're a writer! Thanks for being with us in Seekerville today.

God does good work...often complex, but always good. :)

Debby Giusti said...

I love hearing of people who don't struggle with whether they're a writer.

Thanks, Julie, for being so positive today.

Glad our writing paths have crossed, Seeker Sister!

Debby Giusti said...

Melissa,
I hope you don't think I was setting writing standards today. I was talking about my own inner struggle and when I could finally acknowledge that I was a writer. As I mentioned in the comment to Vince, I needed to accept that I was a writer so I could be free to write.

Every person comes at this from a different angle, as seen in the comments today.

If you write, you are a writer. I believe that wholeheartedly.

But I did have a mind change at the ten book mark. Maybe God opened a window and allowed me to breath deeply at that point. For whatever reason, that's when I finally gave myself permission to be a writer.

Debby Giusti said...

Walt is a writer...

He said: When you make the decision to place a priority on writing, such that you willingly, purposefully regularly carving out time in your schedule to pour out onto paper what's in your head, then you are a writer.

Amen!

You won't have trouble calling yourself an author, Walt. It comes with publication. You'll be there before long!

Debby Giusti said...

Well said, Gina.

But you didn't answer the question. Are you a writer?

(Of course, I know the answer, but I want to read what you have to say. Hugs!)

Melanie Dickerson said...

Yay! I'm so happy you found my book in Sam's! :-)
You are so sweet, Debby. HUGS!!!

Pat W said...

Wow! I love it when God uses Seekerville to help me work through an issue. I have struggled with this issue for some time now. I even quit learning the craft and trying to write because of self doubt and whether or not God wanted me to be spending the time required. I recently came to the conclusion that I have the desire to write and I'm not sensing him push me in another direction. As long as I write for HIS glory then I feel He will bless my decision in whatever way He chooses. I think the discussion today is a confirmation for me! So...I will continue to learn and study. I've lurked on Seekerville for a while now and enjoy reading every day! Hope everyone has a blessed day!

Janet Dean said...

Melanie!! How did I miss your three book contract with BH? Congratulations!!! I'm thrilled for you!!

Vince, hope your pain is better soon!

I think God wants us to do whatever we do for Him and allows us pick what fits who we are. He wants us to do what makes us happy. If I didn't write, I'd be doing something creative. I certainly would not be doing math. :-)

Janet

Debby Giusti said...

Pat W,
So glad we could help! If you have the desire and God isn't pushing you in another direction, I'd say you're supposed to write.

YAY, Pat! You're a writer!

So glad you weren't lurking today.

Praying for you to bear good writing fruit for the Lord.

Hugs!

Debby Giusti said...

No math for me either, Janet! :)

CatMom said...

Okay, sweet Debby - - here you go: Warm Georgia Peach cobbler--right out of the oven (served with whipped cream if you desire); Freshly-baked Peach muffins; and Peach Shortcake--topped with real whipped cream and a slice of a Georgia peach. ENJOY!!! :) Hugs, Patti Jo
p.s. These go great with a cup of Helen's coffee, of course! :)

Debby Giusti said...

Be still my heart!

Patti Jo, thank you for all the peach goodies!

I'm grabbing a plate and taking some of each!

Thank goodness cyber food has no calories.

Vince said...

Hi Debby:

Thanks for your kind thoughts on my pain. I went into the hospital yesterday feeling fairly well, had a procedure that I think went very well, but they placed me on the operating table in a way that aggravated an old back injury. They didn’t know this was happening and I couldn’t tell them. So I left the hospital in a wheel chair and soon to be felt pain as the anesthetics wore off. I’m glad I had some pain pills from a prior operation. Others might want to think about this if it could happen to them.

I loved you comment about thinking too much. It made me think of a favorite scene in “Zorba the Greek.”

With all his learning and knowledge of philosophy the hero can’t answer one of Zorba’s questions.

Zorba simply says: “You think too much. Let’s dance.” And they dance on the beach like Greek men do.

Whatever our thoughts are about writing and being a writer, Let’s write!

(Maybe it’s the pain pills but I am really loving today comments.)

Vince

P.S. I read his book. There is no doubt: Walt’s a writer.

Vince said...

Hi Julie:

I know you started APMP as a child but now I’m curious as to when you wrote those first lines? And did you have any sisters? Those lines seem so age appropriate.

“Sisters are overrated, she decided. Not all of them, of course, only the beautiful ones who never let you forget it."


BTW: your Bible quote to APMP seems perfect for today’s discussion.

“To the man who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness, but to the sinner he gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth to hand it over to the one who pleases God. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.*”
Ecclesiastes 2:26 NIV

Now those are words to the wise if I’ve ever read them. Now that I look back on it, that first quote seems an ideal choice for the whole seven book series.

Vince

*Somehow I think this has something to do with liking "Gone With the Wind".

Tina Radcliffe said...

I am a writer. Some days I am a doubtful writer and some days I am a confident writer. But there is still writer on the end of that title.

Lyndee H said...

Thanks for the thought-provoking post, Debby!

When I was in second grade Mrs. Orledge took a poll of the class, recording what everyone wanted to be when they grew up. I said writer. When I returned home from school, my mother was on the phone with the teacher. Apparently all the other children selected professions that mirrored those of their parents. But my father was an accountant and my mother an RN, so I didn't fit the profile. I guess that was cause for alarm! But anyway, I guess I've considered myself a writer since age eight.

pol said...

well I wrote some really great thoughts for you about the post today but they dissappeared and I cannot write all that again, sorry
your post made me think a lot about who and what I am, we are much more then Just a writer or Just a MOM, By the grace of God, we are.
enjoy reading all the comments.
Paula O

Debby Giusti said...

Back pain is terrible, Vince! Sending more prayers.

I've enjoyed the comments too. Everyone comes at this from a different place.

Let's write! :)

Debby Giusti said...

Ah, Tina, I like your adjectives. Doubtful and confident. Both so descriptive and appropriate.

Debby Giusti said...

Lyndee,
I'm smiling. You were such a rebellious child! :)

How lovely that you knew your vocation even then.

Debby Giusti said...

Hi Paula,
Sorry Goggle was acting up today and stole your comments!

Sometimes it's good to think about who we are and how God sees us. I'm sure he sees you as his beautiful child.

May the K9 Spy (and KC Frantzen) said...

Bet that was a superb workshop, Debby! Thank you for sharing the photos!

Questions are good!

Seekerville has been instrumental in my career as a writer/author. I was published here and there on various topics (and a multitude of Letters to the Editor) nothing major... But it seemed when Seekerville came into my life, things began to get more serious. I've been writing since 5th grade, but didn't really call myself a writer until the first book was published. Just something about holding it in your hand... Wow.

Now I'm on the 3rd and still at times I begrudge my writing time. I'm not doing other things that need completing (or starting).

But I've been called to this too, whether for a season or from now on, not sure.

Thanks for leading the way!!! I use your writer's prayer SO often, today in fact! Will have to read through the comments later. Just printed out what I've written and need to sort through. Deadline approaches! :)

Debby Giusti said...

Thanks for sharing your journey, KC. I hope Seekerville provided support, which is so important in this business, and a bit of encouragement.

You're to be congratulated for your success. Three books! Good for you. I know you and May have touched so many through your work.

Love your comment about "whether for a season or from now on."

Good luck with your deadline! So glad The Writer's Prayer helps!

Debra E. Marvin said...

I was really into the cerebral side of these comments until I saw PEACH COBBLER.

Now I'm a drooler.

Julie Lessman said...

MELISSA SAID: "We had a discussion about that in Sunday School this week. How does it feel for someone who hasn't got it all together to come in and see no transparency and everyone having the answers? They're going to leave to find a group of people who they can identify with."

Oh, AMEN to that, Melissa!! I wasn't a Christian till I was 23, and THAT type of behavior was one of the things that kept me away, so you will NEVER see that from me. Not only because I don't like it but because I mess up WAY too much to ever even fake it ... :)

Hugs,
Julie

Debby Giusti said...

I'll pat your chin, Deb, and wipe the drool away.

I too love peach cobbler. :)

Audra Harders said...

Thought provoking post, Deb. What makes a writer? What makes an author? Where does storyteller fit in?

I've always been a dreamer--a romantic dreamer. I wrote short stories in high school that always featured a cute jock and shy wallflower who ended up with the HEA, LOL! To this day, I recognize no genre more fulfilling than romance. What's more important than happily ever after??

I don't think God created or intended me to write great literary works of fiction. I think my job is to write feel good stories that give people hope through Jesus. I'm okay with that.

Yes, I'm a writer.

Julie Lessman said...

VINCE SAID: "I know you started APMP as a child but now I’m curious as to when you wrote those first lines? And did you have any sisters? Those lines seem so age appropriate."

LOL ... I'm from a family of 13 kids, 3 brothers and 10 sisters, so yes, those lines came very naturally along with all the sibling rivalry and hair-pulling fights!! :)

But I wrote those final first lines long after I wrote the book. My original first lines from the novel I wrote when I was 12 went like this:

Patrick O'Connor was dead. Yet the sky hadn't altered its azure hue, nor had the birds retired their chant so familiar to the city in the spring.

Originally Patrick died at the onset, but when I wrote the story 40 years later, I decided he should be alive. :)

The original lines from the later ms. when I was in my 50s was, right after I wrote it was:

Faith O'Connor would have given anything to trade places with her sister. To be the second rather than the firstborn … or at the very least, the firstborn of a mother who didn't cling to the catechism of the Holy Mother Church in the naming of her offspring!

VINCE ALSO SAID: "BTW: your Bible quote to APMP seems perfect for today’s discussion. “To the man who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness, but to the sinner he gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth to hand it over to the one who pleases God. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.*”
Ecclesiastes 2:26 NIV"

The original title for A Passion Most Pure was "A Chasing After the Wind," because I wanted to have Scriptures for titles and also to have the word "wind" in it because of Gone With the Wind. A Chasing After the Wind turned out to be the major theme of APMP -- not only was Faith chasing after the "wind" of the Holy Spirit, but Collin was chasing after the "wind" referred to in the Scripture above -- chasing after things that are as meaningless and evasive as the wind, such as women and booze and sin.

VINCE ALSO SAID: "Now those are words to the wise if I’ve ever read them. Now that I look back on it, that first quote seems an ideal choice for the whole seven book series."

I never thought of that, Vince, but you are right. Each of the O'Connor children are chasing after things they think will make them happy, but in the end, they discover (just like their parents in A Light in the Window) that God is the only thing worth chasing because He's the only thing that satisfies.

FINALLY YOU SAID: "Somehow I think this has something to do with liking "Gone With the Wind".

GWTW had a HUGE impact on me, seeing Scarlett chase after something that would never make her happy when her true happiness (Rhett) was in front of her all the time.

Thanks for delving so deeply into my work, Vince -- you help me to do the same and remind me just why I like writing for God. :)

Hugs,
Julie

Melissa Jagears said...

I'm glad you decided once and for all you're a writer, Debby! It's a terrible antsy place when you aren't sure you should be doing what you are doing.

Debby Giusti said...

LOL, Melissa! Thanks for adding so much to today's discussion!

Virginia Carmichael Munoz said...

No one will see this comment but just have to be silly and say Vince on pain pills is still a hundred times smarter than me stone cold sober.

We should feed him pain pills every day to level the playing field.

Tina Pinson said...

I started writing in grade school and continued til I was about twenty then I wrote short stories, poems songs and such, until around 29 and I started again. Am I writer? Sure. Do I question it sometimes? Yes.

Blessings
Tina

Mary Preston said...

I know for a fact that I am not a writer, because I don't write, but I do love to read.

marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

Debby Giusti said...

I'm laughting, Virginia.

Tina, sounds as if you've had a lifetime of writing.

Mary Preston, we love readers!

Jo Russell said...

Having struggled with writing and guilt (for not writing more)over forty years, I really identified with your comments and experiences. It still comes down to overcoming procrastination and personal discipline. Then there is the talent issue. We certainly have to use the talent that God gave us. Jo Russell, author, speaker, blogger, http://www.button-to-god.com

Cheryl Hart said...

Yes, I'm a writer!

I've enjoyed writing stories since I was a child, but I believe I became a (real) writer when I finally began WORKING at my craft... I searched for instruction, followed advice, listened to critiques (without getting my feelings hurt) and yearned to make my stories stronger.

I love your priorities, Debby. Keeping God first gives the rest of the priorities strength. ;)

Please enter me in the giveaway. :)