Monday, August 12, 2013

Writers Write -- Missy Tippens

Writers Write

Missy Tippens

You’ve heard variations on the quote, “Writers write.” But have you ever thought about how it applies to you?

I’ve thought of this a good bit recently.

When I signed my new contract with Love Inspired (yay!!), I wrote my first deadline on the calendar. Then I backed up and chose the date I wanted to have my first draft finished, leaving time for critique and polishing. Next I figured out how many work days I had—taking into account vacation, moving my son to college, a trip I’m chaperoning with my daughter’s high school, etc. I divided out the number of words left in the manuscript and came up with an easily do-able daily word count. So when I went on vacation, I decided to take time off (except for checking in on blogs a bit).

But then I got back, and had a million things to do for my son’s college orientation followed by my daughter's school starting. Between doctor and dentist and vet appointments, I didn’t get right back to work. Though I was still on target on my calendar and in good shape for my deadline, days passed where I didn’t write. I was getting frustrated. Feeling depressed. It was affecting my mood and how I felt in general. (Okay, I'll just go ahead and admit I was crabby and impatient...and in a funk.)

When I finally sat down to get back to work on my story, I immediately felt as if a cloud had lifted. All it had taken to feel like myself again was for me to plant myself at the keyboard and just do it.

Writers write.

Even if you don’t have contracted deadlines yet, you may at some time have been affected by missed writing days. I suspect I’m not the only one who feels a blue funk when she doesn’t write.

Photo Credit: Crestock/Alexmillos

Pitfalls of Not Writing

--We get out of the habit.
Writing is definitely a habit. Not writing is also a habit.

--We begin to make excuses.
All it takes is a day or two of telling ourselves Oh, it’s okay. I’ll start again tomorrow. And then before we know it, a week has passed. It’s a slippery slope.

--We begin to think we need uninterrupted blocks of time. I can’t start today, I’ll only be home for an hour. Don’t fall for this trap. Those huge blocks of time almost never happen.

--We lose motivation.
Working regularly leads to excitement about the story. Each day is a new adventure. Being away from the story leads to a loss of that excitement. And then it’s more difficult to get motivated.

--Depression breeds depression (it’s a cycle)…and if we have a deadline, getting behind can lead to panic, which can hinder writing (a whole new cycle).

It just takes one little step to the keyboard to turn it all around.

Look at the happy camper! This is still my favorite place to write. Except for maybe at the beach. :)

Writers Write.

Tips to Remember

--Writing is for our well-being.
If we’re created to write, then writing is essential for our mental, emotional and spiritual health. Writing is our creative outlet, a blessing from God. Thinking of it in this positive light can go a long way toward motivating us!

--Daily writing keeps the story alive.
Keeping the story fresh in our minds makes starting the next day easier. Any time we’re away from the story, it can be tough to get going again. Much easier to keep at it!

--Being consistent helps meet deadlines.
Whether contracted or self-imposed, deadlines should be a part of our writing career. Writing daily is the best way to assure that we meet those deadlines.

--Habit is everything.
And good habits are much better than bad habits. Create a good habit—a routine—that works well for you. (For example, I usually take Sundays off.)

--Consistent, daily writing (which I mentioned keeps the story fresh) allows for beautiful surprises to pop into your writing.
These are characters, themes, symbols…things we haven’t even planned. Surprises that make our stories richer. I love when these serendipitous moments happen, these kernels of ideas that have been brewing in our subconscious. Showing up at the page brings opportunity.

So I guess my questions for you today are these: Do you feel called to write? Do you feel God created you to write? Have you struggled to write regularly and felt the frustration, depression or angst when you’ve been away from the keyboard? If so, I hope this post has been helpful. Just jump in and establish good writing habits. I promise, you won’t regret it.

While we’re chatting… I’m offering a giveaway for a phone chat (in U.S.A.) to help motivate YOU! Or if you're already a highly motivated writer, I'll be glad to chat about a topic of your choice. Be sure to let me know if you want to be entered!

Missy Tippens is a 2013 RITA® Award finalist and was recently named a Maggie Finalist. Her April release from Love Inspired is Georgia Sweethearts. Visit her at


CatMom said...

LOVED this post, Missy! Yes, Writers Write -- I think I need to put those words next to my computer (and in my kitchen, living room, etc.). I SO agree with what you wrote about getting out of the habit and then feeling frustrated. That's happened to me so many times. I have to say I've really improved in that area though (even though I still go through spells when I "backslide" LOL).

But thankfully now I've reached the point where I just don't "feel right" if I haven't written at least for a little while each day! So I'm striving to stay disciplined and WRITE, because I truly feel that's what the Lord has called me to do at this season of my life.

Thanks SO much for sharing this post with us (and you look so cute in that photo with your laptop!).
Hugs, Patti Jo

Missy Tippens said...

Yes, Patti Jo. I just don't "feel right" when I don't write. That's a great way to put it.

Thanks on the photo! :)

Melissa Jagears said...

Okay, I know this flies in the face of most CBA writers' opinions, but no, I don't feel like God called me to write. I think I have a talent for it (I have a talent for other things as well and at the present time I'm not using that talent because I don't have enough time to do everything.) but God will use me in whatever endeavor I try, whether I decide to be a mechanic, stay-at-home mom, missionary, or writer.

Once I began writing, it does call to me because I enjoy it...somewhat... LOL, but I could quit if I needed to though I'd probably make up stories in my head a lot since it's become a habit. I did ask God not too long ago if he cared that this was what I was spending my time doing, and I got a rather clear answer that he'd use me through it, but is that a calling? God can use you for his glory no matter what you choose to do. Perhaps many do have a calling, that's certainly something God may call someone to do, but I've heard a lot of people insinuate that unless you are called to be a writer, you might as well give up because you aren't going to make it. Nonsense. No one declares people can't be successful McDonald's employees unless God calls them to be one. So why do we do that to writers? God can use me to reach people as I bus tables at McDonald's just as much as he can use me writing novels.

So if you don't feel a calling by God to write, but still want to write, don't let that stop you unless you know you're disobeying God in some fashion by writing.

ANYWAY. I totally agree with writing every day is THE BEST way to get a manuscript on paper. You don't lose the momentum, you don't have to go back and remember the emotional arc of a character, their personality doesn't "disappear" and have to be recalled, you do get those sudden insights easier because you are so immersed in the storyworld you remember all the little details you're throwing in there that can be enhanced.

The faster you get that first draft out, the better in my opinion. I think it makes for a more organic story feel. Not that you can't do it the other way, I have, but I definitely feel better about my stories that I ignore all other writing tasks to put down a rough draft than the ones I do in spurts. Not that they're "worse" stories by any means, it just feels better and easier.

And as for the phone I the only person who truly hates the phone? Missy, I hope to talk to you at a conference one day though. :)

Melissa Jagears said...

Oh, and there are certainly non-talented people trying to write and won't get anywhere, but that doesn't mean God can't use the hobby. They could learn something about themselves as they write that can improve them, like discipline or finding out a spiritual truth by working through a character's journey. They may minister to their family who reads their drafts, they may simply be entertaining themselves with a wholesome activity--nothing wrong with that. So I'm not saying every non-called writer will succeed in publishing and becoming a NYT bestseller or anything, because I do think talent plays into that.......I probably better shut up now, I could talk about this for a long long time. :)

Julie Hilton Steele said...

Missy, I write for two hours Monday through Friday in the morning. I may also revise and polish between in the late afternoon but that isn't as regular.

I am trying to get my manuscript polished and my synopsis done but also have figured out that if I push too hard one day, I pay for it the next.

I take the weekend off and find I am chomping at the bit to get back to writing on Monday.

Put me in for the chat!

Melissa, very well said. Writing is a tool for God to teach us so many things about ourselves. God may not be calling us to write something specific or to be successful in publication but God always uses all things for good.

Peace, Julie

Virginia Carmichael Munoz said...

I usually fall in Melissa's camp about being called to do a lot of different things, but this part...

"--Writing is for our well-being.
If we’re created to write, then writing is essential for our mental, emotional and spiritual health. Writing is our creative outlet, a blessing from God. Thinking of it in this positive light can go a long way toward motivating us!"

This line really touched me. I read somewhere (probably a bumper stick, ha!) that the closer to the Creator, the more creative you are. If writing is my creative outlet, then that is when I feel closest to the Creator. Writing keeps me close to God. When I don't write, I feel adrift and sad.

So, whether you feel you are 'called to write' or not, to live creatively is to live close to the Creator. And all of us strive for that!

Beautiful post, Missy.

Naomi Rawlings said...

I'm going to agree with Melissa on this one, and it's more of a terminology thing than anything. I really believe that the only thing God specifically "Calls" someone to is the ministry. That's certainly the only time you see "calling" used in such a sense in the New Testament. Christ called his disciples. God called the apostle Paul. But when I look at the New Testament, I don't see God calling writers or teachers or artists or merchants or anything other than a person directly into the ministry.

That said, I do believe God has a will for each and every one of us, that God has a purpose for every life he puts on this earth, and that writing may indeed be part of God's plan and purpose for a person. Do I believe God wants me to write? Yes. Do I believe He used circumstances in my life to direct me into writing? Yes. Do I believe God can work good through numerous people He has given writing abilities to? Yes. But do I believe God has called me to write the way he called the Apostle Paul to be a missionary? No. If you can show me from the Bible where God calls someone to a non ministry related profession, you might change my mind. But I only see being "called of God" referring to the ministry. Nothing more, no matter how noble the other profession may be.

I usually just shrug off this debate because if I change the word "Call" into "lead, guide or direct" then I'm okay with it. But since Melissa said something, I thought I'd jump in and agree.

And I'm totally a fan of writing a little every day as opposed to waiting until you have 8 hours of uninterrupted time. Those 8 hours would never come around my house.

Jenny Blake said...

I am not a writer but I can see this applies to many things like my I am going to cut down eating chocolate and candies starting today, then eat one and think I will start tomorrow. It takes determination to stop but each day I dont makes it harder. Today I did cut down.
Its the same with other things to like exercise. Putting off is easy but once you start and make it a habit it becomes easy. Now if I miss a walk in the morning I feel I have missed something it sets up my day and I feel so much better.

I think fondly of the day we meet It was a great start to my trip.

Jackie said...

I love "Daily writing keeps the story alive."
When I have to leave a story for something like preparing for ACFW, I get rusty. Even if I'm keeping an outline. I always add little things to the story.
Thanks for sharing today!

Missy Tippens said...

Melissa, in the past, I would have totally agreed with you. But maybe like Naomi said, the word "called" isn't quite what I should have used.

I used to think I wasn't being led to write as a ministry. It was just something I loved to do, one of many possible careers that God could bless. But after receiving amazing letters from readers, about how God had used the story in some way to touch their lives, I began to feel writing is a ministry for me. A way I can reach out to others--to share, through fiction, how God has worked in my life.

I would never imply that some are called and some aren't (thus God wouldn't use their writing).

So maybe "calling" isn't technically the word I should have used. :)

So those of you reading the post, I'm talking more about the fact you feel God created you with the love of writing, with the NEED to write as a creative outlet. And possibly as a way to reach out to others (as one of your ministries).

Missy Tippens said...

By the way, Melissa, I've asked God that exact question before, too. About my writing. But also way back many years ago about my career decision near the end of college. At that time (college), I felt God telling me to do what I wanted, what I would enjoy.

Sounds strange. But before that, I had been torn by feeling if I chose physical therapy, I would be able to help people, but if I chose microbiology (that I loved), I would be stuck behind a microscope, not helping people. God showed me through that earnest time of prayer, that He could use me anywhere.

I still believe that!

Julie Lessman said...

OH MY GOODNESS, this is SO spot-on, Missy, and SO very timely for me right now!!

ESPECIALLY this point: --We begin to think we need uninterrupted blocks of time. I can’t start today, I’ll only be home for an hour.

This is my biggest writing stealer because with life there is ALWAYS something grabbing my time.

Thanks for the motivation, my friend ... I sure needed it!


Missy Tippens said...

Julie, I'm glad you found your rhythm! I loved the thought of you chomping at the bit on Monday. :) That's always so fun. And actually, it's not like the story has left us. We're usually thinking of the next scene or thinking of our characters while we're away from the typing. :)

Glynna Kaye said...

Good morning, Missy! I'm one who likes to write regularly or I begin to feel far away from my characters and the story. On weekdays I only have about 90 minutes to write, so when that time has to be taken up with other obligations I not only lose ground on my daily word count, but I feel distanced from the story. If I can stay with it on a regular basis, ideas build on ideas and the writing flows much more smoothly.

Missy Tippens said...

Virginia, thanks for sharing the bumper sticker. :)

Missy Tippens said...

Jenny, that's a great point about food and exercise! It really does apply.

I'm so glad we finally got to meet in person! I really enjoyed our lunch.

Missy Tippens said...

Jackie, you're right. We do get rusty! And it happens so quickly.

I'm looking forward to getting back to my story today! We've been apart since Friday. :)

Missy Tippens said...

Julie L., I remember going to a workshop with Allie Plieter where she talks about writers falling into one of two categories. Big chunk and little chunk people. It's really an interesting idea. She tried to help us figure out which we are, and how we can best work.

I wish I had those notes somewhere handy. Maybe she'll come share with us sometime.

Missy Tippens said...

Glynna, I realize this can be really difficult for those who work full-time jobs outside their writing. So you're smart to squeeze in what you can. It seems that even a half hour can help keep it fresh.

Julie Hilton Steele said...

Missy, I didn't know that about you and the choice you made. I chose microbiology over writing and ended up realizing when I got in the lab that bacteria don't talk back to you. Now look where I am, years later.

Peace, Julie

Bridgett Henson said...

Missy, I think “called” is the appropriate term. Like Melissa and Naomi, I believe people are called into the ministry.

Writing fictional stories can be a ministry. Remember Jesus and his parables. They are many souls who need to hear the gospel that will never pick up a bible to read, but they will real a good fictional story. Writing fiction can be a way of preaching without being preachy.

That being said, I don’t think all writers are called. Or need to be called to be successful.

I have prayed extensively about this issue. I know I am called to write. I may not be successful in the world’s eyes, but testimonies from readers have made the lonely hours sitting at a keyboard worthwhile.

I try to write every day, but sometimes life interrupts. Once, after weeks of church camps and other ministries, I was so frustrated that my husband led me by the hand to the computer and said, “Write something.” Haha. I guess I was a grumpy bug. :)

Missy Tippens said...

By the way! I realized I probably should have used the word VOCATION in my post somewhere.

Our calling is where we find our VOICE (voce--the root word of vocation).

Missy Tippens said...

LOL, Julie HS. Nope, they don't talk back. :)

Very interesting that you were choosing between micro and writing. I never once considered writing until about 15 years later.

CatMom said...

P.S. Okay....after seeing some discussion on using the word "called" to write, I do want to add that in my personal situation, I honestly feel God HAS called me to write--or I could've said He "opened the door" for me to write. *smile* After my teaching career was forced to end (due to severe back pain resulting in 4 spinal surgeries) I knew God had something else for me to do, and I had no doubts it was writing! (I'd always loved to write and had always hoped/planned to one day write full-time). So, anyway...for me personally it was the right time and I felt called. Each person is different/has different circumstances, etc. but I'm thankful that the Lord has given me (and called me) to do something I LOVE at this season in my life. ~ Thanks again for this post today, Missy!

Connie Queen said...

Good morning everyone!

I'm getting more consistent on my writing and it helps me to stay on task. And yes, in a better mood too. I get really grumpy if I feel like I should be writing but don't. Normally ends with my husband asking, "What's wrong with you?"...Me, "Nothing."

Also putting my writing down too long makes me doubt my story when I look read it again. Stupid. Readers will throw it across the room kind of stuff. Missy, you hit it right on the nail.

Put me in for the phone chat drawing please.

Missy Tippens said...

Bridgett, that's hilarious about your husband! He totally understands. :)

Missy Tippens said...

Patti Jo, I'm so glad your back is doing better and that you're able to write!

Rose said...


You are so spot on with this post. I get very crabby when I need to work on my contracted manuscript and life is pulling me away.

I had a moment that you described on Saturday when I was writing. I thought I knew how I wanted to end a chapter, but my heroine had another idea! It made the chapter so much better.

Missy Tippens said...

Connie, I too have experienced losing confidence when I'm out of the story too long. I agree with Melissa about getting that first draft down as quickly as possible.

Missy Tippens said...

Rose, I just love those moments!

In my last book, the whole situation with the teen pregnancy just popped in there while I was writing. I left it, deciding I'd make a decision later about whether to leave it. And I ended up keeping it!

Janet Dean said...

Wonderful practical, inspiring post, Missy! I tend to work for long periods and overlook snippets of time during those days when life interferes with writing. Perhaps the result of not working a day job. Those who do learn to grab every spare moment to get words on the page. I will work on that.

Interesting discussion on whether writers are called. I agree God will use us no matter what we do. The beautiful part about writing is hearing from readers that our stories helped them in some way.


Mary Hicks said...

Missy, why didn't you just sign my name at the end... your post could have been mine! :-)

I developed a habit of 'needing' at least four hours of uninterrupted blocks of time when I painted.
I carried that over in my writing. In a reality check one frustrated morning as my 'inner demon' sat on my shoulder, chanting "You'll just get started, you'll just get... I decided that moment if I was going to write, then I'd write. I'm doing much better!

I've enjoyed a side benefit of writing. Learning to write with clarity (and I'm still learning )leads to speaking with more clarity. That has been a great help in my personal ministry when working with troubled people.
I don't know if writing is a 'calling' or not, but as a christian, everything I do is 'supposed' to be to the glory of God. Calling or not, writing helps me to help others.
Thank you, Missy for a timely post. I'd love a phone chat with you!:-)

Piper Huguley said...

Missy, I like what you said about writing as way to heal and being close to God. That touched my heart as well. And I appreciate your clarification about writing as a vocation. I've spent quite a few years ignoring writing as a way to connect with God and barely thought of telling stories as a vocation.

It wasn't until I was in the classroom recreating stories for my students that it began to occur to me: I should write all of this down. So I did have a bit of a built in audience there as an encouragement (ok, a captured one, but still).

For pubbed authors who have books on the market, it may be easier to see how your work has touched people's lives. And I think that is a wonderful thing--wonderful enough to reach for by writing just a little bit every day.

You are right. It's so much easier and feels better when you have done it--even just a little bit. I'm one of those "big block" people and I have to get over thinking that way. Thanks for your motivational words!

Sandra Leesmith said...

Oh MISSY, I sooooo needed this today. Our company left yesterday and now I need to get back into the write, write, write. What a blessing your post is.

And it is moments like these that I wish I wasn't a Seeker. I would love a phone chat. smile


Mary Connealy said...

I think 'called' is a term that can work or not, but how I think of myself is, I'm a writer.
It's not what I DO it's what I AM and God made me what I am.
So God made me a writer.
And sure he made me other things, too. But this love for sitting by myself makin' stuff up, hour after hour, day after day, year after year, that's a personality type...surely it is. Not everyone can do that. And they shouldn't feel bad if they can't. 'Cuz it's kinda a weird way to behave.
But it works for me.
So is that a calling?
A gift?
Or am I just hiding behind my computer because I don't want to clean the bathroom?

Missy Tippens said...

Janet, I think you may be right. Sometimes if we're not working a full-time outside job, we don't grab the moments for writing like we should.

We need to take a lesson from the ones who have another job!

Missy Tippens said...

Mary Hicks, AMEN! We should do all for God's glory. That includes writing, driving, teaching, cashiering, cleaning, changing diapers...

Missy Tippens said...

Piper, LOL on your captured audience. :) Would be nice if we could tether our books to people. :) Unfortunately, they have the option of putting them down. So we just need to write well enough to keep them reading!

Missy Tippens said...

Sandra, I'd love to chat with you any time! :)

Enjoy getting back to your writing! I hope life will settle down a bit now.

Missy Tippens said...

Mary Connealy said:
"It's not what I DO it's what I AM and God made me what I am.
So God made me a writer."

Missy again. Yes, I think that's what I was getting at. Only you said it simpler and better. Maybe you should be a writer or something. ;)

And NO, please don't tell me writing is just a way to avoid cleaning the bathroom! I thought I had everyone fooled!

Missy Tippens said...

BTW, I'm a terrible hostess! So before Ruthy fusses at me, I'm setting out some hot fresh coffee, and hot tea for those who don't like the stuff. :)

I'm at the omelet bar, waiting for your order...

Elaine Manders said...

Thanks, Missy, for reminding us. Writing is a GIFT, and I believe it's one we're going to be called to account for at judgment day. Some of us will produce one-fold, some ten-fold, but everyone with the gift should produce, not let it mold as I did for years.

That sounds like preaching, doesn't it. Sorry about that. I don't have that gift.

I'd love a chat. Maybe you can talk me out of wasting time.

Tina Radcliffe said...

There aren't a lot of advantages to be old as dirt. BUT, there are a few.

One is you know everything.

The other is you know when to keep your mouth shut.

So I am going to move on and address only one thing in Missy's most excellent post.

The folks who write every day are the folks who produce. Who are the producers? Look around you. I can learn much from this.

In the words of Jack Bickham.

Writers write. Everyone else makes excuses.

Playground Monitor said...

Oh Lordy do I need motivation!

I spent so much time promoting my novella for the contest I didn't have time to write. And now that I'm out of the habit, I have become lazy about writing. Somebody give me a swift kick in the pants, please.

But in other news, I got my contract over the weekend and my brain hurt reading it. A friend who's been published for 20+ years with a couple NY houses offered to go over it with me and look for red flags. It has the standard "first right of refusal" clause but I'm thinking if I don't get back in the habit, there won't be anything to refuse. ACK!

Once I sign and return it, I have a questionnaire to fill out about the characters. It sounds much like the Art Facts Sheet I hear Harlequin authors talk about. I've been trying to think of the perfect scene for the cover. More brain pain.

Enter me in the drawing! I've so much to do before we leave for Ireland next month. But I have my trusty lists so I should be in good shape. Oh, I know! I should put "WRITE" on a list because I love being able to cross things off.

Or better yet, y'all should have a SPEEDBO more often. I like it better than NaNoWriMo because you set your own goal instead of having that 50K thing looming over you all month in addition to writing around Thanksgiving.


P.S. I'm in the process of becoming someone new. I'll be writing as Marilyn Baxter (Baxter was my great-grandmother's maiden name). Would you mind looking at my new website and emailing me through the site with comments, suggestions or corrections? Thanks. It's here.

Angel Moore said...

I'd love to comment, but I have to go write. ;)


Tina Radcliffe said...

Marilyn, it's stunning. And so are the photos of you! I love the green and purple.

Janet Dean said...

If Missy doesn't write, she's Grumpy. I feel guilty. Snow White should've had eight drawfs. :-)

Thanks for the omelet. My brain works better with protein.


Janet Dean said...

Lovely web site, Marilyn!


Susan Anne Mason said...

So true, Missy. I get very grumpy when I don't have chance to write.

After revising and editing for months on end, I just had to start something new. And the joy came pouring back! Nothing like creating something from scratch!

MARILYN, lovely site! Congratulations!


Missy Tippens said...

Elaine, I'm glad you, too, see writing as a gift. We don't want to squander that gift!

The fact you see it that way makes me think maybe just a tweak of your habits could help. I know that's my biggest growing area. I think what I need to do is tell myself: No getting online until the word count is done! :)

Missy Tippens said...

Oh, Tina, please tell me we're not old as dirt! Although whenever I mention being born in the 60's my kids act as if dinosaurs were living then. :)

Great quote from Bickham! Thanks for sharing. When I went to find out who spoke the "writers write" quote I came up with several versions. I love that one.

Missy Tippens said...

Marilyn, your site is beautiful! Nice work. I emailed you through the site, so that should help test your contact form.

Now... here's your swift kick in the pants! Get to work! :)

Missy Tippens said...

Oooh, nice job, Angel! You get brownie points today. :)

Missy Tippens said...

LOL, Janet! I'm often Guilty as well. :)

Missy Tippens said...

Sue, I love first drafts for that very reason. Editing and revising are not so fun to me. Even though I plot, I still love that discovery draft.

Terri said...

Okay Missy, have you been spying on me? LOL! This post was spot on. I've been using so many excuses not to write, my day job being one of them. Finally on Friday I started back editing. I finished and feel so much better about myself

I procrastinate far too often. End result is I'm frustrated and miss opportunities. Thanks for this post. I needed it to keep me on the straight and narrow.

Melissa Jagears said...

Oh, and Missy, I hope you caught I didn't mean you made it sound like you absolutely had to be called, but I think if you hang around in the CBA circle for awhile, you'll rub up against those that do make it sound like that and once you've done so, you can get a little uncomfortable, constantly questioning yourself any time that word comes up. (about that as well as all the other stuff you question while spending this much time at something! :)

Just wanted to say something to anyone reading who might be struggling over the issue (Because I have)since your question brought it up. It's hard to say in the CBA circle "No, I'm not called." So I just thought I'd do it!

And I think it is actually wise to go with your talent and interests, like you did with biology/PT. If God doesn't give you a specific calling, which I think is probably rarer than it sounds in this circle, then you are to be wise. And working with the talents he's given you in something you enjoy will make you a better worker, so instead of grumbling in your work, you have a natural joy in that, therefore not fighting God's desire to use you for his glory as you work.

Missy Tippens said...

Terri, it's so true that we feel better about ourselves! I'm glad you brought that up.

We just feel better in general, I think, when we're doing what we're cut out to do. :)

Missy Tippens said...

Melissa, I'm glad you mentioned it. We all come at this writing gig from different directions. And honestly, we all have different terminology, too. And different beliefs. So I'm glad you pointed out how it's made you feel at times to hear people talking about their calling.

Always better to be inclusive!

Helen Gray said...

Had company all weekend and crashed last night.

After missing some days writing, I need that extra amount of motivation needed to get back into the story.

Lots of food for thought, Missy.


Mary Curry said...

Missy, I'm so impressed with this post today.
When I saw your title, it reminded me of one day when I was in Barnes & Noble. I was browsing the writing craft shelves and saw a book called - Writers Write.

I picked it up to skim through it but then I felt like I was hit with a bolt of lightning. All I needed from the book was the title. I didn't need a book to tell me that writers write. I just needed to go home and make the time and do it!

So I thought of that when I saw your post title, but I love that you made it into so much more.

I'm not sure I need to write. I definitely can't keep myself from making up stories. I can't stop myself from seeing the world as potential story ideas. That's the fun part. The actual writing is the work - which I'm avoiding by answering this blog.

So now I'm going to say goodbye and go be a writing writer for a bit.

See you later!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Hmm,I've been thinking and you know that can't be good.

Many are called but few are chosen...

Missy Tippens said...

Helen, you're allowed to sleep every now and then, even though we're used to seeing you earlier in the day! :)

Glad you're heading back to that THREE BOOK CONTRACT! :)

Missy Tippens said...

Mary Curry, you know it's funny. I'm not sure I would have been able to say that I need to write either. But what I've learned is that apparently, I do if I want to feel good. Not writing drags me down. Which I guess is a good thing. There's nothing like knowing something will perk me up to motivate me to get back to work. :)

Missy Tippens said...

Interesting thought, Tina. Something to mull over and dig into the Scripture to investigate.

kaybee said...

I needed this this week, thank you Missy. I have little trouble with the discipline of sitting down to write, due to my journalism background -- we do not wait for inspiration. My big problem is to get motivated when I'm discouraged.
"Called" or "led"? As Hlllary Clinton would say, "What Difference Does It Make?" I think Christian writing is a calling of sorts because we have such potential to impact a life. I know when I first read the "Zion Chronicles" and "Zion Covenant" by the Thoenes it impacted me tremendously as a Christian, not just as an avid reader. I guess you could say it changed my life. More recently I've been impacted by rereading Terri Blackstock's "Restoration" series. We can have a powerful impact on readers and we need to take that seriously, call, leading or whatever.
Kathy Bailey

Missy Tippens said...

Kathy, I love to hear examples where reading a story has impacted someone like you've been impacted.

I feel like Christian music (on the radio) changed my life. I think about that when I write and often wonder if books affect people as much as music affects me.

It's my hope!

Debby Giusti said...

Great post, Missy, and what I needed to read today.

I've been away from my computer for too many days. Feels good to be back.

Called? Not called? Interesting discussion. I believe God wants me to write at this time in my life. Every so often, I re-evaluate to see if I'm still on the path He's chosen. I could be doing other things...lunch dates with friends, shopping, throwing fun dinner parties. LOL! Instead I'm sitting at my computer making stuff up.

Yes, He's called me to be a writer. It is a ministry whether my stories sell or not. I'm following His lead and trying to be His obedient child. He may lead me along a different path tomorrow, but for today, I'm supposed to write.

An aside: I grew up feeling called to be a wife and mom. God blessed me with three wonderful children who love the Lord. Is motherhood a ministry? Hmmmm? Something to ponder when I'm not writing.

Love your black and white pic. Also loved seeing you on the W.E. YOU-Tube RWA recap! Mary Connealy was there too! You both looked stunning. So glad Seekerville was represented. YAY!

kaybee said...

Music also affects people. At a time when my life was falling apart, someone gave my husband and me an Amy Grant Greatest Hits collection. That was when she was still married to Gary, and it was on a CASSETTE, so you can tell how old it was! BTW, my life hasn't fallen apart in a while But we clung to that cassette -- it had "Emmanuel" and "My Father's Eyes" and "Where Do You Hide Your Heart," and we played it, separately and together, until God broke through. Yeah, music does it too. Miss the old hymn such as "The Comforter Has Come" and "A Mighty Fortress," but they're not coming back. Gaither Homecoming is about the only place you hear those songs these days, but they do them well. God gave us the arts to give glory back to Him.
Kathy Bailey

kaybee said...

Could use a prayer. Really bad computer problems this week plus by husband hurt his back and may be out of work.

kaybee said...

I need to write, and I need to write fiction. I get jumpy and irritable if I go too long. The newspaper work doesn't satisfy me in the same way. I have a hunger for it, like my hunger for God.
KB again

Jan Drexler said...

I'm so late to the party! But I have a good excuse - I've been WRITING!

I had to take a couple weeks off last month - I was the VBS director for our church, and things just HAD to get done. Backdrops painted, volunteers trained, curriculum memorized, etc. etc. etc. Even though I had time to write, I was so distracted that I couldn't. Instead of my WIP, traffic patterns for 5 year olds through our church were going through my head.

BUT, as soon as VBS was put to bed, I gave myself a weekend to recover, and then jumped right back into it...and it feels SO GOOD!

And it's a good thing, too, because I've got a deadline next week!

Great post, Missy. Now back to writing:)

Jamie Adams said...

Great post, Missy!
I'm late to the party too Jan but it's not because I've been writing. Each time I sit down to write I find something to do. Just one chapter to go but writing the end is harder than starting for me.

Missy Tippens said...

Debby, I'm glad you're back at it! We want more great Debby books!

Interesting comment about motherhood. I definitely feel the greatest sense of fulfillment from raising my three.

Missy Tippens said...

Kathy, I remember that Amy Grant tape! :)

Will be praying for the needs you mentioned.

Missy Tippens said...

Jan, there's a calling for you right there: VBS! I'm sure the children were blessed.

Good luck with your deadline! I hope the last polishing is smooth sailing.

Missy Tippens said...

Jamie, that's so interesting. The end is the easiest part for me (once I know for sure what's going to happen). I'm usually flying by then, barreling toward the end.

Maybe you're just feeling like you don't want to leave your characters. I have had that feeling before. Felt like I would miss them.

We're a unique lot, aren't we?! :)

Kav said...

What an interesting conversation you got going, Missy. Called or led whether named or not -- I'm a believer in the inspiration within the written words of Christian novels. I've been healed, comforted,challenged and uplifted by Christian authors. There is no doubt in my mind that God had a hand in their creation, just as He did in the creation of the writers.

Debby Giusti said...

KB, praying for hubby's back and job!

Jan, good luck making your deadline! I know it'll all come together in a fantastic ending!

Mary Hicks said...

Tina, in the many that were called, some CHOSE not to heed the calling, but a FEW did. :-)

Mary Hicks said...

I've noticed that MANY want to be writers, but FEW keep their backsides in the chair for the time required to write. :-D :-D

I'm not trying to be a smart mouth!! I can't help myself!

Lyndee H said...

Great post, Missy! It was a pleasure to meet you at RWA and congrats on the new contract. Your advice is well taken!

Lyndee H said...

Great post, Missy! It was a pleasure to meet you at RWA and congrats on the new contract. Your advice is well taken!

Missy Tippens said...

Kav, so beautifully spoken! You brought tears to my eyes.

Missy Tippens said...

LOL, Mary Hicks! Great point. :)

Missy Tippens said...

Lyndee, it was so nice to see you, too. I hope to see a bunch of you at ACFW this year!

Mary Curry said...

KB, I'm sending prayers for your husband and hugs for you. I hope things improve quickly.

Kav, I love the way you expressed your thoughts. I've often felt the same, but not expressed it as well.

Thanks for starting this intriguing conversation, Missy.

One thing I haven't noticed anyone address is how our feelings about it can change over time. There have been times in my life when writing was my biggest escape and I'd fight tooth and nail for those stolen minutes. Then there have been other times when it's felt more like a chore and I've found every excuse under the sun to avoid it.

I guess professionals keep at it regardless of those feelings.

Missy Tippens said...

Mary, my feelings definitely change. I think that's one reason we can't rely on our feelings to motivate us. Or at least not go strictly by feelings. That's where discipline comes in. :)

Melanie Dickerson said...

Hey, Missy! Sorry I'm so late to the party!
You know, I used to be so motivated, before I got published. LOL! And I very well remember the out-of-sorts feeling I would get when I didn't have time to write for a few days in a row. Well, grouchy and irritable would probably describe it better. Writing is very therapeutic, which I guess proves I need therapy. :-)

Missy Tippens said...

LOL, Melanie. Yes, writing is therapeutic. We have total control while writing! :)

Pam Hillman said...

Try, Try Agaain (it's a subliminal message) if at first you can't comment from your iPhone!

Pam Hillman said...

Well, and after all that hard work, I had "Again" spelled wrong! lol

But at least I did it.

I've never been able to post comments from my iphone. I could read the blog and the comments, but when I posted, it would never go to the next step and let me log in to google/blogger.

So, finally, tonight I tried a different tactic....

I went straight to on my iphone and logged in. THEN I went to Seekerville and voila! I could comment.


Playground Monitor said...

Thanks to everyone who commented on the website. Thanks Missy and Kav for leaving a comment and testing (successfully!) the comments page. And Kav, I added captions to the photos so you'd know who the folks are. I still need to add a page where I list websites and blogs I like, and Seekerville will definitely be on that list!


Marilyn Baxter said...

Testing my new login. This pen name thing is giving me a multiple personality complex. LOL! Sometimes I'm not sure who I am.


Sally Bayless said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sally Bayless said...

I'm sorry to be a day late but I just read this and had to say a big "thank you!" Your points about writing and well-being echo so often in my life. If I'm in time for the drawing, please include my name.


Missy Tippens said...

Pam, glad you got it straight!

Marilyn, we'll recognize you no matter who you log in as. :)

Sally, you're not too late! I've got you entered as well. Thanks for stopping by!

DebH said...

didn't get to comment before now, but thanks, Missy, for the post. i'm guilty of allow excuses to keep me from writing (biggest one, my 3 year old). i know i can still fit in for some words per day if I disciplined myself. this post helps me remember (without a guilt trip) that, yes, writer's write.


Missy Tippens said...

DebH, it's tough with a little one. I used to write after everyone went to bed. It was my only peaceful time since my kids barely ever napped. :)

Missy Tippens said...

I've had a couple of people enter for the giveaway on FB or by email. It's fine to do that if you're having trouble commenting on Blogger. I totally understand how sometimes Blogger gives me fits.