Bedrock Principles – Why You Should Read “The Well”

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By Carrie Fancett Pagels, Ph.D.

Why am I using my blog post to promote a nonfiction book by an author I’ve never met, a pastor and musician named Mark Hall? “The Well: Why Are So Many Still Thirsty” by Mark Hall, with contribution by Tim Luke, is not a writing craft book, either. But I highly recommend writers read it.

For one reason, Mark Hall understands how easily we creative types can get sucked into a vortex of failing to put first things first. If you’ve read any of my previous posts or follow me on Overcoming With God, then you know I am big on bedrock faith and obedience to Christ. And frankly, if you don’t operate under those principles, it won’t matter how good your writing craft is-at least not in the Christian market.

Pastor Hall goes through, chapter by chapter, deconstructing the myths we’ve put up in our lives. He does a lovely job. As writers, one of our big stumbling blocks is “the myth of approval” wherein we draw our value from, e.g., a) the dollar amount of our contracts b) the number of books sold and c) the number of positive reviews we have. Or if we are not yet published in fiction perhaps it is the number of followers or pageviews on our blogs. Regardless, this thinking is not only faulty but it is dangerous. Because we have to seek God’s approval and not become looking for the next big dose of reassurance from people that we really do matter-God made us, He loves us, and we matter to him whether any of our precious words are ever given a five star rating by anyone! Go ahead and give me an “Amen, Sister Carrie!” if you want!

I want to thank Julie Lessman for suggesting this book to me. She gifted me with a copy and I’ve done the same with other friends-it is that good.

Looking for room on your writing shelf or on your ereader? Add this book. You won’t regret it and your writing life will be blessed because of it!

Carrie Fancett Pagels writes “romantic” historical fiction. She is represented by Joyce Hart of Hartline Literary Agency. She is owner/admin of two group blogs: “Colonial Quills” and “Overcoming With God.” She is a contributor to a nonfiction anthology God’s Provision in Tough Times by Cynthia Howerter and La-Tan Murphy, releasing in May 2013.

Comments 0

  1. Carrie, I couldn’t have said it better myself, my friend — EXCELLENT REVIEW — and a particularly important one for authors since it addresses the huge issue of “approval.”

    I highly encourage this book.


  2. Thank you! I just clicked onto Amazon and bought it after reading the first pages. Wow. I know exactly how that big girl felt and why she agreed to let the boy ride pigging back. Approval has been such a big issue for me.

  3. It is so easy to get off the track and forget why we are doing this, and I have done it so many times in my writing odyssey. It is easy to lose perspective. It’s also way too easy to apply the business principles of the world to Christian writing. Thank you, Carrie, will definitely sneak a peek at book.
    Kathy Bailey
    Pre-pubbed in New Hampshire

  4. PATRICIA, I tried not to read ahead but to let each chapter soak in and I suggest you do the same.

    HEATHER, I LOVE that term–yes uber-helpful!!!

    KATHY, it is way to easy to get side-tracked on the journey that God has laid out for us. This book helps with facing those distractions satan throws our way.

  5. It’s amazing how everything comes back to the basics. As I pray for direction and breakthrough this week in my writing schedule, I will check this book out and see if God may speak to me through it. Thanks!

  6. Amen, Sister Carrie! He certainly does love us with an unconditional love! Thank you for gifting me with this book. I am enjoying it and trying to let it soak in as well. If I read a book like this too quickly, I don’t retain the priceless nuggets God wants me to remember! Nice review.

  7. Carrie, Excellent review! It’s true for us all, that God’s approval is what mattes most, whether a writer or not. Sometimes I lose sight of this important fact, especially in social media. Thank you so much for sharing these thoughts. 🙂

  8. Knew I could count on you, Sister DIANA, for an AMEN!!! So glad you are enjoying The Well!

    JANET, I hope The Well blesses you as much as it did me!

    KATHY, I am so excited that we will be working on the project together!! Yes, let’s pray God expands our time!

    ANNE, exactly! Rev. Hall’s book is really super for people working in the arts or any field where there is constant feedback on creative performance.

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