God’s Nudges

ACFW Authors and writing, Encouragement, Faith, Friends of ACFW, writing 1 Comment

By Patricia Collier

I pray for each book I write: before, during, and after I finish it. The first book in my series, The Hornet’s Nest, seemed pretty much “follow the expected path for my characters.” Then I prayed about what I had written. I felt a nudge to make a change to the story path. I even consulted my husband. He wasn’t in agreement, but I made the change anyway. Once my book was published, a friend who had read The Reluctant Wife told me that she had disagreed with that change, but she had kept reading. Then she understood what I had done.

I marvel at the nudges that I have felt throughout my two series, especially when everything comes together. I was blissfully unaware of this in my latest book High Plains Bargain as I typed away on my iPad. One day as I read what I had written, I realized that one character’s life demonstrated how God directs our lives as Christians to have a positive affect on others.

I always start each book from notes and research that I have before me, but I usually make changes as I discover interesting events that can be used within the storyline. Sometimes I check my notebook of ideas later, only to discover that I chose another path. Another nudge?

Does this mean that I respond to every nudge? I’m sure I don’t. It is so easy to assume that I have this, Lord, then smugly proceed with this book that will be better than the last. Of course, I may discover that my chosen path is not working for some reason. Perhaps I didn’t do enough research or a character’s storyline needs to be expanded. Those supporting actors often need a fuller life than I first thought.

When the words dry up, when I experience writer’s block, I realize that something isn’t coming together as it should. I have begged the Lord for a window to open and shine some light on my conundrum. Silence. When I relax and let go of control, He opens that window and lets the light shine. This may require more research or change paths once  again.

Our lives are much like a fiction novel. When we are young and opinionated, we don’t always ask for help from others or God. We eventually realize that something isn’t working as we hoped. If we are mature enough to ask for assistance, we can learn admitting that we don’t know everything is not a sign of weakness. It can actually be a sign of strength.

Even now I try to be aware of what I admire when I read books from my favorite authors. They don’t realize what exceptional teachers they are to us who enjoy reading their work. What made me laugh or cry? How did they do that? What made me open their book to read it every day until The End? I enjoyed their writing so much that I checked to make sure there were no books I had not read. Then I waited impatiently for their next book or perhaps a new series. If my readers feel that way, then I will be a “successful writer.” At least, I will be in my own mind.

God has given me many nudges during the writing of my five books. Sometimes I argue with His nudges, but I have learned that His ideas are better than mine. Always.

God’s nudges inspire creativity. -Patricia Collier #ACFWBlogs #writetip #critiques #ACFWCommunity Click To Tweet

Patricia Collier is also the author/editor of Healers in World War II: Oral Histories of Medical Corps Personnel(Patricia W. Sewell). Excerpts were used on the History Channel series The Color of War in the episode “The Price of War.”



Comments 1

  1. There’s so much I still want to do,
    so little strength each day,
    and yet God will put me through
    nudges to do it all His way,
    like the rhyme I’m writing now
    long before the light of dawn.
    He’s set my hand back to the plow
    and suggests that I go on
    trying with each and every word
    to show that hope avails
    even faced with cancer’s sword,
    and that the faithful heart prevails
    down the weary road thus trod
    if given to the care of God.

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