When You Write With God

ACFWAdvice, Authors and writing, Encouragement, Faith, tips, Uncategorized, writing 4 Comments

by Chandra Lynn Smith

Some days the writing flows and I amaze myself with the inspiration of my words. And then…some days…well probably more than some days I feel more like the character on Grey’s Anatomy who decided to eat his manuscript because it was terrible. (Of course, that is not the
best thing to do with a terrible manuscript!)

Several years ago at the ACFW Conference I took a life-changing class by Allen Arnold. I’m sure some of you reading this right now are nodding your head as you remember the powerful inspiration of that class. At the first of our continuing session Allen walked around the room with a stack of spiral bound notebooks; one for each attendee. At first glance they looked like plain notebooks. However, the first page of the book was a treasure to each one of us.

You see, weeks before the conference, Allen sat with his stack of books and prayed for those of us who would take his class. He then wrote a message on the first page of every single notebook. Those notebooks traveled with him from his home to St. Louis for the conference. At
our first session he walked back and forth giving out the notebooks in no particular order. He would hold a book and walk around until he knew for whom that one was written.

There was no way he could have known the impact the words within the simple red spiral-bound notebook he placed before me would have upon me. Once he finished handing the books out he wisely gave us some quiet time to ponder the messages from God. I can tell you,
my tears were not the only ones falling in the room that morning.

Those words and that class both encouraged me and profoundly affected my writing. It was like several hours of healing balm to this writer’s soul. I have a feeling others felt it also.

Here are the words inside my notebook, which I plan to frame:

Those words have stayed with me ever since that conference. The notebook stays on my desk. The only notes in it are from the rest of that continuing session. The notes are helpful, but the message from God is priceless.

Writing is a joyful-exciting-frustrating-endless-blessed-isolated-crazy-wonderful journey. I believe whether you are a seasoned writer or a newbie, a multi-published author or a not-yet-published author, you will have days that a message from God would be a lovely encouragement.
(Feel free to use mine.)

And that’s why I write this today. If I can encourage just one person with the words that I write here or in my novels or even in my dog training business my life has been fruitful as I live and write with God. If you feel bogged down, if your characters have stopped telling you what’s
next, if you’re pretty sure your manuscript is a failure, take heart. The Creator of the world, the Master storyteller gave you this story. He has a purpose and a plan for it. He will be sure it goes exactly where he wants it to go. He simply wants you to write the story with Him.

My suggestions? Of course and always read your Bible and pray over your writing. I also suggest seeking out books written specifically for writers to encourage writers. I have a few that I have read and reread to encourage my writer’s heart and soul.

Take Joy by Jane Yolen, The Story of With and Chaos Can’t by Allen Arnold, and Write His Answer by Marlene Bagnull. I’m sure there are others, but those are my top ones. Please share your personal encouragements in the comments.

My dear friends, write your stories with God. Trust Him. And on the days you want to just give up remember the words of Psalm 27:14 from Eugene Peterson’s The Message.

Stay with God.
Take heart. Don’t quit,
I’ll say it again:
Stay with God.


Chandra Lynn Smith is a Certified Professional dog trainer and writer of contemporary fiction filled with inspiration, intrigue, romance, and dogs. She is a 2015 American Christian Fiction Writers Genesis Contest winner with her novella, Turtle Box Memories. She has also been a 2-time semi-finalist with To Follow a Dream and To Chase a Dream. Coming soon are To Rescue a Dream and Song in the Night, the sequel to The Light Holding Her. Chandra and her husband live on a small farm in South Central Pennsylvania which is often filled with all four sons, wives, beautiful granddaughters, friends, and anywhere from four to nine “grand dogs” Find Chandra at www.amazon.com/author/chandralynnsmith.

Comments 4

  1. Thanks for those encouraging words. I, too, struggle with those moments when I must move to my quiet place and have a one-on-one conversation with God about his leading.

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