The Word Warrior’s Report
Writers are word warriors, so today’s post is my updated report from the frontlines. For some time now, I’ve struggled, scraped, and strained my mental muscles to finish my main WIP (Work-in-Progress), a fiction book with the working title Anchor at Alcázar Reef. Celebrate with me the completion of the first draft on May 31—the end of a “campaign” initiated on November 1, 2015.
Now, you might say, I’ve won a solid beachhead on the story’s territory and I’ll continue the battle from here. Though I foresee plenty of work ahead, yet it’s a downhill fight now. After the blood, sweat, and tears of the first draft, the process of editing, rewriting, and proofing sounds like a stroll in the park to me.
Writers are Fighters
One of the things I love about David in the Bible is that he was a songwriter as well as a soldier. Picture him, in different moments, snatching up his harp and a pen as readily as his sword and shield. Sometimes, like for me and my fellow writers, his pen became a kind of sword, a useful tool for serving God and His kingdom.
Many of the words of biblical warriors were originally spoken, not written, of course. Another psalmist (not David) wrote, “My heart overflows with a good theme; I address my verse to the King; My tongue is the pen of a ready writer” (Ps. 45:1). The NIV says ‘a skillful writer’—for learning to wield a sword or a pen well takes a lot of commitment and practice.
Why We Fight
Some warriors fight for justice and freedom from oppression, out of love or loyalty. Christian word warriors also take up their pens for many reasons—to uphold God’s truth, to stimulate goodness in the world, to bless and cheer with beauty.
Why do I write? Because I believe in the transformational power of stories. I’m convinced that choosing joy and hope can transform a life, that investing in the next generation can impact the future, that willing service can mean more than happiness, that using my gifts can offer a satisfying challenge and glory to God.
Why do I read? Why keep teaching? Why keep learning? Where should I stand firm, and where do I need to change?
As I work through the questions in my own heart and share them on the page, I hope to inspire and encourage my friends in their own journeys. All of us participate in a war story every day that is far larger than ourselves. My goal as a word warrior is to inspire women and girls to live lives of joy, purpose, and fulfillment.
“Either write something worth reading, or do something worth writing.” –Benjamin Franklin
Who We Fight For
I fight for God and for people. When I wrote my first four books during the decade of the 90’s, I was in my 30’s. What did I learn then that I can still share? I’m 60 now and shaking my head at the wobbly warrior I’ve become. Yet the important truth is my experiences have filled my emotional bank account with riches that I have the responsibility to spend on others.
As long as I count the cost too dear, I won’t part with a single penny of those spoils of battles won. But the Commander’s mandate is that I should use every skill, every resource I’ve been given, to grow and then give it away.
How might God “restore the years the locusts have eaten”? (Joel 2:25). Am I willing for God to use my suffering to help or heal others? Can some greater good sprout from pain and loss? Can God replace ashes with beauty?
Part of my strategy as a warrior is to recruit other Christian women to influence the younger generation as “teachers of beautiful things” (Titus 2:3). Maybe you’re not as old as I am, maybe I’m not as old as you. Together let’s share the lessons we learn as God transforms the junk in our lives to joy and victory.
Band of Sisters
In addition to my “day job” in a full-time ministry, I invite my friends from around the world to enlist as fellow warriors in the spiritual battle we’re all involved in whether we realize it or not. I’d welcome the opportunity to partner with an audience–a band of sisters–so feel free to offer advice and suggestions. What do you want to read about that no one else is writing? What stories can I tell that will resonate with your heart today?
In my niche of Christian New Adult books, finishing Anchor at Alcázar Reef means I’ve now poured out over a million words (in 10-plus books) in the good fight. Due to the final length of this manuscript, I’ll need to divide it. Want to help? Tell me…
- Do you prefer a lot of short chapters or a smaller number of longer chapters?
- Would you rather read this series in 2 books of 400+ pages or 3 books of 250-290 pages?
Next week I’ll share further about fighting with words to create stories with the power to transform us…perhaps for the rest of our lives.
Oh, how I look forward to Monday mornings to read your posts! This was especially inspiring, and I shall chew on it and then read it again.
To your questions: I level several short chapters, a la James Patterson.
My vote goes to two books.
Thank you once again for the work you put into your blog that truly blesses.
Thank you for being part of my Band of Sister Warriors and for your encouraging words.