Joy in Writing


Monday night I searched files to see what I would bring to a new writers group I got invited to earlier this year. I chose a devotional I sent out in 2016. I’d been tracking it for quite a while and then I got busy with other things and let it go. I thought: if I bring a devotional that is already published, it probably won’t need much critiquing. So, I got online to check e-mail and sure enough, an announcement from the publisher said they’d accepted the devotional and the tentative date was for September 25, 2016. If you want to check it out I’ve included the link here:

It’s called “For the Love of a Daughter.”

That made my night and then when I found the tucked away home of the writer who invited me, I prayed that it would go well. The last critique group I attended had a writer who criticized my Bible study, Chapter One so harshly, I left wondering if I was delusional and if any talent I thought I had really belonged in the land of dreams. I looked to the leader of the group for a suggestion to lighten up or to be kind, but she remained mute. As I headed home, I thought God said in His still small voice, “I didn’t call you to this group.”

This past year I ran into the leader of the group at a library gathering to hear a poet, and she invited me to attend the writers meeting they host there. I told her “Thank you for asking me,” as I pocketed the slip of paper with the time and day they meet. A Christian friend saw the exchange and encouraged me to join them; she had recently started to attend. I told her I’d pray about it, and I did. I didn’t sense any leading to be a part of their meetings and then this opportunity arose.Writing Groups(photo from

The members of the home town gathering may be different by now. Maybe that particular author didn’t feel well that day and so she got cranky over my offering. I don’t know. What I do know is that the group on Monday night was gracious and did line-by-line critiquing where necessary, grammatical editing and gave suggestions on the flow of the work. One lady is beginning a novel and I told her I wanted more description, less telling and more showing without actually using those words. What I did tell her was that I wanted to see what her interaction with her grandmother was like. I wanted her to set the scene.

One of the writers asked me what type of article was I writing, where did I picture it being published? I wrote an essay on health for mature readers, but the market I thought I’d send it to seems to be out of business now.

Then the published author thanked me for making it out and for the contributions I added. She and the others blessed me and I hoped I could bless them. Now that I’ve met them, I’m going to bring a more substantial project. We each had fifteen minutes for the reading of the piece and then the comments from the other wordsmiths. I hope we’re able to continue for a long while. We’ll see what the Lord has in mind for us. I’ve wanted a writer’s group for a number of months. I’ve learned that God’s timing is best. Isaiah_40:31, (KJV) says:  “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”

May God bless you.


Rejection hurts. Writers tell other writers, “You need to develop a thick skin.”

I don’t know how to develop a thick skin. When I became a pastor’s wife, a friend called and told me that God was going to heal my skin. I looked at my arms with their age spots and told her I’d be glad to have God heal my skin. She said, “I’m not sure that’s what He means.”

“If He wants to toughen me up, I’ll take that as well.”

He has helped me to hear things without making them such a part of me that I thought I’d crumple in despair. When it started happening, I wondered if I looked like I cared at all. I knew I did care, but felt like a wall separated me from too intense pain.

I’m not certain it has applied to writing rejections. I got another one on Friday night. Part of the problem was that I was sure it would be accepted. I plummeted downwards. Then two weeks later I brought it out for editing at a writers meeting. Other writers edited it, one person with zest. Aah, more pain. I tried to ignore my angst and listened carefully. Okay, I can take out the extraneous detail that no one cares about but me. Set it up like a three act story, even though it’s non-fiction? Possible to do. What’s the take away for the reader? Important to think about.

I’m going to re-submit this tale, once it’s changed. Hopefully, expectations will be moderate. I think I’ll re-read Strunk & White’s book, The Elements of Style. After letting the work rest a few days, I’ll re-read it. If it seems okay, I’ll send it out again. “Lord, help me.”