Saturday, August 2, 2014

Commentary - The Stomach Needed for Writing

In the news: "Persecution of Christians and Jews spreading; Israel battles Hamas terror organization; Detroit without drinking water; US border discord; migrant children dispersed without family; laws shown weak for lack of attention to consequences; citizens risk law violations to feed neglected poor, rush to judgment endangers or costs lives..."

Do you have the stomach (guts) to become a published writer of articles, news columns, editorials, or information-laden books about people in need, both sides of a critical news story, or societies' "failures"? The only way that I know for any of us to find out is to enter the professional arena, which must include much reading, research, editorial feedback, and analysis.

As much as any time in history, I believe, Christian writers can continue to convey ideas and stories to show understanding and to uplift, to put a check on bitter or knee-jerk reactions to news and social events, to shine new light on human life. You and I can aim lift some of the heaviness of others, I believe, through reminders of Jesus by way of genuine actions, time, and prayers portrayed in ideas.  

Tonight, I watched The Book Thief movie, a moving and provocative story that I hope to see again. It reminds me that the telescopes of history do enrich our perspectives. The story reinforces the message of the power of words.

I have re-posted on LinkedIn today the Opine Publishing cover of the book by Mogama. Refugee Was My Name, which is his story of terror years in Liberia. As I worked with the photo links and files, I reminded myself why I hope that others will to take a look at this beautiful book. Mogama had courage and encouragement from others to help him write his story and see it come to life.

     We need good true stories to remind us that people continue, around the world, to overcome disasters, including wars and terrorist inroads. Neither is a good situation, yet even recently we learned of a woman giving birth in prison because she would not reject Christ or her Christian faith. The more we can hear the good news,the words, directly from such new heroes the better our understanding and our moral adjustments will be. We can readjust ourselves to move, continually, out of the ubiquitous comfort zones that tempt us.

I believe that writers like you have the desire to develop the tougher inner strength needed to be evaluated by editors, to be engaged by readers, to endure rejection or critique. There is spiritual, as well as intellectual and emotional, armor to help each of us try again, again, and again.

The privilege is mine to know, firsthand, writers willing to put themselves and their work forward. Many writers, I believe, even now are re-dedicating themselves to be more engaged than ever, no matter how many rejections, to build their skills and awareness. Maybe you are one of them. Thereby, the writers' voices of faith are more likely to be heard through their written words.

What is your decision? Have you already settled it, come what may? I encourage you at whatever your writing life may be now to continue to grow your fiction and nonfiction skills and to keep submitting your works for publication.