Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Writing is a Decision

Writers make many conscious decisions every day.  Will I write today? What will I write?  Who is my audience?  Will my words be uplifting and helpful?  How much of myself will go into the work I produce? 

The tough thing is that once the words are in black and white - they are harder to recall, edit, or correct at least when you push the print or send button.  Creating is only the first step.  Editing, reediting (multiplied by10) and the final draft come later.  Writers decide to allow fresh eyes view the piece or put it in the drawer until we have recovered from it.

Until this year I never realized how much writing is like giving birth.  You have the conception, the idea for a narrative, an essay or a book.  Then there are further steps of nurture where you design, lay out, outline, or cluster ideas for your masterpiece.  You draft, redraft, query, write, and do it all again.  You pray and worry.  You plan, change your mind, and return to the draft.  Then a miracle occurs when an agent, editor, or publisher says yes and you give birth to that little darling that has made you so miserable but now gives you so much joy.

My little darling is due out this month.  Watch for 13 Decisions That Will Change Your Life.  I believe this book will be a blessing for you to read as it was a blessing for me to write.


Friday, July 11, 2014

Decisions that make a Difference

There are times in our lives when we wonder, what difference does it make?  When this happens to me I ruminate about "the road not taken."   What if I had gone to college here?  married this person?  Had more children?  Joined the military?  And on it goes.

Just one glance around my office lets me know that what I have is precious.  I can't imagine any other life than this one.  With my loving spouse, wonderful children, and extraordinary grandchildren I can only say thank you to the One who entrusted me with this gift.

13 Decisions That Will Change Your Life will only enrich your circumstances.  Look for it to challenge, uplift, and maybe even help you decide to take that risk or change that behavior.  

Monday, March 3, 2014

Decide to Surrender


Why do we have such a hard time with this one?  Raised in the South, I am aware of how stubborn, set in our ways, hard-headed, and opinionated people can be.  I alas suffer from some or all of these maladies.  Laying down my will for another's is hard - but the pain comes mostly from ego.  I, of course, think I know best and impose that knowledge whenever I can.

But what happens if the situation is not one I can control.  And I must, gulp, leave it in another's hands?  If that Other is God, it should be no problem.  Yet even in prayer, I find myself asking for what I want instead of what may be for the ultimate best.

Surrender comes with a price tag.  Every decision does.  But some costs are easier to pay than others.  Surrender to God.  You will never regret that decision.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Where Do Good Decisions Come From?

Decisions should come from the mind AND the heart.  One without the other is either too emotional or too cold.   Emotions warm up what our brain dictates and the brain pushes stop on the Panic Button.
When I was a young minister's wife, I did every job that was posted on the To Do list. I prepared communion, taught Sunday School, led Women's Bible Study, picked up the nursery laundry, emptied the trash, and gave the pews a once a week polish.  

Then a very wise person pointed out to me that (1) I wasn't passionate about some of the tasks I had taken on, and (2) I was depriving someone else of serving.  In a nice way, she informed me that I was being selfish.

Now that I am a little more mature in my walk of faith, I've learned to give any decision about service some time.  I also seek the advice of others, pray about the opportunity, and just breathe.  This little routine has resulted in more committed decisions and a manageable calendar.

Try my little decision making routine.  You may like it so much that you'll make it your own.  

Until next time, Sheila


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Spiritual Identity Theft

Often we don't think of decisions in conjunction with our identity.  But how we view ourselves is very important to our spiritual growth.  Christ died so that we could become children of God.  Our identity is tied up with His death, burial, and resurrection. 

If you need a boost for your ego, read Ephesians especially the first part of the book where Paul tells us what we have inherited from our Father.  Throughout the book he exhorts us to live as children of the light and finishes is off with reminding us of the armor God has provided.

Read it over and over until you believe it. Don't let the Evil One take away your place in the family.  The deceiver want to steal your credentials and leave you stranded, but we have identity that can't be stolen, can't be sold, lost, or forfeited.  Our identity is with Christ.

Make a decision to conduct yourself as one that has been bought with a price more extravagant than the world has ever known - the blood of the Maker.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Samantha Hoffman: Writing Tip: There Are No Absolutes

Samantha Hoffman: Writing Tip: There Are No Absolutes: I recently went to the Southeastern Writers Conference   (that's a picture at left of St. Simon's Island, where the conference was...

Friday, June 21, 2013

Decide to Give Yourself a Gift

This past week I was with 40 of my closest friends, those who know me best, and STILL like me.  They are my friends from Southeastern Writers Association.  I have been a member since 1983 and on the board for 10 years.

This was my first year back after retiring from the SWA board and I didn't know how I would feel.  But whatever qualms I had vanished as I was greeted with smiles, hugs, and handshakes.  It is wonderful to have those who accept you without any conditions.

This is the way it has been.  You can goof up, commit a faux pas, or any social boo boo and true friends forgive.  They even cheer for you as they did for me when I won several awards at my alma mater of writerdom.

And because I am all about decisions, here is one you should make.  Decide to give yourself a gift.  Someone said, "A friend is a gift you give yourself."  So lavish yourself with gifts of friendship.  It doesn't cost anything, but the gift of a friend is priceless.