Tag Archive | writers

What’s Your Purpose?

I’ve been gone for awhile, but I’m back! Or so I hope. Because of my health issues, I only have so much energy in a day. And most of that energy is focused on writing my fictional stories. That means some things take a back seat–actually a lot, especially house work!  And I don’t feel a bit guilty about that. Writing is my ministry. It’s my service and my gift to God.

Miriam-Webster’s Online Dictionary defines ministry as something used to achieve an end. That definition works for me. For a Christian, the end is glorifying God by adding to His kingdom, both in heaven and on earth. Some of us may think of ministries as church activities and only church activities. They include preaching, singing, teaching,  missionary work, and other church-related activities.

But this is a limiting view of ministry as far as I’m concerned. Any activity you choose to do on a regular basis that glorifies God in some way becomes your ministry.

If you grow a huge garden and share the food with others—that’s a ministry.

If you babysit for young parents so they can have a date—that’s a ministry.

If you volunteer at a school, a hospital, or whatever—that’s a ministry.

When you make a conscious choice to do something and do it for God’s glory, it becomes a ministry. Teaching in a public school can be your ministry if you do it in such a way to glorify God. Being a good neighbor can be your ministry. God gives each of us different passions and abilities and when we use them to glorify God, then that activity becomes a ministry.

I know some of you may disagree (and that’s OK). You feel that it’s only a legitimate ministry if it’s related to the church you attend, but good works are not limited to church activities. In fact, I would challenge you to say that more of us need to step out of the church building to do good works and to find our ministry.

Finding your purpose can change the way you live. It will give you the power to say no to activities that distract you from your purpose which is also God’s purpose.

Writing is my ministry–my gift to God. He’s not gifted me to be a great theological writer. Instead I tell stories. I tell stories that show Christian characters trying to do the best they can in whatever circumstances they find themselves. I write stories to entertain Christians and non-Christians alike, but I write those stories in such a way as to glorify God as well.

It took me many years to get published by a traditional publisher. And during those years, I spent countless hours at my computer writing. Each hour spent made me a better writer. To spend those hours writing, I had to say no to other activities and you may need to do the same–no matter what your ministry is.

This may not be easy and some people will not take kindly to you when you refuse to volunteer for whatever the next event may be, especially if you’re a pre-published writer. Now, I’m not saying to not participate and volunteer for SOME things. Of course, you should, but you also need the freedom to say no when it’s appropriate so you can follow the dream God’s put on your heart.

So, I’d love to hear from some of you. What’s your ministry? How has that ministry affected your life?

GOODBYE, WORLD!!

The blogging world that is. I haven’t been blogging long (less than a year.) I only started blogging because John Locke and all the other writing experts said a writer MUST—MUST—MUST have a blog.

Well, I’m a writer so I started a blog.

The problem is I’m just not that into it. And to have a successful blog, you need to put love, time, and energy into it. I prefer to put my love, time, and energy into the books I write.

I agree a writer needs a platform, but shouldn’t good books be the platform? I’ve been a guest on many, many blogs to promote my books. If you type in my name, you will see blog after blog about me and my books. That’s a platform, right?

A writer’s time is precious. After all, most of us don’t make a living from our writing so our writing time is limited. A published writer has many demands on their time, such as guest blogs, promotional events, speaking engagements, being part of a critique group or several groups, creating an online presence, being a part of the social media world to name a few.

If we are spending time writing and promoting blogs along with all the other non-writing requirements an author must do, when do we get to write?

Will I be a guest on other blogs? I hope so and as the saying goes—the more the merrier!
Will I ever have another blog? In fact, I’m not giving up the blog world entirely. I have a devotional site that I hope others will find helpful in their daily life. You can check that out at: www.poweringupwithGod.wordpress.com

And from time to time I may post to this site, if there is something I simply must say to the world! In the meantime, I’m going to be writing the stories God gives me to write. As for you wonderful bloggers out there, I say keep it up.

Until next time (whenever that may be), God Bless and Good Reading!!

Who’s Josh Krajcik?

I hadn’t heard the name Josh Krajcik a month or so ago and now I hear it, say it, read about it in one form or another almost every day. In case you don’t know who Josh Krajcik is, he’s one of the 16 finalists on Simon Cowell’s new music competition show-The X Factor. And he’s an awesome singer!

But that’s not the point of this blog post.

Josh is from my part of the country, graduated from the same high school I did, and went to school with my step-son. And everyone around here’s very excited about Josh and how well he’s doing on the X Factor even if he keeps saying he’s from Columbus (Come on, Josh, give a shout out for Triway!)And so am I. So, Josh, if you happen to read this, please don’t get the wrong idea. I’m thrilled for your success and hope you go all the way. You’ve definitely got my vote!

But somewhere along the way talent, success, money, fame, and most of all celebrity got all jumbled together. And many people seem to think if you’re not a celebrity, then you must not be talented.

 Is Josh any better of a singer now that he’s on TV and “famous” than he was a month ago before anyone had heard of him? Not from what I hear. Everyone tells me, Josh is an amazing talent and always has been. But, now that’s he’s on TV that makes him a celebrity and so…he’s suddenly legitimate as a musician.

And that brings me to my point of this blog.

I wonder how many writers, artists, and musicians are overlooked because they aren’t a celebrity. Does fame and talent have to go together? Why are writers, musicians, artists, and others with creative talents only considered legitimate if they are a celebrity?

And what about all of us struggling creative artists types, do we do the same thing?

If we aren’t “rich and famous,” does that mean we aren’t successful? Does that mean our artistic efforts aren’t good enough because we aren’t famous enough? Sadly, I think this mindset hurts many very creative, very talented people. Every day talented people give up their “art” because they don’t view themselves as successful.

The truth is they may have achieved success as an artist, but not celebrity.

I am a writer. It took me a lot of years to believe that and that’s partially because like so many others I believe fame and success are the same thing. It’s not, but I wonder…

If Oprah had me on her show as the hot new writer of suspense novels and I became an instant celebrity, how many of the people I know would have to go out and buy my books to see what all the fuss was about because they hadn’t supported my artistic efforts up to this point?

Mmmm. I’m probably better off not knowing the answer to that question.

And for those cynics out there who are saying I wrote this blog and used Josh Krajcik’s name simply as a way to get more attention, did it work? After all, everyone loves a celebrity!

To learn more about my writing visit me at www.lillianduncan.net

And the last thing I want to say is GO JOSH!!

If it was good enough for Jesus–It’s good enough for me.

When people learn I’m a writer, I get lots of different reactions. Some are excited and want to learn more. Those are the ones I like. Then there are some who look like I started talking in another language, nod, and walk away. I don’t like those quite as well. And then, there are the others….

You know the type—super intellectuals. They look down their nose and say. “Oh, I don’t read fiction, I only read non-fiction.” As if reading fiction is a bad thing. As if it’s somehow demeaning to read fiction, let alone write it.

I used to let these people bother me—but no more!

Now, I say—if it was good enough for Jesus, it’s good enough for me.

I recently learned this definition for a parable. A parable is an earthly story with a heavenly message. Wow! Isn’t that exactly what writers of Christian Fiction do? We write funny,wonderful, exciting, fascinating stories that have a heavenly message.

In my last book, PURSUED, I had two main heavenly messages. The first was God loves each and every one of us. The second was believers should spread God’s love to others—even it’s in inconvenient and/or dangerous! And in my books, it’s always dangerous!

At times, we might be tempted to say (and believe) that what we do (writing Christian fiction) isn’t all that important in the big scheme of things but…

Where would our Christian faith be without the parable of The Prodigal Son? No other story I know illustrates the depth of God’s love or the fact HE will never turn us away when we come back to him—no matter the circumstances.

Where would our Christian faith be without the parable of The God Samaritan? This story teaches us that God wants us to love one another in a true and meaningful way, not just with words.

Jesus used stories to entertain. Jesus used stories to teach. Jesus used stories to connect with others. Jesus used stories to illustrate a concept. Jesus used stories to elicit emotions from his listeners.

And we as Christian writers should do no less.

And that is why I’m proud to say I am a writer of parables. If it was good enough for Jesus—it’s good enough for me.

If you are a writer, what heavenly message do you put in your books?
If you are a reader, do you enjoy books with a heavenly message or just get on with the story?

To learn more about Lillian Duncan and her writing go to:    www.lillianduncan.net