Scripture Motto

"Let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father." Matthew 5:16

Friday, June 24, 2011

Around and around I go

Have you ever had something nag you and nag you…I’m not talking about your spouse or kids or mom…I’m talking about the desire to pursue something? When I began my writing journey five years, I wasn’t sure what I should write—devotionals, short fiction stories, or the almighty novel. It's been a vicious circle
Devotionals, short inspirational, pieces come to me without much effort, yet they don’t seem to satisfy the need. The pull to write fiction won’t go away. Writing the almighty novel seems out of my league. Yet, I don’t know where to market short fiction stories.
Devotionals run anywhere from 150 words to 500. Short stories vary greatly in word count from 1500-30,000 and have a slimmer market. The novel…well, it averages 80,000 – 100,000 (adult fiction).
Around and around I go. Do I take the easier more familiar road of devotionals or should I tackle one of the trails marked “rough narrow terrain ahead?”
The question perplexes me. The nagging is stuck in my craw. Fear and doubt hold me in there grips. Nevertheless, I’ve set myself a deadline of July15th to decide the road I’ll follow. (Your prayers are very welcome.)
“May those who wait for You not be ashamed through me, O Lord GOD of hosts;
May those who seek You not be dishonored through me…” Psalm 69:6 (nasb)
Check back in the coming weeks and see what I decide.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Building a Platform

Recently, my eldest son said to me (via his Facebook status post), “Wondering why Merrie Hansen hasn't been posting to her only takes a couple minutes mom!” My response, “It may only take a ‘couple of minutes’ but without a topic, it takes a bit longer.” So, here’s my couple of minutes…and with a topic, Son!
“…Record the vision and inscribe it on tablets…” Habakkuk 2:2 (nasb)
For several months, I’ve been haunted by the words of Terry Burns, author/agent, stressing the importance of building a platform. Because of other interruptions in my life, I set the research aside until last week. It doesn’t require a hammer, saw, or 2x4’s. What I found from a quick search the internet was a writers’ platform is marketing my resume. Sounds simple enough. Yet, because my writing experience is limited, so are my credentials.

My writing journey began five years ago. I remember it well. For several days, I woke in the wee hours of the morning feeling the need to “write this down.” By the third or fourth day, I began to ask the Lord, “Why are you giving me these?” I sensed He wanted me to do something more than keep them in a notebook. I thought of Moses standing before the burning bush asking “why me,” because I asked, “Who am I to write?”

What do I have to offer? Do I share my life’s story? Would the experiences I’ve encountered interested anyone else? Are my 30+ years on the roller coast ride of being a wife, mother, and homemaker enough to share with the world? Fiction or non-fiction?

I didn’t know what I was doing or how to accomplish it. Yet, like Isaiah, I responded, “Here I am, Lord. Use me.” Then, I did as I usually do; I prayed…and did research. I sought the advice of close friends, as well as enlisted their prayers.

As I waited to hear from those friends and for God to stir of my spirit, I continued to write my little pieces. Life went on as normal, until the following week. I flipped to the back pages of the book I was reading looking for the next volume in the series. There it was—in black and white—“Let us teach you to write.”

The book: “The Rapture” by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins
The ad: a writing course with the Christian Writers’ Guild

After more prayer for discernment and with the blessing of my husband, on June 1, 2006, I began their 26-month apprentice course. Since then, I’ve attended writers’ conferences, launched Merrie with weekly devotionals, and joined a support group and a critique group. Despite few submissions for publication, God saw fit to have one of my articles published in “Just Between Us,” a magazine for Christian women.

However, I feel my writing topics are sporadic, and I continue to seek the answer to the all-important question for building my platform: “Who am I to write?”

Would you help me answer this question?