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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: The Writerís Skill/Craft (04/22/10)

TITLE: Don't Throw Out the Pen!
By K.D. Manes


Very creative!

The FaithWriterís Challenge piece not only packed a powerful message, but flowed with harmonic rhythm.

I can rhyme. Iíll just follow the same pattern.

After praying about the subject matter, I outlined the main points the Lord laid on my heart. In my mindís eye, the story and message flowed beautifully. Feeling like my kids when anticipating a bike excursion, I cruised into rhyming and meter mode with enthusiasm.

I couldnít wait to share my new creation with my husband. It didnít take long, however, for the truth to emerge. My poetic prose and meter fell by the wayside. (To my husbandís credit, he politely kept his mouth shut until I finished and asked for his honest opinion.)

The rhyme disconnected my message like staccato notes played out of sync in an opera. And, the meter clanked like an old beater truck.

Lord, have I really heard you correctly? Am I forcing this writing dream? I blew that one! And Iím out of time!

He didnít let me off the hook so easily.

Donít throw out the pen!

Gazing out at our barren garden, He impressed the similarity of the Gardenerís seasons and the Writerís.

C Ė CULTIVATEÖThe gardener cultivates the soil to prepare for healthy plants. Likewise, the Christian writer needs to allow God to cultivate her heartís soil. Submitting to Him through prayer, Bible reading, fellowship, and His pruning/discipline methods will result in vibrant lives and words that reflect our Savior (Col. 2:7; Phil. 2:15-16).

R - Read...The master gardener spends much time studying plants. What kinds of plants thrive in various conditions? What are the water requirements? Do they like sun, shade, or both? How much? Similarly, the writer develops skill by investing time in studying her genre of books, articles, classes, and websites (FaithWriters).

A - ATTEND & AMENDÖThe gardener must not only observe weather, harmful weeds, pests and disease; she must also be disciplined in protective action to keep her plants thriving. The Christian writer should also attend to Godís direction and action plans. Heeding constructive criticism and determining not to throw out the pen when perceived failures and setbacks arise will grow her skills like Sunflowers. Persistence in revisions until satisfied with the outcome, even if she misses the Writerís Challenge deadline, will further her writing skills.

F - FAITH ÖThe gardener presses on - spading, seeding, watering, hoeing, and fertilizing - because she knows healthy vegetables/fruit, and thriving blooms will most likely result. Similarly, the Christian writer must believe her hard work is not in vain (Luke 8:15). As she holds out the hope of Godís reconciling message, she must take up her shield of faith; realizing the God who creates and calls, will also empower. His Word will not return void (Isaiah 55:10-11).

T - Time... The wise gardener makes the most of the seasons. She must discern the best times to sow seeds, transplant, water, fertilize, prune, etc. Impatience is not an option as plants need time to mature. Likewise, the Christian writer needs to understand her skill takes time to grow. God has ordained set seasons for his childrenís lives (Ecc. 3:1). His timing, thoughts, and ways are not our ways (Ecc. 11:5; Is. 55:8). However, His timing and ways are always perfect.

Last, but not least, God showed me: If I bloom into a talented, skillful writer, but do not have love, my words will simply appear as scribbles from His vantage point (1 Cor. 13).

The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
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This article has been read 529 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 04/29/10
I too will struggle with meter, I feel your pain, but you cleverly came up with the perfect description of what the craft is. Very crafty!
Lucile McKenzie04/29/10
Good points for who struggle with our writing to remember, whether prose or poetry. I like the title, a reminder for each of us to keep writing, no matter how many setbacks we have.
Mildred Sheldon05/01/10
Beautifully written and I loved the title. I love how you worked craft into your article. Keep writing.
Margaret Kearley 05/03/10
This is so good! I love both parables and acrostics and this is full of great lessons! Definitely, don't throw out the pen!
Jan Ackerson 05/03/10
Wonderful devotional for writers!

I'd caution you not to refer to the FaithWriters' Challenge directly (reasons for this are discussed in the "Jan's Writing Basics" thread in the forum--would love to see you there!) And the phrase 'poetic prose' might not be quite what you meant, as prose is the exact opposite of poetry.

That being said--this is probably the best devotional I've read this week, and it's a very strong entry.
Marilyn Schnepp 05/05/10
In the beginning this was intriguing and looked like it was going to be a fun read; but then it got bogged down, (Just my opinion), and I got disinterested and bored; however, it WAS helpful, I'm sure, to those who are just starting to write and have a yen to learn the 'tricks of the trade' so to speak. Good Luck to you and God Bless.
Beth LaBuff 05/06/10
Kelli, congrats on your ribbon!!
K.D. Manes05/07/10
Thank you for the great advice and encouragement!