Saturday, April 28, 2012

Everyone Has a Story

I look forward to the CBS Friday evening news segments for one main reason; to watch “On the Road,” by Steve Hartman. The series was originally hosted by Charles Kuralt and ended in 1980. I am glad it’s been resurrected, but I have to admit I miss Steve’s previous Friday evening segments, “Everybody Has a Story”. I enjoyed watching Steve throw a dart over his shoulder at a map, travel to the city it landed on, and find a phone booth. Once inside he would open their local phonebook, close his eyes and call the phone number his finger landed on. I, like millions of others who watched, was repeatedly amazed at the unique story he could pull out of one of the family members. Most of his stories were heartwarming and ended in such a way that I couldn’t help but exclaim out loud, “Awww.” Sadly, the show had to end. After all, who can find a phone booth these days? I love learning about the personal life experiences of others. Everyone has a story – and no two stories are exactly alike. I frequently get asked for help in writing those stories and in getting them published. I truly wish I could help each person who asks, but the bottom line is, there are no shortcuts or “secrets” to getting published. It simply boils down to hard work. Most often that hard work refers to a lot of re-writing, but it can also mean being able to take constructive criticism from those who know the business, including those who know how to write. Time is money for all of us, which means if you want lots of help with your writing, including a good critique of your work, expect to pay for it. Writer’s conferences are usually worth their weight in gold for all that you receive: the educational classes, the networking with other writers, the handouts and samples, and especially the face-to-face meetings with editors. I have inadvertently offended many people by responding (as nice as I know how) that I was not able to help them with their book. My prayer is, if God is calling them to write, they won’t give up. Discouragement will be part of the process, but as with most things in life, if it is worthwhile it will involve perseverance and it will come with a price. When we think of the many scribes who labored over the creation of the Bible, the time, energy, and even negative comments they must have endured, it should encourage us to persevere to share what God lays on our heart, too. What if those scribes had decided it was too hard part-way through and given up? Or it interfered with their “real” job. Yes, the Author of the greatest love story ever told would have found others, but what an eternal privilege the quitters would have missed out on. Never forget that the One who calls you into His service, will also equip you with all that you need, in His way and in His timing. “Then the LORD said to me, ‘Write my answer plainly on tablets, so that a runner can carry the correct message to others,’” (Habakkuk 2:2, NLT). Writing for Him, Connie
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