Andrea Merrell Shares: Is There Room in the Writing World for You?

Although this blog was posted on The Write Editing before Christmas I feel Andrea Merrell’s insights are spot on as we enter the New Year. A career in Writing is a difficult journey and as 2018 closes it’s easy to get discouraged and doubtful. I hope you find Andrea’s words as inspiring as I did.

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Is There Room in the Writing World for You?

By Andrea Merrell

It’s hard to know for sure how Mary must have felt the night she was about to give birth to the Savior of the world. Weary, cold, most likely hungry, and going into labor she was surely ready to climb off that donkey and crawl into a soft, warm bed.

But the only words she heard over and over were “no room.”

I can only imagine the other words she heard that night. “Sorry. Filled up. You should have gotten here earlier. Come back another time.” She might have even been told “our rooms are reserved for frequent, high-profile guests.” An earful of discouragement.

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At times we might face that same discouragement as writers—especially after a long journey of conferences, critique groups, appointments, classes, devouring books on the craft … and rejections.

 

No room. Sorry, that category is filled up. You should have submitted your proposal earlier. Come back another time after you rewrite your novel or come up with a new story. Your genre is not quite what we’re looking for at the moment. Yes, we have spots open, but they’re reserved for our high-profile, well-known authors.

That’s when the Enemy fills our mind with thoughts like: I might as well give up. What’s the point? I’m tired of trying. God must not have called me to do this after all. Maybe He’s even forgotten about me.

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That’s when the fight-or-flight instinct kicks in. We either go into hiding or fight for what we want. We might shut down our computers and quit or try to break down the door that has been closed to us. Either way, it’s a waiting game.

 

So, what should we do while we’re waiting? Just keep on, as they say, keepin’ on. Do what God has called us to do. We should never be tempted to try and promote ourselves. That’s God’s job, and He takes it seriously. He’s also very good at it. We need to look to Him for acceptance and approval, find our significance and self-worth in our relationship with Him. One pastor says, “In God’s kingdom you don’t achieve success on your own, you receive it from God. Let others compete and compare. Just stay faithful in what God’s given you to do—and when the time is right … He’ll come and get you.”

I love that statement “He’ll come and get you.” Just like He came after David as the young shepherd was tending sheep, doing the job he was given to do, while his brothers were striving to be Israel’s next king. God had a plan. He knew exactly where David was and how to find him. When the time was right, God sent for him.

The truth is in God’s kingdom there’s always enough room—for all of us. When we belong to and work for the Creator of the universe, the Master of Creativity, there is never a shortage of opportunities. The venue you have in mind may not be the one He has reserved for you, but it’s there with your name on it—not someone with more notoriety.

As a child of God, He has a plan and purpose for you and for your writing. He knows exactly where you are and how to find you. Trust Him for His perfect timing. He will open doors of opportunity that no one else can. There is more than enough room in the writing world—for you!

 

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(Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I loved the encouragement Andrea brings to my writer’s heart. It is hard to soldier on in our calling as Writers when doors are closing all around. And even when publishers doors open wide and we feel at last we’ve arrive our own lack of confidence can sabatoga our career goals. I’m starting 2019  with a commitment to renew my trust in the Savior to guide me through the next twelve months as I continue to write, allowing him to be in charge.

 

 

Behind the Scenes of Marriage: Make it or Break it

I’m so happy to have my favorite editor, Andrea Merrell, with me. I’ve invited her back to share about her new book, Marriage: Make It or Break It. Andrea, this is your first venture into a book about marriage.Andrea Merrell 2

Tell us about your passion for writing this marriage book.

After the release of Praying for the Prodigal, my daughter asked if I’d ever considered writing a book about marriage. The thought had never crossed my mind. She said because her dad and I have such a great relationship and over forty years of experience—with the good, the bad, and even the ugly—she felt I had a lot of wisdom to share with other couples. After promising to think about the idea (and especially pray about it), it became the only thing I could think about. There was almost a compulsion, an urgency to put my thoughts on paper.

What is the take-away you hope to impart to your readers?

I want my readers to realize that marriage is a God-ordained institution and one of God’s greatest gifts. A good marriage is a process, not an event. It takes commitment and a lot of work, but it’s so worth the effort. We have to put away our selfish desires and love each other the way God intended. My husband and I have learned many lessons the hard way, and we want to help couples avoid some of those rocky places. Two of the biggest keys to a solid, successful marriage are respect and open, honest communication. And there is no greater blessing than having your spouse as your best friend.

How much research did you do and what resource was the most helpful?

There were several resources that were helpful. One was The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. Every couple should invest in this book. I’ve done quite a bit of research (and even teaching) on the five basic temperaments. Two of my favorite books on the subject are Personality Plus by Florence Littauer and Personality Perspectives by Linda Gilden and Tama Westman. I also gained valuable insight from Men Are Like Waffles—Women Are Like Spaghetti: Understanding and Delighting in Your Differences by Bill and Pam Farrel. This book explains the differences between men and woman better than any I’ve read. I also interviewed several mothers who are part of a blended family and researched other facts on the Internet.

Can this book be used in a group study?

Absolutely. The book is written in a casual, conversational tone with lots of practical information such as the different types of love, the five love languages, the four basic temperaments, choosing your battles, blended families, and avoiding what I call marital mischief. There are prayers and Scriptures to pray and questions in the back of the book that can be used in a group or for personal study.

Your title is intriguing. How did you decide on it?

I actually had a hard time with the title. All I could think of was Marriage, but I knew it needed a tagline or subtitle. About halfway through the process, I realized there are so many things that can make or break a relationship, so that’s how the title was born—Marriage: Make It or Break It. It’s really up to us.

Share with my readers a writing tip that has been your guide throughout your writing journey.

I’ve learned that the more transparent we are, the more impact our words can have. Pulling from painful experiences and being willing to expose both our strengths and weaknesses will resonate with our readers because they can relate. Everyone is looking for hope and a better way to do life. God doesn’t waste a single moment. If we’ve been through tough times and survived, we can share what we learned along the way to help someone else.

Author Bio

Andrea Merrell is an associate editor with Christian Devotions Ministries and Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. She is also a professional freelance editor and was a finalist for the 2016 Editor of the Year Award at BRMCWC. She teaches workshops at writers’ conferences and has been published in numerous anthologies and online venues. Andrea is a graduate of Christian Communicators and a finalist in the 2015 USA Best Book Awards. She is the author of Murder of a Manuscript, Praying for the Prodigal, and Marriage: Make It or Break It. For more information visit www.AndreaMerrell.com or www.TheWriteEditing.com.

links to Andrea’s books

Amazon link for Marriage: Make It or Break Ithttp://amzn.to/2qxucJ7

Amazon link for Murder of a Manuscripthttp://amzn.to/1HlRLmy

Amazon link for Praying for the Prodigalhttp://amzn.to/1BFOhK9

Connect with Andrea

Twitter – https://www.Twitter.com/AndreaMerrell

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/andrea.s.merrell

Linkedin – http://linkd.in/1vSByxW

Goodreads – http://bit.ly/142LXjp

Google + — http://bit.ly/1Miy3dO

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Here is the back cover blurb

Some say marriage is a dying institution. Others say, “Stop the bus and let me get off.” But Andrea Merrell—after forty-plus years of marriage—believes this God-ordained institution is one of His greatest gifts to men and women. Marriage: Make It or Break It is a result of a lifetime of trial and error, keen observation, and years of studying God’s Word. With her signature dash of humor, she takes a candid look at attitudes and behavior that can make or break a relationship, the difference in how men and women think and approach life, and the importance of honest communication. You’ll find danger signs, roadblocks to bypass, and Scriptures to personalize and pray on a daily basis.

This journey won’t be perfect, and the road is guaranteed to be full of potholes. But if you’re ready to learn a few truths that will make marriage strong—and a lot of things that will destroy it—buckle your seat belt and let’s get this bus moving.

Thank you for taking the time, Andrea. Definitely, a book worth checking out. It released June 25th. Click here to order.

 

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