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Ozarks Chapter American Christian Writers


Put Your Heart On Paper
President’s Column for Dec 2008 – Jan 2009 OCACW newsletter
By Jeanetta Chrystie

Noted author Henriette Anne Klauser travels from her home near Seattle, Washington, to lead workshops about creativity and writing in the United States, Canada, and Europe. In her best-selling book, Writing on Both Sides of the Brain, Dr. Klauser aids writers and “wannabe” writers in tapping their creativity and integrating it with the necessary business side of the writing life. Her business clients include Fortune 500 companies such as Boeing, Weyerhauser, Zerox, and Hershey Foods. Wouldn’t you just love the perks of helping a chocolate manufacturer?

I recently received an autographed copy of another of Henriette Anne Klauser’s books for writers, Put Your Heart on Paper: Staying Connected in a Loose-Ends World, in which she wrote “Jeanetta ~ When you put your heart on paper, be brave.”

How true is that simple statement? When we write, we write from what is within us. We write from our experiences, our feelings, our perceptions, our thoughts, our very soul and spirit. As Christian writers, this necessitates a lifestyle of active spiritual disciplines.

In Jeremiah 2:13, God inspired the prophet Jeremiah to chide the Israelites for digging empty cisterns (wells) that cannot hold water instead of coming to the waters He had provided. If we, as Christian writers, are not regular in our Bible study and prayers with meditation on God’s word and how it applies to our everyday lives, how can we truly write works that further God’s work in our world?

I’ve tried to “crank out” an article or poem on deadline, when I thought I was too busy to sit and be still with God first. The end product, when there is one, is lacking. We cannot “dig our own cisterns” by writing outside of God’s empowerment. We cannot bless others when we ourselves are an empty well.

How do we seek God’s empowerment for writing?

  1. Make time to engage in personal Bible study, spiritual growth and devotion reading, prayer, meditate on God’s word through spiritual journaling, etc.
  2. Follow the Holy Spirit’s leading when prompted to write a card or letter to someone who needs encouragement. Remember the parable of the talents? The ones that are faithful in small things were given larger responsibilities. How can we expect God to guide and bless our writing efforts if we won’t follow his leading to write “little” things?
  3. Ask for God’s guidance in which writing projects to pursue; and allow God to set our priorities.

As we close 2008 and begin 2009, let’s covenant together to help each other be accountable for personal spiritual growth and to follow God’s leadership for our writing efforts during the coming year. Each of you are highly valued as members, and regular attendees, of our Ozarks Chapter of American Christian Writers; and we look forward to being together each month.

Your presence at meetings encourages everyone there, as we sow seeds into each other’s lives. Our OCACW mission statement is why your club officers take the time to create this specifically Christian writer’s group when other good secular writer’s groups are available. OCACW is an organization of Christian writers providing FIVE unique services:

  1. Information & Instruction in Writing for Christian markets
  2. Encouragement in Writing (from a Christian worldview)
  3. Fellowship among Christian Writers
  4. Christian Networking Opportunities
  5. Share & Critique Group Opportunities
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