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The Best Writing Partner

By Nancy Ellen Hird

About the time I began writing for publication, I heard a businessman say he realized God wanted to be his business partner and so the man wrote up a contract. It occurred to me that God was inviting me to join His business, to be a Kingdom builder with my writings.

I was awed by the idea, but I was also pleased. It meant that I wasn’t going to be going it alone. I was going to be a member of an organization, a member of a team. I would be able to connect with someone who was more creative than I was, smarter than I was, more powerful than I was, and with better connections than I had. I would also be part of something bigger than I was. The verse “I am the vine; you are the branches. . . . apart from me you can do nothing,” (John 15:5, NIV) became real to me. I wrote up an employment contract and put it up near my computer where I can see it. It helps.

I,_____________, recognize God as the senior partner in the writings of _________________. This includes all stories, novels, letters, poems, plays, and articles. The senior partner shall direct the works to be produced. In addition all problems, worries and fears shall be referred to the senior partner for solution. The junior partner relinquishes control and rests under the mighty hand of God. The senior partner shall be duly praised.
Signature_____________________ Date____________________________

Sometime after creating the contract (I am a slow learner), I began to use a spiral-bound notebook, one different from my life journal, to talk with God about writing exclusively.
My entries were-and are-mostly short, but sometimes long memos to my boss, God Almighty.

I literally write out the questions and problems that I am encountering in my current project. In the margins, I often write (sometimes I forget to do it) the answers-what I believe are God’s responses. I also ask for His direction on submissions, marketing and what projects I should do. And yes, I pour out to Him my discouragement, my fears and my complaints. (Those are some of the long memos.)

Though we are building characters in our stories and novels, God wants to do more than that. He wants to build character in us. Telling a story is a journey, but writing the story as a Christian can become a journey of the soul.

IGetAClueI Get a Clue, a mystery for girls, 10-13, is Nancy Ellen Hird’s latest book. For several years she reviewed children’s and teen literature for Focus on the Family. In 2011 she started the blog, Books for Christian Kids. She and her team recommend books that will uplift kids.

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6 Responses to The Best Writing Partner

  1. Paula Mowery says:

    Nancy, I love this post – everything about it. Such a timely topic for me. Since God is the One who has given me this writing ministry, I have to be always reminded that He is the Boss. I may have to “steal” your idea and draw up a contract to post above my desk. What a great reminder everyday as I would begin to write – keep the main thing the main thing.

  2. Oh, Paula, please “steal” it. I actually hand out the “contract” in my class on writing for children. After opening with prayer, it’s the first thing I do with my conferees. And frankly, I’m not sure but that it is not the best thing I do with that group.

    Thanks so much for your response. I look forward to seeing your writings in digital or print. Because I know your “boss,” I’m sure your work will be quite terrific.

  3. I don’t usually leave comments, as I get this blog by email, but this really impacted me! Mom and I just launched our own publishing company and the first book, On the Threshold. It’s such a marketing, business-crazy time. I am going to share this with Mom. We should both sign this contract. I love that you write out your business questions. I bet it’s almost like a prayer journal, where you could go back and record God’s answers as time passes. Thank you so much for sharing!

  4. I love this idea! “Borrowing” it as well. I know God is the one who gives me the words, plots, suspense lines, romances, spiritual layer and I like the idea of making it “official”. And I like your journal as well. Writing out problems is smart!

  5. Christina, how exciting, launching your own company. God is providing some amazing opportunities in the world of publishing.

    About my journal: I’m a pretty concrete person so writing out problems helps me let go of them. It’s really fun too to see how God answers.

    The idea for the journal happened rather wonderfully. I was reading over and praying over a three-part text that I had written to accompany a choir performance. The third section would be spoken after the intermission.

    While I liked what I was saying, I knew people would not be able to focus on it. Their minds would still be on the dessert they had just eaten and conversation they had just had. I needed to “warm up the house.” I said so to God and wrote it in the margin.

    A few days later I knew how to introduce my third section, but the really fun part is that on the second night of performance God made my words about dark and light come to life with His own lighting effects.

  6. Pingback: The Best Writing Partner | Holly Michael's Writing Straight