Thursday, November 13, 2014

Beyond the Novel

I dare say most people reading this are working on that great American novel (or the second or third or twentieth one....)

God has called us to write, and write we shall!

But writing a novel is not the only way to fulfill the calling that is "writing," although it certainly is one of them!

Let's take the Alleycats for example.

EVERY single one of us blogs... here and many of us on our own personal blogs. Have you checked them out lately?

Mary blogs at  LET'S TALK and a fabulous blog for kids at God Loves Kids.
Amy blogs at The Writer's Break Room.
Pepper has this fab blog here.
Ashley gives us a big of her Southern Grace on her blog.
Angie is Taking It All In over at her place.
Casey is being her usual self and Writing for Christ.
Sherrinda is, well, Simply Sherrinda. (but really, there is nothing simple about this awesome lady!)
Julia is a contributor at Wonderfully Woven
Karen shows us all up on her AWESOME blog, A House Full of Sunshine, that is just taking off like CRAZY!
Laurie is full of awesomeness herself on her blog here.
And then of course there's little ol' me. I blog about finding Joy in the Journey (although I think about 70% of my readers just want to hear Annabelle updates, LOL!)

There are many of us who also contribute to other blogs such as and and I know I'm missing some others! (Alleycats, feel free to add in the comments!)

Then we have the fabulous Julia who writes articles and reviews for The Library Journal.

The amazing Ashley who had her first short story published in one of A Cup of Christmas Cheer this year!

And yours truly is trying her hand at novellas this year starting with A Side of Faith, so that is super fun!

But you know?

It can even be simpler than these various ideas.

My daughter came to me the other day and wanted to do a monologue in a talent competition where one of the categories was dramatic monologue. But she didn't want to just do a monologue, she wanted ME to write her one.


So I tried my hand at it. I've never done anything like that before. It's a fairly short one, but I'm decently pleased with the outcome. And it was a little reminder to God that there is more to this writing thing than just novels. He wants us to use our gifts in LOTS of ways, and to limit the reach to just that next novel probably isn't the best use of our talents.

I'm not telling you to go start a blog. Many people have NO interest in doing so, and that is perfectly fine. I'm just saying to think outside the box a little, or at least erase those lines and let God show you other places he might be wanting to use your writing.

Discussion: What ways do you write that don't include writing that big novel?


Casey said...

I LOVE blogging. Seriously. It's a completely different part of my brain, it seems, than writing creatively for novels. I love connecting my heart and what God is teaching me through my readers as well. Awesome to see how God uses a post I wrote months ago to touch *my* heart and someone else's.

Susan Anne Mason said...

I admire all you bloggers! Blogging is so NOT my forte.

Hmm, I guess I use my writing talent to help my kids with their school work. Just finished 'editing' my daughter's university essay and another project as well.

Good use to be sure!


Robin E. Mason said...

I love Annabelle updates!! <3 do blog [over on wordpress] and follow your fellow alleycat blogs, and inspy, but didn't know about the water cooler!! hee hee
I had a season of PROLIFIC poetry writing - and it has been pointed out I need to grab hold of that again. I have had a hand in play writing as well. I discovered that my NaNo story, as a novella at 50K (something new for me) will be the first in a series! I do love how my characters - and Papa God - surprise me like this!!

Tori said...

My youngest child has recently gone to kindergarten and I want to finally write the book that's been brewing in my head for a while now. About 3 years ago I started a blog that documents my son's journey with apraxia of speech. I've recently added regular contributing writers so I can devote more time to other projects, but what I'm finding is, it is hard to do it all. I'd love to hear how much time the Alley Cats devote to blog, etc. writing versus book writing. Thanks! :)

Krista Phillips said...

Robin, poetry is another GREAT outlet for writing! I, myself, am a HORRIBLE poet. Like, Horrible horrible. But I know many writers are very gifted at it!

Song writing is another!

Krista Phillips said...

Tori, that's a great question! Honestly, i think it is different for each of us, because we all are at different stages in life. heck. mine differs from month to month!

I've actually just cut back on my personal blog to once a week. I was finding that I was viewing blogging as a "chore", but now I can let a post stew over the week and feel like I am putting out more quality writing, and talking about things that God has put on my heart, rather than just writing to fill up the space.

I think and pray very carefully before adding a blogging commitment.

I guess the answer is: Where are you at in the journey? What kind of writing is God putting on your heart? We all go through various seasons in life.... so your season is going to be different than mine.

Tori said...

Krista, Thank you for such heartfelt advice! That is a good, straight-up question for me to ask myself. I've gotten overwhelmed with what I "should" be doing.

If I follow my heart instead of my head, the answer becomes quite simple ... continue blogging on apraxia/special needs kids and write my book. And never think about Twitter, Facebook, guest posting, freelancing, etc. again! Ha!

I've struggled with my current blog because apraxia is a fairly uncommon speech problem and although my blog is intimate and has a great audience, I worry that it is not very useful in the platform department. But, I have a heart for the special needs community and really enjoy writing this blog and connecting with other moms.

Songwriting! I keep hoping God will bless me with melody! I think songwriting is the coolest talent ever. :)

Glynis said...

I'm actually starting to wonder if I will ever write a novel, but you've made me think that even if I never accomplish that, I do a lot of other writing.

I write a devotional once a month for a website. I occasionally write something for the church newsletter. I'm working on a screenplay with a friend. And I write kit descriptions (and sometimes stories) for several digital scrapbook designers. Doesn't seem like much until you put it all together. I keep thinking I'm not really a writer, but I guess I am! :)