Resources for Christians

If you’re a communicator for Christ, as I am, you can find Writing Resources with Christian poets, writers, and pastors in mind on my website.

In addition, I hope you’ll follow these blogs, which I maintain as often as family, church, and book-writing commitments allow:

Bible Prayers
Bible Reviewer
Mary Sayler (in lieu of this site)
Poetry Editor & Poetry
Praise Poems (many of which have been compiled in the book PRAISE! and the forthcoming chapbook, WE: the people under God.)
What the Bible Says About Love

May God bless you and your good work in Christ.

Mary Harwell Sayler, (c) 2017

 

Mary Harwell Sayler: 10 Ways a Writer’s Work Has Changed

A writer’s life didn’t use to focus on marketing or building a platform but on writing well and finding the most likely editors.

Source: Mary Harwell Sayler: 10 Ways a Writer’s Work Has Changed

Faith, Fiction, Friends: Mary Harwell Sayler’s “Christian Writer’s Guide”

Review by Glynn Young

Source: Faith, Fiction, Friends: Mary Harwell Sayler’s “Christian Writer’s Guide”

Poetic Power of Dyslexia

Most poets and writers draw on experience, personality, or the power of observation to find something fresh to say in their fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. If you do that in your writing too, great! Keep up the good work. However, the traits you think of as a disadvantage or even a handicap might be the ones that help you to develop your own voice or distinctive style. Take, for instance, dyslexia.

Like many poets and career freelance writers, I began writing as a young child but, in my case, backwards. One way or the other did not matter to me, but this stressed out my teacher so much, she made me stay after class on my very first day of school. For years I thought Mrs. Smith called Mother to come in, too, to see how sloppily I wrote as my left hand smudged the soft pencil across the lined paper in my notebook, but no. I had perfectly copied everything the teacher wrote on the blackboard (which actually was black then), and I had formed each letter of the alphabet correctly. I had just written everything on the blackboard backwards.

For fun, I still like to spell ippississiM in my head, and I must warn you not to even try to beat me at word games like Boggle or Wheel Of Fortune unless, of course, you’re also a bit dyslexic. Most of the time, though, inverting letters and scrambling words or thoughts has gotten me into trouble, especially when I’m tired. If someone happens to spew double-negatives then, I can almost guarantee my brain will not follow.

In writing poetry and poetic manuscripts, however, dyslexia can come in handy. Word scrambles often lead to word play, and scrambled thinking can connect this to that in a previously untried but true way. Such “mistakes” might add a note of humor to fiction or nonfiction too and, in some cases, bring about a fresh idea, insight, or observation.

For example, as a Christian writer I often write nonfiction articles and devotionals. In one short article I wrote for other Christian poets and writers, I talked about the importance of double-checking facts and speaking with a loving voice whenever we write in the name of Jesus. Since Christians pray in Jesus’ name, my point was to encourage that thought also as we write. However, instead of typing “in the name of Jesus,” I wrote, “in the amen of Jesus.” Same letters, you notice, just scrambled. When I finally noticed this myself, I thought, wow! That better said what I wanted to say anyway. i.e., Anything we write (or pray) in Jesus’ name needs Jesus’ amen or affirmation.

I certainly do not pray for my dyslexia to increase or for you to catch it! But I do pray that you use your talents and “flaws” well. I pray you begin to see your “mistakes” or “handicaps” or “shortcomings” or “disadvantages” as a means of making your writing distinctive, inimitable, and one of a kind. Do I hear an name?

©2010, ©2015, Mary Harwell Sayler, all rights reserved. If you need a fresh perspective on your poems, children’s picture books, or book proposals and one-on-one feedback for a minimal fee, visit the Contact & Critique page of Mary’s website.

Interviewing for a job

About the time I finished school, a new bred of job placement companies had begun to spring up all over the place. The idea was for you to fill out a bunch of forms about your interests, education, and previous work experience (I had none), then talk to a local career placement person who would match you up as closely as possible with jobs in the area that needed to be filled. If that potential employer hired you, the placement company then received one-fourth to one-half of one month’s income as payment for their service.

Today government services have something similar for free, and so do Internet services. This sounds great, but the one-on-one rapport and local-to-local support is just not there. However, all the news about the jobless rate had given me no cause to pause to consider this until my now-grown children told me, “I don’t know how to get a job!” It occurred to me then that might be true for you or your now-grown children too.

Lord knows, Christians are worthy of their hire! In fact, the Lord says that clearly in Luke 10:7. The first step, however, is to know what God wants you to do. Perhaps that might be to go into journalism or host a Christian talk show or work on a medical team that will help you prepare for a mission trip someday. Or maybe you need a job to pay the bills but not drain your creativity as you focus on your writing ministry.

Remember, too, that Christian poets and writers have the joy of knowing that any job or career will give you something to write about, so nothing is ever wasted! And, in Christ, we especially need to remember – again and again in the Christian life – that all things will and do come together for good for those who love God (Romans 8:28.)

With those pivotal thoughts in mind, consider these suggestions:

Pray.

Listen.

Be honest with yourself about yourself.

Forget about money for a minute. (Yes, I know you need it. So do I, but this cannot be the guiding force in life, and you know why! To refresh: “No one can serve two rulers for you will hate the one, and love the other; or you will hold to the one and disdain the other. You cannot serve God and money,” Matthew 6:24. You can, of course, serve God and get money, but you cannot get God and serve money. That’s just how it is.)

List a key word for anything you suspect you’re “good at” or feel drawn at all to do.

List your natural talents and God-given gifts, whether they seem marketable or not.

Also list any experience God has given you or education provided in your areas of interest.

Pray for God to bring all of the above together and to bring to mind job possibilities for what makes you uniquely you.

Look for work in that area, even if it’s only a starter position.

If asked to apply online, follow the guidelines. Then arrange to follow up with a one-on-one, local-to-local meeting, so the potential employer can see you face to face and see that glow of God in your eyes. (If you care about God, you have it. I promise!)

Also, very important at any in-person interview, relax! Take that proverbially calming deep breath, and be yourself – your best self, of course 🙂

Most importantly, trust God your Heavenly Father to love you enough to know what you need, to close doors that aren’t quite right for you, and to give you a gentle nudge in the right direction – right because it’s right for you.

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©2012, Mary Harwell Sayler.

May God bless you and the work to which you have been called.

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