(Attitude): Seeing the Unseen

The writing journey is, first and foremost, a journey of faith.  And faith requires keeping our eyes focused on what is unseen more than on what is seen.

To see the unseen is called vision. The Word of God tells us that without vision, we will perish (Proverbs 29:18). Vision is keeping our eyes on God’s revelation to us, not on our circumstances.

Practically speaking, this can be difficult to do since we live in a material world that continually bombards us with stimuli that threaten to keep our eyes riveted on the here and now.  But looking on the unseen involves using our spiritual eyes, not our physical ones.

The unseen realm is more real than the physical realm.  Indeed, all things physical originated in the spiritual realm.  What we see as physical is simply a manifestation of what first existed in the world of the spirit.

For example, the computer you use to write your fiction first existed in the spirit realm: the imagination of its creator.  The chair you are sitting on first existed in the spirit realm: the mind of the person who invented it. Likewise, your story first exists in your spirit. For the Christian writer, her story first exists in the Spirit of God.

For this reason, we need to draw from God’s Holy Spirit when writing our stories.  Only He knows the story He wants us to write for Him.  As we look to Holy Spirit Who resides in the unseen realm within us, we will see our stories emerge in the seen realm to bless the world.

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Copyright 2014 by MaryAnn Diorio, PhD, MFA.  All Rights Reserved.

Let This Mind Be in You . . . .

Scripture tells us we have the mind of Christ (I Corinthians 2:16).  Scripture also tells us we have a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7).

The mind of Christ is a sound mind.  It thinks straight. It reasons with wisdom, understanding, and discernment.  It focuses on things that are true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, and admirable (Philippains 4:8).

When it comes to our writing life, do we see these Scriptural principles and commands reflected in our thinking?

Philippians 2:5 puts it like this:  “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.”  In other words, Our Lord expects us to think as He thinks.

So, how does Jesus think?

Here are a few things I’ve learned about how Jesus thinks:

  • Jesus always thinks possibility, never defeat.
  • Jesus always thinks hope, never despair.
  • Jesus always thinks good, never evil.
  • Jesus always thinks eternal, never temporary.
  • Jesus always thinks outside of the realm of time, never in it.
  • Jesus always thinks mercy, never condemnation.

In terms of your writing, are you thinking as Jesus thinks?

  • Do you always think you will eventually succeed as a writer, or do you think you’ll never make it?
  • Are you always hopeful that God will fulfill His purpose in you and through you, or do you despair of fulfilling your destiny?
  • Do you always think good about your editors, publishers, and fellow writers, or do you complain, envy, or gossip about them?
  • Do you keep your eyes fixed on the eternal consequences of what you write, or are you focused only on your personal ambition?
  • Do you focus on those things that are unseen (the eternal) rather than on those that are seen (the temporal)?
  • Do you write out of a heart of compassion or a heart of self-righteousness and condescension?

The attitude you develop about your writing will be the attitude you convey to your readers.  If you let the mind of Christ rule your thinking, then the life of Christ will flow through the words you write.

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Copyright 2014 by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio.  All Rights Reserved.

The Audience of One

Writer, for whom are you writing? The answer to that question will determine the content of your writing, the purpose of your writing, and the destiny of your writing.

As believers, our paradigm of purpose centers totally and only on Jesus Christ. We write for Him, about Him, in Him, and through Him. Every word that flows through our fingers–whether via the pen or the keyboard–must exalt Him and Him alone. He is the Beginning, the End, and Everything in between.

Too often we are tempted to write for our own glory, but His way and His will are that we write for His glory. He alone is worthy of all glory, all honor, and all praise.  For out of Him comes our writing gift, and to Him that gift must be consecrated. Without Him, we have no writing gift.  With Him, our writing gift is sanctified and given meaning and influence.

So be filled with joy at the great privilege that is ours. The privilege of writing for King Jesus and for His Kingdom.

When all is said and done, we write for an Audience of One.

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Copyright 2014 by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. All rights reserved.

Faith Is the Victory

One of the hymns I most remember from my early days as a Christian says that “faith is the victory that overcomes the world.” As writers, we know what it is like to have the world constantly pressing in on us. Health issues, relationship issues, family issues, financial issues try to stop us at every turn from fulfilling God’s call on us to write. So how do we handle these issues?  The answer is “By faith”.

Just as it takes faith to obey Christ’s call to write for Him, It also takes faith to persevere in Christ’s call to write for Him.  Our enemy Satan and his demons are continually seeking to get us off course from the purpose God intended for our writing.  A case in point:  my husband recently had to undergo emergency bypass surgery, a situation that cut deeply into my writing time.  By faith, I placed the situation in our Lord’s hands, trusting that He would provide me with the time I needed to fulfill His call.  As always, He has been faithful in helping me to meet deadlines.

What are you facing today that may be hindering your writing?  Place it in God’s hands and keep pressing onward. Our Lord knows your difficult situation, and He will bring you through it.  You will emerge a stronger person and, because of what you learn through your experience, a better writer.

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Copyright 2014 by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio, All Rights Reserved.

Living the Fiction Writing Life by Faith

If you’ve been a fiction writer for any length of time, you know how harrowing an experience the writing life can be. In a matter of a few moments, we can soar to heights of elation only to plummet into the depths of despair.  But as Christ-Followers first and writers second, we must learn to live the writing life by faith and not by sight.

What does it mean to live the writing life by faith?

Living the writing life by faith means making God’s Word–not our emotions–the final authority in all of our writing-related situations. For example, God’s Word says that everything I put my hand to shall prosper (Deuteronomy 30:9).  When I receive yet another rejection letter from an editor, I have a choice. I can either allow myself to become discouraged, or I can stand on God’s Word that says everything I put my hand to shall prosper.  “Everything” includes my writing.

Living the writing life by faith means refusing to look at the things that are seen and focusing, instead, on the things that are not seen (2 Corinthians 4:18).

The next time you are tempted to focus on the negative circumstances of your writing life, resist that temptation and focus instead on God’s Word.
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Copyright 2014 by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio, PhD, MFA. All Rights Reserved.