Saturday, November 14, 2020

Caution: writing assignment ahead

At our last meeting, I assigned a writing project for December and I want to give you ample time to complete it so here it is:

Write a 100-word story. 

(Yes, you can!)

We will share our stories at our meeting on December 5.
Here are two links to inspire you:

Also, food has traditionally been a part of our December meeting so you are invited (not required) to bring covid safe snacks, meaning individually wrapped or bagged, not on a platter.

So get busy and I'll see you in December,

November's Focus Point

Alike but Different

We are a diverse group meeting here today—not only because we have different personalities, strengths, and weaknesses, but also because our backgrounds, experiences, and positions in life are distinct. No two of us are the same, but we are alike. We have like interests because we’re all Christians, we all love words, we all pursue truth, and we’re all gifted to write. But, even in our sameness we are different—we’re unique in our writing voice, our genre, our specific audience, our passions. 

Eph. 4:15 says, “Speaking [writing] the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of … Christ.” The next verse tells us that Jesus joins us and holds us together by every supporting ligament … as each part does its work.

Last month we said it takes a tribe to write a book. It also takes a tribe to reveal truth. God’s wisdom and ways cannot be explained by one voice. As we each uniquely do our part to express truth, together we present a glimpse of God, His heart, His kindness, His beauty, His sovereignty.

Today we’ll be discussing what sets our work apart from others and how it is similar. Are there authors who have already said what we’re laboring so hard to write? Yes. But they’ve not said it in the same tone, or the same words, with the same emphasis, and perhaps not to the same audience. For readers who are encouraged by our words, our writing is important. To paraphrase Clare’s blog (a former member) our small audience is worth writing for—pouring out our passion will give us a life that is full, rewarding, and deeply appreciated by the fortunate few who have become our circle of friends. For them, what we produce is priceless—a smile, a tear, a laugh, an inspiration, a direction, an answer.

Take-away thought: Our voice uniquely speaks truth, blending our story with others to reveal a picture of God’s will and ways.

Saturday, October 31, 2020

Next meeting is November 7

 Saturday, 10am-noon

Cornerstone Christian Church, Wyckoff

In the Barn (2nd building on the right)

Once seated, masks are not necessary if you are socially distanced.

Seasoned writers and novices are welcome. 

The Focus Point below tells you what we're about.

We're on this journey together. 

Topic: How to Write a Good Book Description, part 2

Join the discussion of these four A's:

  • Accolades - boast a little
  • Attachments - connect with familiar works 
  • Appeals - touch the emotions 
  • Actions - offer a clear path to purchase
Hope to see you Saturday,

October's Focus Point

Spur on another on...

Hebrews 10:24 (NKJV) tells us to spur one another on to good works. What does this mean for a group of Christian writers? I submit this paraphrase: Spur one another on to good words. The writer of Hebrews tells us we spur one another on by meeting together and encouraging one another, hence, our North Jersey Christian Writers Group.

We spur—urge, encourage, stimulate, goad, prod—each other. We do this first by recognizing the good work each one is trying to accomplish in our individual goals and projects. Secondly, we help each other focus our writing, hone our skills, and persist with our passion.

There is truth to the African proverb, It takes a village (or tribe) to raise a child. In our case, the proverb crafts today’s take-away thought.

Take-away thought: It takes a tribe to write a book.

Monday, September 28, 2020

Meeting this Saturday

 October 3, 10am-noon

Cornerstone Christian Church, Wyckoff
In the Barn (2nd building on the right)

Once seated, masks are not necessary if you are socially distanced.
Novice writers and experienced authors are invited. 

This month's topic: How to Write a Good Book Description, part 1

This is important for marketing, but having this nailed down helps us in the writing process
keeping us focused and sharpening our writing.

If you have a book in process, already published, or living in your head, 
bring a concise description and we will brainstorm to make it better 
- or - 
simply come and add your input on someone else's description.

Members are invited to bring two pages for critique. 
Please remember the guidelines posted on our webpage.

Hope to see familiar and new faces this Saturday!

September's Focus Point

Word Power

Two notable truths found in the book of James offer wisdom for us as Christian writers. The first is faith without works is dead and the second is James' discussion of the power of the tongue.

We can talk about writing endlessly, sharing ideas and lofty projects, but unless we are actually writing, we are not writers—we’re thinkers. The second truth is what I want to talk about today—the power of the tongue. James is not referring to the appendage in our mouths but the impact of the words that come from the tongue. He goes into depth about their power to destroy, but they also have the power to give life.

As writers our words can give hope, bring joy, and stimulate faith. We are able to educate, encourage, enlighten, and entertain. We know words can do that because we’ve read books and articles that have done that for us.

We also know the importance of crafting those words in ways that will best accomplish their purpose and impart life, which is why we talk about the skills and techniques, grammar and editing. We study these things in order to empower our writing, to offer words the Spirit can ignite in the lives of our readers.  

Take-away thought: If you want to be a writer, write—and write well to give the world words of life.

Wednesday, September 02, 2020

Next meeting: Saturday, September 12

Due to the holiday weekend, we will meet the 2nd Saturday in September. Same place, same time.

10 am - noon

Cornerstone Christian Church, Wyckoff

In the Barn (2nd building on the right)

This is our agenda:

  • Focus point
  • Editing exercise
  • Marketing Minute
  • Critiques

Novices and experienced writers are welcome. Please come with a mask - once you're seated the mask is optional as long as you are distanced. Members, bring your work for critique! 

I hope to see you there,


Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Ready for a meeting this Saturday?

August 1, 10 am - noon

Cornerstone Christian Church, Wyckoff
2nd floor of the Barn (2nd building on the right) 

Why? Because...

How ever busy you've been, whatever you've accomplished (or not), we're writers... so let's get together and talk. It will be an informal summer meeting where you can encourage others and receive encouragement on your writing journey.

Please RSVP so I can request a room change if there are many of us. We want to be able to socially distance ourselves.

Members, bring something for critique (following the guidelines on our web page).

Looking forward to seeing you again,

Wednesday, July 08, 2020

No meeting in July

Sorry, folks, we won't be meeting this month, but KEEP WRITING!

  • Tentatively plan on an informal meeting on August 1 - just a time to connect & share. Be sure to bring something for critique!
  • We'll be up and running on September 12 (2nd Saturday due to Labor Day weekend).
You have a gift - you have a computer - you'll never have the time - so write now!

Blessings to all you creatives,

Tuesday, June 02, 2020

address correction

Please note the corrected email address for NJCWG below.


Image by Jagrit Parajuli from Pixabay 

Story—the long and short of it

Whether it's a long rendition in a memoir, or a short anecdote in an article, our stories have merit—when they're effectively told. Enter the discussion on Zoom this Saturday. 

Join the meeting: If you've not received an invitation to join, please email Susan at [corrected address] and she'll send you a login link.

Critiques: members are invited to submit critiques by 6 pm Thursday evening. Nothing will be accepted later. Please follow guidelines on our web-page. 

Hope to see you online,