Monday, March 01, 2021

Meeting this Saturday

 


It's All About You



You are the subject of this month's NJCWG meeting!

Saturday, March 6, 2021
10am-noon

Cornerstone Christian Church, Wyckoff 

Upstairs in the Barn (2nd building on the right)


What is your current writing struggle? Get it out of your brain and onto the table to benefit from fellow writers' feedback and suggestions. Dividing our time between attendees, you will have the floor to ask questions, bounce ideas, or share challenges. 

Published authors and writing hopefuls are invited. Members, bring your work for critique.

Hope to see you Saturday,
Barbara
Image by Christian Dorn from Pixabay 

February's Focus Point

Give the Seedling Life

You know how it starts—a seemingly random thought pops in your mind and peaks your interest. You begin turning it over and discover various implications. It has your attention and reappears at odd moments. Someday you’ll attend to it, record a few impressions, and investigate it a little further, but not today, not now. And then… it’s gone! Some hint of the idea may make noise, but the initial excitement is past.

We can shrug it off and appease ourselves with, “If God really wants me to write about this, I will remember”—or—we can talk to Him about it before it’s a misty memory.

We should not be overawed with our own brilliance and think every thought is gold to be refined, but as Christian writers we have more than a creative imagination working for us—we have a God who shares His thoughts with us. Ps. 25:14 says, “The Lord confides in those who fear him….”

The Holy Spirit teaches us and reminds us of Jesus’ words (John 14:26) but we are also taught to test the spirits and prophecies and seek wisdom from above. We pray, weigh it against the Word, and seek input from others.

Your idea may or may not be a God-thought, but don’t let it die from neglect. Honor it by testing it out.

Take-away thought: Recognize that a new train of thought may be from God and then proceed with a balanced approach that both respects it and tests it.

Wednesday, February 03, 2021

Meeting this Saturday

 Don't let the cold keep you away!

Saturday, February 6, 2021
10am-noon

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

What writing topics have you been toying with lately? You know, the 1 a.m. flashes of inspiration, the brilliant thoughts in the shower, or long car ride brainstorms. Let's huddle together (socially distanced, that is) and kindle those inspirations. We'll break out of what I call the Covid Funk Mode and get some words on paper - right then and there! Bring writing materials and an eager attitude.

Published authors and writing hopefuls are invited. Members, bring your work for critique.

See you Saturday,
Barbara

Image by Siggy Nowak from Pixabay

January's Focus Point

Be Faithful

We will be sharing writing goals today but we're not in a very inspiring season. I have found the beginning of the new year quite disheartening...  

  • With the pandemic spike, my son's group home is in a renewed lockdown and he's not permitted to leave. The world is reeling from imposed restrictions. 
  • The confusion and unrest in our country still reverberates from the election - in both political parties. 
  • Then, of all places to start a new year, I felt the Lord directing me to Ecclesiastes. “Meaningless! Meaningless! …Everything is meaningless.”
  • And, perhaps the most devastating, I learned yesterday of yet another Christian leader’s moral failure.

Amid such desolation and depravity, how am I—how are we—supposed to think about goals? As I prayed about this I heard one word: Faithful.

Nothing in the news alters the fact that God is faithful to His people. And nothing excuses us from being faithful to Him.

The goals we set are not for our personal progress as much as they are acts of faithful devotion. We offer them openhandedly, agreeing with Proverbs 16:9 that we plan our course, but the Lord establishes our steps. We’ve all experienced God’s redirection, detours, and scenic diversions. Routes may vary, but what doesn’t change is the expectation that we will be faithful—to God, to truth, to those He’s put in our livesand faithful to use our gifts for Him.

1 Corinthians 4:1 says, “Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.

With all that transpires around us, with diverted paths and disappointing delays, we are to be flexible but faithful to what God uniquely, personally puts on our hearts to do.

Take-away thought: We are faithful to God and diligent to pursue the goals He places in our hearts—in that order.



Friday, January 01, 2021

January Meeting


 

JANUARY MEETING

Please note: this month, we will be meeting on the 2nd Saturday - January 9th. 

The meeting will be UPSTAIRS in the Barn. Masks are required throughout the meeting. 

Please bring clear, measurable writing goals for 2021! 




Thursday, December 03, 2020

Meeting location change

This Saturday, 12/5/20, we will meet in the corner house, located right before the barn. See you there at 10!

Monday, November 30, 2020

Meeting this Saturday


December 5, 10am-noon

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


I hope you've been working on your assignment: 

Write a 100-word story to share. 
 
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. 

Once seated, masks are not necessary if you are socially distanced.
Visitors are welcome, whether novices or published writers.
Critiquing will be available for members.

Looking forward to seeing you Saturday,
Barbara
barbarahigby.com

Image by Pixaline from Pixabay

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,
Barbara

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,
Barbara
barbarahigby.com

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.