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Writing for the Baptist Times


Want to have a go at writing for the Baptist Times, but something is stopping you? Me too, says Rachel Lewis

 
I have a problem with writing for the Baptist Times, and it’s just that - writing for the Baptist Times.  I’ve been writing for the last seven years, ever since the day I started a blog and wrote some inconsequential nonsense about my noisy bedroom radiator.  Since then, I have consistently written blogs and more latterly fiction.  By 2010 this desire had developed into something with more form, as I felt the increasing desire to write about my faith and link it up with what was going on around me.  A couple of years ago a friend urged me to get in contact with the Baptist Times and see if what I burbled on about in blogs was of interest to a wider audience. 

Old penThere’s no doubt that I can string a sentence together, I’m long past the point of proving that. But my difficulty in writing consistently for something like the Baptist Times lies in the fact that if you shine a light on me I become the proverbial rabbit in the headlights. I clam up and my head starts telling me that what comes out of my fingers needs to be up there with the likes of Richard Foster, C.S. Lewis or John Ortberg; when the reality is that I’m more a Lancastrian version of Alfred P Doolittle from My Fair Lady

I’m a plain-spoken woman with a wry smile, a hint of snark and a talent for telling it like it is.  That’s what comes out of me when nobody’s looking.  And come out it does, I’m prodigious in output.  I counted up that well over 160,000 words have tumbled out of my head in stories since July – and that’s not counting blog posts.  But are those words any good?  The evidence in positive reviews to my stories is yes, they are. 

But blogging and writing fiction is one thing and writing for the Baptist Times is another.  Somehow, here, I get hung up on it not being worthy enough for some imagined 50-something gentleman who dismisses me because I have a degree in Geology, not Theology and I don’t know my Ascension from my Eucharist.  The reality is that I do – I was brought up an Anglican and jumped ship to the Baptists in 2001.  But perhaps the issue is that I’m not expressing it in words that my imagined gentleman cares for?   Perhaps he cares for Richard Foster when I’m more a Joyce Meyer?  Still, I have this desire to write and maybe someone will care for my phrasing, my plain-speaking and my casual disregard for the rules of grammar (that’ll be the Comprehensive education). 

Perhaps in expressing these sentiments I’ve put into words how you feel when you see that the Baptist Times is looking for writers?  You’d like to have a go, you’ve got something to say, but you don’t feel that your writing is good enough to be read by the likes of…well, me for one.  Perhaps it calls for a bit of Proverbs 3:5, about trusting the Lord and not your own judgment (oh I so need to action that scripture!)

Shall we each resolve that if God has put a desire in our hearts to write, that we will trust that God will bring it out in the right way?  So many times I get a flash of inspiration for something and then let myself get talked out of writing it by that little voice that tells me it’s not worthy enough for this site.   Paul Hobson, the editor probably thinks I’m ignoring him, but I’m not.  I’m desperate to contribute, it’s just that this is the Baptist Times, this isn’t my Everyday Life and Faith blog.  On this site the light is shining on me and I can’t really post what just fired me up inside and fell out of my head, can I? 

Um…Well, I just did. 

A few years ago the band Newsboys released a fabulous album called In the Hands of God and on it was a track called Dance, which resonates so much with how I feel.  The chorus goes: Dance like no one is looking, sing like no one can hear, love like you’ve never hurt before, live like there’s nothing to fear.  To that I add write like no one is reading because I know that when I do, that’s when I get out of the way, stop trying to impress people and start listening to what’s inside. 

Write what God wants you to say not what you think will be worthy enough for this site (I should take my own advice).  So, if you want to write for the Baptist Times, then go ahead and write for the Baptist Times.  I read the website every week and maybe what you write is something that we all need to hear.

Rachel Lewis is the author of the Everyday Life and Faith blog, and the administrator at Ampthill Baptist Church



Picture: RGB Stock
Rachel Lewis, 18/11/2013
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