Fridays with Friends–Marlene Bagnull
I know many of you already know Marlene and have been blessed by her and her writing, but I am happy to introduce her to any of my writing friends who have not yet had the privilege of meeting/reading her. I met Marlene at the Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference several years ago, and she felt like a long-lost friend from the get-go. At the bookstore I bought a copy of her devotional book for writers entitled Write His Answer, and have read/studied it twice and am now starting my third time! It is a book all Christian writers should read. So, if you need encouragement in your writing, read on! Marlene is an encourager-extraordinaire! PS. And I hope you will order the book, too, from her site below, so you can be encouraged each day as you read a portion.
Write His Answer . . . And Don’t Give Up by Marlene Bagnull
Twenty-six years ago I sat in a workshop with Lee Roddy at the St. David’s Christian Writers Conference. I remember how my heart pounded the last morning of his workshop when he challenged us to put a commitment in writing to complete our book in a year. And then he prayed that heaven would be different because of the words we would write and publish.
I knew God had called me to write this book. I never questioned that, but I did question my ability to write it during the next year as I struggled to finish it. One friend reminded me that a year in the Lord’s sight is like a thousand years, but I knew the Lord knew that I had promised to complete it in a year made up of 365 days. And amazingly I did. I wasn’t a day late or a day early! I took “my baby” to the post office and mailed it to a publisher that had requested the entire manuscript. And then the waiting began. That editor kept it one year before finally returning it. Over the next five years I queried 40 other publishers. Some asked to see the entire manuscript. All of them returned it too. Frustrated, discouraged, and consumed by self-doubts I came so close so many times to giving up.
Only the promises in God’s Word kept me keeping on. “Let us not get tired of doing what is right, for after a while we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t get discouraged and give up,” the apostle Paul encouraged the early Christians (Gal. 6:9 TLB). I felt God speaking directly to me and saying, “Don’t you give up.”
Friends babysat my kids so that I could go to the conference each year on a working scholarship. I commuted to save money, and after five years even ended up on faculty teaching a continuing session on writing for Christian periodicals. Even more amazing, several months after that conference an editor I’d met with called and offered me a contract.
Had I given up, I would have missed the not only the joy of seeing my book in print but also the joy of helping others get published through 28 years of directing the Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers Conference and 15 years of directing the Colorado conference. Both conferences are under the umbrella of a ministry God birthed over 30 years ago when I dared to believe that His words in Habakkuk 2:2 were His call on my life. “Write my answer on a billboard, large and clear, so anyone can see it at a glance and rush to tell the others” (TLB) He said.
I hope you’ll visit www.writehisanswer.com and read the excerpts from my book, Write His Answer – A Bible Study for Christian Writers. And please ask Father if He wants you to come to the August 10-13 Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference (www.writehisanswer.com/Philadelphia) and/or to save May 13-16, 2012 for next year’s Colorado Christian Writers Conference (www.writehisanswer.com/Colorado). And may heaven be different because of the words you write and publish!
In Christ – Marlene
Marlene Bagnull, Litt.D.
Write His Answer Ministries – http://www.writehisanswer.com/
Blogging at http://writehisanswer.wordpress.com
Director, Colorado Christian Writers Conference – May 11-14, 2011
at YMCA of the Rockies – Estes Park Center (NW of Denver)
Founder & Director, Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference – August 10-13, 2011
at Philadelphia Biblical University
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I left a first message but I realized it was incomplete so 2nd try!
Thanks for sharing your experience. I never realized you had some “writing waiting” experiences. Thanks for your encouragement and thanks for all you do for novice writers like me!
Rose, Thanks for posting Marlene’s guest blog. You can visit my blog at: loriwildenberg.blogspot.com and I attended the CCWC in Estes Park. Marlene is a blessing!
It seems God always knows the exact right moment for each of us. You’re right, the key is in not giving up. Thanks for the word of encouragement, Marlene. And thank, Rose!
Thanks Rose for the post, and thanks, Marlene for all you do and have done to encourage writers. We all need propping up now and then. May we also remember to take our turn at propping up and inspiring someone else. This is a tough, discouraging biz. We need each other. Thank you for answering “His Call”.
I loved the Philly conference last year when I made a big mistake in scheduling two diff events at the same time: I chose Philly & fell in love w/ it. Marlene, stay encouraged. You do a great work!
Thanks for having her Rose.