by Steve Laube
Note the title of this post did not say “book of the year” but “book for your year.” It is rare for me to recommend books on writing because there are so many good ones out there, but this one is an exception.
The spiritual foundation of the writer is critical to surviving and even thriving in the call as an artist. Acceptable Words: Prayers for the Writer (published by Eerdmans) is a book each one of you should acquire and make a part of your reading plan.
The book description includes: “This book offers prayers that correspond with each stage of the writer’s work — from finding inspiration to penning the first words to ‘offering it to God’ at completion. Gary Schmidt and Elizabeth Stickney, experienced writers themselves, introduce each chapter of prayers with pithy pastoral reflections that will encourage writers in their craft.” Gary has twice won the Newberry Honor Award for his children’s books and is a professor of English at Calvin College. Elizabeth, Gary’s wife, wrote a wonderful blog called “Language and Prayer” where she introduces the book and explores the weaving of faith and writing.
Throughout the book I was inspired by material from writers such as Augustine, Dante Alighieri, William Barclay, Thomas Merton, Dwight L. Moody, Reinhold Niebuhr, C.S. Lewis, Soren Kierkegaard, Richard Baxter, and more. Ranging across the entire spectrum of the Faith. It is a book that should be examined slowly and without haste.
Make this the book of your year and let the words from great writers be a cool splash of water on your soul.
Below is a brief book trailer citing one example from the book.
Gary D. Schmidt is one of my favorite writers and speakers. Whatever he does is infused with grace. I’ll certainly put this on my list. Grace is missing in so many novels. However, I just read Michael Morris’ grace-filled novel (Man in the Blue Moon) and I can’t pause for another book before reading the rest of his published work.
Man in the Blue Moon–another book on my TBR list. Thanks, Diana.
Rene D. Aube
Hi Steve! I so appreciate the informative and inspirational nature of the blogs of your agency. I have added this book to my want list as I endeavor to write to honor my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Have a blessed day!
Thank you for the suggestion. I bought it and look forward to reading it. My word for this year is “abide” and this will be a nice addition to my abiding. 🙂
Thanks for the recommendation. I just ordered it from Amazon. Looking forward to diving in.
I love this suggestion, thank you!
This sounds like a must-buy for me. Thanks so much for suggesting it. I pray before I write, but having focused prayers to pray will be very beneficial for this writer.
I plan to share your article with my writers group this week. The message really resonated with me this morning, I’m looking forward to reading this book. Thank you!
Thanks, Steve. I have been curious about a book like this to help guide my prayers, so I’m excited to have the recommendation.
Thanks for the recommendation. With so many writing books out there, I sometimes find myself unable to purchase any of them because I’m indecisive about which one is best. This one just might finally make it into my Amazon cart. 🙂
What a GREAT recommendation with perfect timing. Thanks so much!
Ruth A. Douthitt
Wow!! Excellent suggesting. Thank you!
This looks wonderful~ It’s nice to see a “craft” book focusing on the spiritual foundation of it all. It’s too easy to get side-tracked as an author (or any career), caught up in the logistics and struggles that can waylay us from the true calling: obedience to His guiding, trust in His timing and purposes for our work. Anyhow, what a wonderful thing to see a book speaking to all that. Thank you!
Thank you for suggesting a book that will remind me to let God write through me instead of my trying to do it in my own strength.
Sounds terrific. Thanks for sharing. I’m ordering one tonight.
I’m just catching up with emails and such – thank you for telling us about Acceptable Words: Prayers for the Writer! I ordered it and I look forward to making it part of my reading and study. This is the third year I’ve chosen a word for the year and it is “communion”. I want to strive to be in communion with God throughout my day, and I know I will learn much from this book!
Thanks for telling us about Acceptable Words: Prayers for the Writer. Just ordered it and I’m sure it will become my writing book of 2013.
I hit a point where secular writing resources were hitting me left and right like dodge balls in third grade. So I cowered, covered my head and went to the sidelines for a time out. The next day I opened my email and this post was waiting for me with a heavenly smile. Cue the angelic chorus. I rejoiced, praised the Lord and bought the book. Last night (Jan 23rd) the dodge balls were polished and rip for leaving welts, but this morning when I came down for some necessary coffee, Acceptable Words was waiting for me (cue chorus) and I began reading immediately. Wow. The Lord’s timing is always perfect. He is never late! Phew.