April 22, 2010

finding focus - Dorothy Bentley

Focusing was impossible for me. I wanted to try everything. I blog and write a family friendly column, but novel writing has always been my dream.

Do you think I could choose one genre? I flopped around trying several for the last seven years. I didn’t know what to focus on. Coming up with ideas on my own wasn’t working so well. I had written a juvenile novel, and wrote about a third of a thriller. I also plotted, researched and began writing biblical fiction. But I couldn’t seem to settle.

focus on God

I felt I needed to stop writing for a while, and seek God, so I began re-reading Experiencing God, by Henry Blackaby. I was at a point of frustration where I thought, “If putting God first means no more writing, that’s okay.”

It didn’t take long, and a true story I heard a while ago, came to mind. I wondered if God was telling me to pursue it. I kept praying over a couple of months, and staying close to God, and the story grew. I finally envisioned how the story could be wrapped up in fiction, so I began the new novel.


Whenever anyone steps out to obey and serve God, especially in a public way, there will be opposition. Looking back I realize my struggles grew in intensity since my column writing and blog grew. The first evidence is confusion; not being able to focus on one project at a time. Also, temptation came knocking at my door in many different forms.

Your family, your marriage, any area of vulnerability will come under scrutiny and attack when you step out to serve God. This is not an occasion to fear, but to draw closer to God. Recognize that being a vessel for God requires refining, and God wants to purge any sin and strengthen any areas of weakness in our lives.


For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7, all NKJV)

Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. (James 4:7)

Be holy, for I am holy. (1 Peter 1:16b)


I began writing my new novel at the start of April, and with God’s grace, the first draft is a little more than half finished. I have a long way to go and I know I cannot do it alone.

When we say yes to God and are available to serve and help others, sometimes it’s lonely. We feel we have to present a perfect front to our watching public. That is not true. If you lack support, find a prayer group, and ask fellow InScribers for prayer for your struggles.

I have been asking more people for prayer support, and I am, in return, praying for others. Don’t be afraid to share your needs. Our service of writing cannot be effective without support.

Today I ask for your prayer support, and I in turn commit to pray for you. Together we can inscribe truth into needy hearts.

Have you faced opposition?


  1. Hi Dorothy, welcome to our inscribe blog!
    Your words resonated with me as i too have struggled with selecting a genre and sticking with it. I have found, like you, that my inscribe family has been very supportive. Recently they've given me wise advice which has helped me to focus and get moving again instead of just spinning my wheels.
    I also appreciate the verses you shared. God's Word is so rich and it helps me to focus.
    May God continue to give you peace and wisdom as you write for Him!
    Pam Mytroen

  2. Great post. I've found in the past that my writing is most productive when I'm reading my Bible regularly and taking a bit of time to focus on God everyday. Maybe writer's block is His way of reminding me how much I need Him. :)

  3. For a long while now I'm thinking how God is not the first thing on a priority list but wants to be the center of everything. This has changed almost everything that I do and continues to be a goal and a challenge. No matter where the Spirit leads you, He will be there to hold your hand and take you through.

  4. Anonymous4:26 pm GMT-7

    Thanks for your comments.
    I agree... God pulls us closer to bless us:)
    Happy writing, and hope all is well with all you InScribers.


  5. Dee, it was a real treat to read your debut posting on InScribe.

    I can totally relate to the focusing (or lack of it). It's been an area I've been asking the Holy Spirit for His wisdom, and I am beginning to experience a clearer sense of direction.

    As a result, I've also been in the midst of what I call 'clearing the deck for the right work'. It's easier to know what to let go of and what to say no (or yes) to when the vision is made plain.


    LC, I loved what you said about Him not wanting to be first on my list, but the centre of it all. I've been experiencing that shift too! And it's been an amazing adventure.

  6. Anonymous6:40 pm GMT-7

    Great comments!
    Thank you so much for your support. The writing journey is about everything but writing sometimes:)


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