January 11, 2015

The Year of Writing Dangerously by Connie Inglis

                                       (artwork by my daughter Kendra)

When I look back at this past year of writing and look forward to this coming year, I am thankful for the many ways God has encouraged me and instilled confidence in my writing. So I am proclaiming thankfulness here by sharing some of those ways.

1. I can say that it has been a good year of writing for me, but don't be deceived in thinking that it has been an easy year. It has not. In fact, it has been a difficult year, especially the past 3 1/2 months. However, in the midst of pain and heartache, questions and more questions, I found time to journal my journey and put my pain to poetry. God met me there and I found release and healing--and freedom. This inspiration is spurring me on in 2015. Thanks God for who You are.

2. I have also been exhilarated by books written by writers for writers. The most recent two books have been The War of Art by Stephen Pressfield and Walking on Water by Madeleine L'Engle. Reconnecting with L'Engle's works has touched my soul in a beautifully unexpected way--her poetry has been especially powerful. Have you, as a writer, ever come across a fellow writer that feels like a soul mate? THAT'S how I feel about Madeleine L'Engle. Her faith and perspective on life spur me on to be a better writer and to persevere in 2015. Thanks God for leading me to these writers.

3. NaNoWriMo (November writer's month) changed my writing outlook. In November I committed to writing the memoirs of my family's two years living in the Philippines from 1992-1994. By the end of the month I had written 30,000 words and completed my writing project. Prior to this, I hesitated writing our memoirs of living overseas as missionaries because the project was too daunting. Now I know I can do it, if I give myself a goal of words per day and NOT think about the whole project. So for 2015 I am committed to writing 500 words/day. For some of you that sounds miniscule, but for me it is doable and I'm excited about where I will be by the end of the year. Thanks God for giving me the courage to sign up for NaNoWriMo.

4. The InScribe Writer's Conference was also motivating--interacting with fellow-writers, sitting under a bit of Phil Callaway's tutelage and gaining wisdom in workshops--all good stuff to help me persevere. Thanks God for a conference right in my own city.

5. My other inspiration this past year has been my writer's group. I cannot thank God enough for this Spirit-filled group of ladies. As Proverbs 27:17 says, "As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend," so these ladies have sharpened me in my writing, prayed for me and my family through tough times, and have become my close friends and co-fighters in pressing on in writing. Words seem so trite in my thanks to each one of them but thanks God for bringing them into my life.

Which brings me to my theme phrase for 2015. This past week, our fearless writers' group leader referred to this coming year as our "Year of Writing Dangerously." That resonated with me and even after a few days the phrase would not leave my conscious thoughts. Then I knew it was the Spirit nudging at my mind--giving me the courage to claim it as my writing theme for 2015--to call this my year of writing dangerously. Could I? Would I? So with fearful expectancy I proclaim the phrase as mine for 2015: It is the year of writing dangerously.

 I already know that the year ahead will not be an easy one. After 5 years of living in Edmonton, my husband and I will be returning to our missionary work in Southeast Asia, living in Thailand. The city and the work we will be returning to will not be new. However, for the first time we will be leaving our children and granddaughter behind. I already know the good-byes will be difficult--that my heart will be torn. But I have learned that God is faithful--that He will provide what I need. And I have learned that I can lean on my trusted pen to name my feelings and help me process pain. In that too I am thankful.

Thanks God for words and the ability and opportunity to write. May I always write for YOU!


  1. The Year of Writing Dangerously... As part of the same writing group, Connie, I feel a tug towards that phrase, too. Just this morning I read in Acts 9:16 Jesus saying about Saul/Paul: "I will show him how much he must suffer for my name."

    I wrote in my margin, "Oh boy! Few preach on this verse!"

    In our Writers' Cafe group, we've discovered it's through suffering we've gained wisdom. Our God-given gifts of writing and art gain meaning when we see our suffering through God, and that's becomes the foundation for all our fiction, poetry and non-fiction.

    Friend, I will miss you dreadfully when you go to Thailand. Can anyone say "Online Writing Group"?


  2. I love the phrase 'the year of writing dangerously'. Very clever and motivational! I really like all the pictures you included with this post, too. Having visuals that speak to what your words are saying is important. Actually, there are a lot of things that resonated with me in this post. it seems you had a very productive year.

  3. Wonderful post, Connie! The new assignment, back to Thailand, sounds dangerous to me; how can it not yield some dangerous writing? All the best in your year of new challenges!

  4. Oh yes, meant to say, your daughter's painting is gorgeous! I love it, together with the Madeleine L'Engle's quote.

  5. Connie, it's my Year of Writing Dangerously too. There is such a thrillingly scary expectancy to it.

    Thank you for sharing your thanksgiving. You have been and continue to be an inspiration to me personally.

    Yes Bobbi, Writers Cafe Online. I'm all for it!

  6. Thanks ladies for your encouragement. I find that the painted/photographed "word" speaks to me as much as the written word.

    I meant to ask you Joy, if I could use your phrase but then I was struggling for time and didn't. I hope you don't mind. Writers Cafe online? Oh please, YES!!

  7. Thank you for the excellent post, I connected with much of it. I loved your daughter's painting. Would also love to hear the poetry you spoke of, putting our pain to words is powerful. The term fearful expectancy, I relate to that as well. Thanks to all in your group for the challenge to "write dangerously."

  8. Connie, thank you for the words you so beautifully shared in this post. I, too, believe this could be the year of writing dangerously. It's in trusting God and taking the risks to do what I feel called for for Him that I reap the rewards.
    God bless you as you head to Thailand.

  9. I like your quote from Madelne L'Engle and your daughter's illustration to go with it. The painting also goes well with the thought of writing dangerously. Writing about our pain is writing on the edge, or writing dangerously. When we write "from" or "on the edge," we can express our pain and our joy, our struggles and our peace.

    I appreciate your words of thanks to God for all the good he has brought into your life, even in the midst of pain. May God bless you and your writing, Connie.

  10. My heart goes out to you as you prepare to leave your family behind . May God give you and your family peace in knowing HE is in control and HIS empowering grace to keep the family connection through what ever means provided for you.

  11. Thanks my special writer friends. Your thoughts and prayers for the year ahead are precious.

  12. I like your goal of writing 500 words a day. I often read of writers who write a projected number of words. My question is, how do you work in editing? I'm sure this work is on top of your new 500 words. Do you regularly go back and edit/revise? I'd like to hear your method.

    I'm sure writing will be a challenge on some days as you return to Thailand. God bless you in all your endeavors.

  13. Sandra,
    I am an editor at heart which has driven me crazy in the past because I would edit almost every time I got back to my writing and it prevented me from moving forward. So, now I do very little if any editing and just focus on the writing. Otherwise I would never get any writing done.

  14. Hi Connie,
    I so wish I had had the chance to meet you, but i have enjoyed reading your posts on this blog! I wish you and your family the best as you return to Thailand. We have a new grandson so I know a little of how it must feel to leave a grandchild behind. May God bless you and keep you, and I hope to keep reading your words on Inscribe!
    Pam Mytroen


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