May 31, 2022

Writing That Makes My Heart Sing by Steph Beth Nickel

It was far easier to think of works by other authors that make my heart sing, some of which I share below, than it was to think of my own writing that qualifies. Still, I wanted to share a few aspects of the writing process that I enjoy.

SURPRISE! When I sit down at my computer with the seed of a new idea and start to write and things come together more quickly and more surprisingly than I thought they would, I'm reminded of the adventure that writing can be.

And at the other end of the process...When God uses something I've written to encourage, instruct, or entertain a reader, I am absolutely, positively over the moon. Is there a better feeling than that?

Sidenote: Revising my work to make it better is necessary and can be very rewarding—when the work is done—but the song that comes to mind during this process is “The Song That Never Ends” by puppeteer Sherry Lewis. <grin>

And now a few notes about works by other authors...

Memoir that draws me in can make my heart sing, although, at times, the tune and lyrics are sombre and heart wrenching. Punching the Air, a memoir by Ibi Zoboi and Yusef Salaam, is written in verse and goes straight to the heart. Warning: language.

And speaking of poetry...

Whether it's thought-provoking, such as Punching the Air, or a lighthearted children's book by an author such as P.D. Eastman or Dr. Seuss, verse can make my heart sing and, sometimes, a smile spread across my face. Even at 61, I love a well-written picture book.

After reading No Wonder They Call Him the Savior, I dubbed Max Lucado a poet who writes in prose. Lucado has a way of taking the simple yet profound truths of God's Word and painting a mental picture that allows these truths to sink deep into my spirit.

Devotionals that the Lord uses to give me fresh perspective on familiar passages and remind me of the awesomeness of Truth are the most life-changing nonfiction works I have the privilege of reading. Bonus: I know many of the authors, and that gives me an even greater sense of connectedness.

I enjoy a wide variety of fiction genres: suspense, cozy mysteries, sweet romances, clean romcoms, fantasies…

Fiction that grabs me by the throat and won't let go is my favourite. Frank Peretti's This Present Darkness is the first book I can remember taking with me wherever I went—although, I pretty much always had a Nancy Drew Mystery close at hand for much of my youth. I even tried to wash the dishes while reading Peretti’s book. (I'm definitely thankful for the advent of audiobooks, which makes consuming content so much easier while doing other tasks.)

And, as I mentioned earlier...

When a portion of scripture seems to jump off the page, whether to convict or encourage me, my heart sings, knowing the God of the Universe speaks to His children through words penned hundreds, some thousands, of years ago.


  1. Oh yes, Steph ... when you say you're absolutely, positively over the moon when God uses something you've written to encourage, instruct, or entertain a reader. There is no sweeter affirmation.

    And Sherry Lewis's "The Song That Never Ends” when it comes to revisions? Haha, that's about it! I admit that's probably a favourite part of writing for me - revising, revising, revising to make it better and clearer and lovelier. But there are times I do think, is there no end?

    I enjoyed reading what makes your heart sing - thank you so much for letting us have this glimpse into your writing heart today.

  2. Dear Steph, your post made my heart sing. Especially the following sentence I can relate to well:
    "When God uses something I've written to encourage, instruct, or entertain a reader, I am absolutely, positively over the moon."
    Blessings as you continue to bless readers ~ Wendy Mac

  3. Ha! I laughed at the picture in my mind of you trying to do dishes while reading! PS: Peretti is one of my long-time faves.

    1. Haha, and my mom never lets me forget how I tried as a girl to practice my piano lesson while reading my current thriller. She wondered why I was playing the same bar over and over and over. Haha.

  4. Absolutely loved this post as I could relate to so much of it. It made MY heart sing. Thanks, Steph.

  5. Thank you for sharing this enjoyable post. You mention Frank Peretti and Max Lucado, definitely favorites.

  6. Thanks for sharing your heart, Stephanie. I can relate to being "over the moon" when I come up with a wonderful idea that develops easily, and when "God uses something I've written to encourage, instruct, or entertain a reader."
    Your post also illustrates how we're to write what we love reading. You have many loves as you write!


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