If you're looking for writing advice, clicking here will lead you to an index of posts aimed at writers.
Why did you decide to become a writer?
I didn’t day dream about being a writer or ask for notebooks and pens for Christmas growing up. I was a convert.
Grief over the loss of my parents as well as entering a new stage of life compelled me to write. Declaring my thoughts in a way that I could see them helped me to identify and deal with the fireworks in my mind. Parallel to using words to sort through troubling questions, I began writing morsels of understanding that God pointed out to me from the Bible.
When others who were hiking similar paths read my essays, they identified with my thoughts and urged me to share my insights. At the same time, I felt God pressing me to give away the nuggets that He had entrusted with me to build up others. I am excited and humbled to be useful in my writing.
Do you have authors who inspired you to write? If so, whom?
I love Elizabeth Goudge’s descriptive style of writing. We both delight in God’s creation, it its beauty, diversity, and reflection of God and His joy.
Oswald Chambers’ timeless devotional, My Utmost for His Highest, and Mike Mason’s, The Mystery of Marriage, are the kinds of writing that urge readers to underline phrases or bracket paragraphs. Their writing, I aspire to attain.
What genre(s) do you write and what made you choose it(them)?
I write creative nonfiction in the form of Christian essays, blogs and journal articles. I write these, because my mind roves in nonfiction and fascination with the physical and spiritual worlds.
What kinds of classes, workshops, organizations, groups helped you learn the craft of writing?
I earned my MLIS (Master in Library and Information Science), which afforded me a job as a reference librarian. Through this career, I read across several genres and learned to appreciate different styles of writing and to distinguish great writing.
I took an EdToGo online Beginning Writing course, which helped me with writing basics. I also attended a writers’ conference with breakout sessions and critiques.
Do you belong to a critique group? If so, how often do you meet?
I consider it a great honor and blessing to belong to WriteOn! Pensacola, an invitation only writers’ group. The group of published authors chooses to remain small so that each member can read a piece and receive feedback.
We meet monthly but have recently added a weekly writers’ quiet retreat for anyone to attend. The “retreat” is a room in a local church where we gather to write with the motivation of others working silently beside us and where we cannot get up from writing to switch the loads of laundry or sweep the floor.
Tell us about your first break into publication experience.
My first article published surprised the socks off me. In graduate school, before I thought of myself as a writer, I took a government documents class in which we wrote a research paper using primary government documents. My professor encouraged me to enter my paper in a national contest to be published in Documents to the People. My article won the front cover. I jumped up and down when I found out, despite that I was in the library working at the time. “A Hidden Story,” Documents to the People. Winter Issue 2012, Vol 40, No.4. https://journals.ala.org/dttp/issue/viewIssue/593/349
What’s one tip you’d share with other writers?
What keeps me writing is knowing why I write. God gifted me with insights and words, and no matter the size of my readership circle, I work at it with all my heart, because I work for something greater than myself. God will use it to move people in the directions he chooses. When discouraged, I remember I Peter 4:10 which says, ”As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.”
Please share your most recent book title …
My book is an Easter devotional, Running to the Empty Tomb: Finding the Joy in Easter, (with an accompanying Bible Study coming out in the new year) and can be found on Amazon.
The first 3 lines are, “The birds sing every morning in our neighborhood. Most of the time, my brain filters this reoccurring sound so that I don’t register the birdsong as I fetch the paper. Only when I pause and listen am I aware of the music surrounding me.”
Buy link: https://www.amazon.com/Running -Empty-Tomb-Finding-Easter
Ten year old Suzanne fidgeted on the pew, yawning and commiserating with her growling stomach, when a thought pierced her, “God loved the world enough to send His Son, but I don’t love Him back.” As the congregation bowed in prayer, Suzanne prayed, “God help me love you.” God invaded her life and swallowed her whole.
She began writing by penning intimate prayers then expanded to essays aimed at making spiritual sense of difficult things.
She infuses readers with warmth from God’s tender love and wonder at God’s creative genius. He seems to give Suzanne spiritual glassed which reveal insights and His fingerprints all around us.
Though a former science teacher and reference librarian, Suzanne now devotes her time to writing in answer to God’s strong pull.
SM Ford writes inspirational fiction for adults, although teens may find the stories of interest, too. She also loves assisting other writers on their journeys.