My Writing Journey

My Writing Journey, Part Three

This is a continuation of the second part, which is posted here. If you haven’t done so already, please read the two previous posts before reading the third and final part. Thank you!


After taking my British Literature class, I felt cornered. What was I to do with what I’d discovered was my passion and joy? The only advice I knew was “practice makes perfect,” but that didn’t satisfy me. I wanted a sense of direction, something that would break down the ambiguity surrounding my dreams and give me concrete, writing-specific counsel. That all changed when Katherine (the blogger at Song Beyond Silence) told me about the Young Writers Workshop, also known as YWW.

YWW is phenomenal. It’s a group mainly comprised of young Christian teens seeking to make a difference for the Word with their words, and it’s headed by two of the finest modern wordsmiths—Brett Harris and Jaquelle Crowe (If you haven’t heard of those authors, I plead you to Google both. They’re wonderful.). Each member is called a Y’Dubber, and each Y’Dubber is required to take a writing assessment called the WriterScore+. It focuses on consistency, mentorship, and platform in lieu of adjectives, predicates, and Oxford commas—in short, it teaches all the stuff about writing that no one learns in school. It also revealed how difficult it is to be a writer yet clarified how I should proceed in my writing career with clear, challenging-yet-possible-to-attain steps. This was just what I needed.

I would have greatly benefited from that test alone, but that’s not all I’ve accomplished through YWW. Every week, Brett and Jaquelle publish articles on growing as a Christian writer–they discuss everything from discouragement to novel editing to the intricacies of publication. Not only that, but each Y’Dubber has access to a completely private, members-only community, a place where each writer can hold each other accountable in the writing life; share achievements; ask for peer-reviewed articles or beta readers; and discuss things like plotting, characterization, and setting. It’s incredible.

Between visiting several YWW members’ websites and witnessing the joy of the Lord in the writings, I became inspired to start my own blog. Before I launched Defy Augury, I didn’t have enough of a motive to write consistently. I’d tried my hand at diary-keeping and believed it to be an invaluable tool; yet when I shared the Screwtape letter with my church, I was wholly shocked at the overwhelming gratefulness and approval with which they received it. The question floating in my mind back then was Why haven’t I shared my writing more often?. The answer was Defy Augury.

I started Defy Augury to encourage others, to write more consistently, and to glorify God; I named this blog in honor of the great classic that continues to inspire my writing. Now Defy Augury gives me great joy every time I hear that someone’s been loved and touched by my words. I’m so grateful to everyone out there who has been & continues to support and motivate me throughout my written life.

The future is held in God’s hand and well-concealed from my eye, so I am praying that I will be under grace and in God’s will with the words of the English language. I look at my past, though, and feel my heavenly Father has shaped me for this day, this time when I can share my writing. But who knows the sites on which I will be published, and who knows the sharp pitfalls of the road of human life? I’ll never know, but I know the One who does…and that is how I shall defy this fallen world’s augury.

 

~Sarah Merly

November 4, 2017

Isaiah 53