No “Minor” Prophets
by Jan Powell
Does my writing voice count? Does yours?
We peruse thousands of books and wonder where our words fit into the vast ocean of writers. I write regularly for Inkspirations Online Magazine and, thanks to God, get published there. We all seek markets suited for our writing.
I have four unfinished novels on my computer, plus poems, skits, and content for greeting cards. In addition, I have a complete, but unpublished devotional which initially opened the door with an agent. When my platform failed to fulfill the publishing industry’s burgeoning cry for numbers, the manuscript languished and retreated to the cyberspace of my computer. Most of us have unpublished works.
A few short stories made it to print and online.
Life intervened and sent me on different paths, where I experienced the discomfort of redirection. We’ve all journeyed there. Years later, I’ve had the delight of helping over thirty people improve their words. I thrive on coaching others and polishing the insights and stories the Lord has given them. Along the way, I improved too.
After another writing spurt derailed during COVID-19, I abandoned one of my unfinished novels again and returned to short stories. One recent tale is 455 words, another over 3200. I discovered a penchant for brevity. Even with mild ADD, I can finish bite-sized pieces of writing. Short may sound like a low-ranking effort, unimportant or less valuable, but brief still matters.
The major and minor prophets are groupings of books in the Old Testament. “Major” and “minor” refer only to their length, as the minor prophets include shorter books. However, both sets of prophets were mightily used by God. And the same applies to us as authors and our writing. God can use pieces of all lengths to impact others—He has no minor prophets in the writing world.
At the outset of the pandemic shutdown, my moderately-sized church invited a group of our member artists to gather via Zoom. I was the only one who used words as her art form. Everyone else specialized in some form of pictures. When asked to write some short poems to offer hope and encouragement, I said, “I’ll think about it.” At the same time, I thought, “I’ve got nothing.” A couple of weeks passed with no inspiration. Then one afternoon while walking in the neighborhood, ideas sprang to mind.
These led to thirty pieces which have been portioned out over the last six months on Instagram. My little three-liners have been sent out into the world of cyberspace and by God’s grace those brief offerings will minister great things for God.
Whether composing long or short works, writers vanquish the ditch and the darkness. We then put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard, and we’re composing again.
Dear Father, thank you for letting me honor you with words, whatever the length of my compositions. Amen.
Jan Powell, a graduate of the University of South Florida has two small businesses. As a writer, she has worked with thirty people on forty book projects through Writing with You. Jan edits, coaches, and ghostwrites for fiction and non-fiction. She has been published in The Wordsmith Journal, Splickety, and regularly contributes to Inkspirations.