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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

I've never fit the mold of most authors. I don't journal - never even wrote in a diary. Although I read for fun as a child, to be honest, it's hard to read for pleasure when you read for work as an editor. I'm always picking sentences apart - which just takes the fun out of it. Here's another example of why I'm not a typical writer:

Most writers will tell you that to be a good writer, you have to read ... a lot. While I agree with that (and wish I did), I don't think that's the key to greatness for everyone. I think to be a good writer, you need to think ... a lot. I can read the best book ever written, and if I don't think about the ideas within the book, I'm missing out. Unfortunately, deep thinking is something most of us consider a luxury.

So in that vein, today I'm going to continue my series on organizing your office and tie it in with a tip for writing: think in direct proportion to the amount of time you spend working, writing or organizing.

As an editor, I can tell when an author has thought through an article. She has succinctly and vividly made her point, supported it thoughtfully and neatly tied up loose ends. As a reader, I appreciate the graceful flow of her thoughts. On the other hand, a hastily-thought-through and quickly-written piece leaves me confused; with more questions than answers.

I wonder if our organizing would benefit from more time spent thinking, than time spent buying plastic storage bins at Target. Here are a few things I need to think through:

1) What should I do with all the sample books publishers send to me? (They are cluttering my desk and the floor near my desk)
2) How should I organize my computer Cd's?
3) Is there a better way to organize my bills?
4) What should I save from years of magazines? And how?

What do you need to think about? Perhaps the best investment you can make in your organization is to take yourself out to coffee and think!

Now, on to something different. My friend Lysa TerKeurst had a great idea. She suggested we hold a writing contest of sorts. Nothing official; just for fun. Since I'm the editor of the P31 Woman at Proverbs 31 Ministries, she suggested I post our writer's guidelines and see if there are any budding authors out there. If you like to write, we would like to invite you to read our writer's guidelines, post an article on your own blog, and then leave a comment on Lysa's blog with your blog address. Lysa, I and some others will read the articles, and pick one to publish in the P31 Woman magazine.

How do you participate? Read the guidelines below, then go to Lysa's blog (http:/www.lysaterkeurst.com) and post a comment. I hope this encourages you to write ... but remember to think first.

In His Love,

P31 Woman (Condensed version - see http://www.proverbs31.org/ for full version)
Writer's Guidelines

We consider the production of each monthly issue a ministry. Contributors are not paid, but they do retain the rights to their work.
Proverbs 31 Ministries is always seeking contributions of articles that support our mission of encouraging and equipping women in the Seven Principles of The Proverbs 31 Woman. We do not accept poems.

Here are some things you can do to maximize the chances that your submissions will be printed:
· Read the magazine to familiarize yourself with the kinds of articles we publish. (However, don't be afraid to submit something just because it's different from anything we have published before.)
· Watch the length of what you submit. Suggested length is between 200 and 1000 words.
· If you use Scripture quotations, please indicate which Bible version used.
· We reserve the right to edit all contributions for style, clarity and length.
· Certify the originality of what you have written, and let us know if it has been published before.
· Give us permission to use what you have written in the magazine and its promotion, as well as in other facets of our ministry, including radio programs and on our website.


Anonymous said...

Hey Glynnis,
What if I don't have a blog? Could I still participate? Or would I just submit an article for consideration the usual way?

Elisa @ Extravagant Grace said...

Hi Glynnis,

I just stopped over from Lysa's blog to review the writer's guidelines and have enjoyed the visit to your blog. Great organizational tips. Thanks for sharing!

Blessings, extravantly,

Carol @ I Throw Like a Girl said...

How exciting! Thanks for having this contest. I do love to read (as you mentioned earlier in your post). I was an English major in college not so much because I like to write, but because I love to read so much. Have a great day!

Glynnis Whitwer said...

That's a great question about what to do if you don't have a blog. Lysa suggested you leave a comment on her blog with your article idea and if it sounds like a good fit for the magazine, she'll ask you to e-mail it to her.

Thanks for asking!
Love, Glynnis

BLMOM said...

Thank you for suggesting to think first. I often just write on an idea that has popped in my head without thinking it through more. I can see where the loose ends might not always be tied up. Thanks for sharing.


Wrinkled Shirt Ministries said...

Glynnis, I'm really excited about this. I just got my P31 Magazine with Zoe's beautiful face on it yesterday! I'll be doing some writing (or maybe just re-posting) this week. Happy reading (or in your case, editing). www.wrinkledshirts.blogspot.com

Heather@Mommymonk said...

Hi Glynnis! I didn't even know you had a blog (I guess I'm sort of slow...) So, now I'll be stopping by to hear from you more regularly I imagine! I love the picture - it's so inviting.

ange said...

Thank you!

Celly B said...

I received a Proverbs 31 Magazine subscription for Christmas, and I'm looking forward to receiving my first issue.

This contest is so exciting! Thanks for providing the motivation to share what God has done in our lives!

My article is entitled "Addie, Our Pet Rock" and deals with how the stones in Joshua 4 were the inspiration for the response of our family to a crisis. A few months ago our Goldendoodle Addie was very ill. I was worried that we would lose this precious pet who "dogged" my every footstep, as well as what this loss might do to the budding faith of my toddler and four-year-old. God worked through my fear to show me His will and how an Old Testament story could be put to use in our family today.

I do not have a blog, but I would consider it such a privilege, Glynnis, if you would read my article. Thank you again for this impetus to write!


Monica said...

Hi Glynnis;

My name is Monica Smith and I started a devotional blog last December called "His Invitation." I know Lysa has read it several times and I hope that you will be able to take some time to visit as well.

I would like to submit one of three messages I wrote for the writing contest. I would like to submit either, "Believe Big, Believe Him," "Madly, Deeply," or "If I Sat With You Today." All three really came from emotional time spent with the Lord and He just laid it on my heart to share those messages.

I hope that you will be blessed by the Lord's words of encouragement and love.

Monica Smith

P.S. The blogspot address is "hisinvitation.blogspot.com."

My2Blessings said...

Hi Glynnis,

Thanks for the tips on the importance of "thinking" before you write, and for the chance to have an article published in P31 Magazine...an awesome opportunity to share our faith with others!


LAUREN at Faith Fuel- said...

I do read a lot precisely because I'm always thinking through a lot. When I read, I get a break from my own constant thoughts and get to "move into" someone's world, for a while, and consider their feelings, their perspective.

I'll have fun entering this writing contest! Now I'm off to post an article on my blog, Faith Fuel-

patjrsmom said...

Hi Glynnis,

I stopped by to read the writer's guidelines and thoroughly enjoyed my visit here. Thanks for your work for the Kingdom!

God Bless,

Christie Todd said...

Thanks for all the great info I found on your blog, including the guidelines for the contest. Happy reading!

Latanya said...

Hi Glynnis,

Great blog! Thanks for sharing your organizational tips. I am excited about the contest that Proverb's 31 is conducting!


Celly B said...

This contest has motivated me to begin my own blog! It was much easier than I thought; now I'll just have to see how I can maintain posting!

You can view my article "Addie, Our Pet Rock" regarding a family crisis and the memorial stones in Joshua 4 at my brand-new blog:

Amy B said...

Thank you so very much for providing us with this contest, Glynnis!

My submission is here:

What is it about?
This article is about having a desire to see the hand of God in everything, to always be aware of His presence, and to love and live life to the fullest.

Thank you for hosting this!

Digging for Pearls said...

Hi Glynnis!

I am excited about this contest.

My article is entitled "Everyday Blessings". Sometimes God's blessings seem sporadic, so what do I do in the in between times?

Here is the web address to my blog:

Looks like you will have a bit of reading to do, judging by all the comments! :)
God bless.

kristenm said...

Thank you so much for the opportunity to submit an article idea. Since, you preplan months ahead, I am stepping out on a limb and submitting an article with a Christmas theme.

The article is "Grace in the Midst of Doubts" and discusses how God so graciously touches us through times of doubt. (In this case, through the evangelism of a five-year old who believed his classmate needed to know more about Christmas than "just Santa Claus" and a mom who doubted.)

I can safely say the article touches on P31 principles three and seven.

Thank you again for your consideration.
Kristen M.

Jenni said...

Enjoyed reading your thoughts. Thank you for your work!

Elaine said...


Hopped over here from Lysa's blog. Thanks for the advice/wisdom/etc. Good stuff!


Beams of Light Ministries said...

I too get frustrated when I finish an article and still have questions! Thanks for sharing that. I thought for awhile that it was just me. I really appreciate a well-thought out article. I am hoping that as I continue to write that I will deliver clear, thoughtful pieces. God Bless you for hosting this writer's "contest" and offering such a lavish opportunity.


Melissa @ Breath of Life said...

My article is posted in my sidebar, under the profile. It's called Time Management 101, and it's obviously about how we manage our time.

MrsJoeB said...

Glynnis-coming from Lysa's blog to read the writers guidelines. Thank you for this opportunity! I have left my prayerful thoughts of what to write, if not now but sometime, in Lysa's blog. Thank you!
In His Graces~Pamela

Tina Vega said...

Just stopping by from Lysa's blog... thanks for your help Glynnis!

Valerie said...

Very good advice on the thinking aspect of writing and organizing and even organizing my writing! I just did a brain dump for my submission and ended up with an essay rather than an article (I knew I should've taken more journalism and less British lit classes). It definitely needs some organization (and pruning...and perspective...and humor). I'm loving the topic God prompted, though, so the reshaping shouldn't hurt so much because the message is so essential.

Cheryl H said...

Hey Glynnis!
I saw that Lysa suggested we post our ideas here on your blog too, so here is my article title for your consideration-- "Romance Your Spouse Without Spending A Dime: How to Have a Successful Date Night at Home." This article aims to share tips on how to feel like you're getting the experience of going out (even with children in the midst!), while saving money by staying at home. I can email it to you for your review if you'd like. cherylannhackett@yahoo.com

Luanne said...

Hi Glynnis,
My plan when I set up my blog called God Spots was to post about the different times I have spotted God working in some special way in my life and in those close to me. I'm just getting started at this blogging thing so I haven't dug out the old journals to go back and compile material. But the article I'm sending is one that I wrote for my friend last month after she was diagnosed with malignant melanoma and I saw God's handprints all over her situation.

Oh how I admire your job at P31. I don't think I have an editting bone in my body!


Beth said...

Hi Glynnis,

How sweet of you ladies to be doing this! I've been to She Speaks twice, have read P31 Woman for a few years now, and even had a devotional used in your "Encouragement for Today." I just love proverbs 31 Ministries!

I will certainly have a post ready for you girls to review.

I hope, no: I KNOW, that you will get lots of good material. Have fun!!

Beth Ingersoll

Carol said...

Hi Glynnis! Thanks so much for having a great contest! I have read the guidelines. :)
Carol www.sheeptotheright.com

Angela @ Refresh My Soul Blog said...

I really NEED these organizing tips! It is so refreshing to see you write about how different you are as a writer. I am kind of the same. Journaling is so hard for me to do.

I do read a lot though but as journaling I seem to go into seasons of these things. Then they stop. It was just interesting to me. Thanks for sharing!

I also read the guidelines for the contest.
I have one posted on my blog called "Beat Up?"
Much love,
BTW-love the new look to the website.

Denitra's Den said...

Hello! Is there any age restriction for the contest or could I allow my 12 year old daughter to post one of her works?

She is the author in the family, but usually, because of her age, she is not able to enter any of theses types of things.


Carrien said...

Well, It looked like fun so I pulled one out of the archives for this one.

I feel better about not having so much time to read anymore now too. Thanks.


Jeanne said...

Just linked to you all through Owlhaven. I can't wait to read some of your articles and blog entries in your contest.

BeccaGirl said...

Hello! I was pleased to click through and find your blog!

I am excited to submit a post I recently contributed to my church's blog. I also posted it to my blog. It's titled 'Share your prayer'. Obviously I didn't post it with a contest in mind, so it would need some mild editing. Thanks for the opportunity!


Sally Ferguson said...

The graphics are very appealing on your site. The tips, very helpful. It seems that I always have a pile on my desk!
My submission for the contest: Alphabet Songs, at http://sallyswords.braveblog.com. It is about the joy of watching your child discover their world!
Keep up the good work!

Amy said...

Thanks for all the great tips, Glynnis! I want to participate in this contest. I've left my blog address (www.amyhale.typepad.com)in a comment at Lysa's blog and have now reviewed the guidelines here on your blog! I will be writing about how God has proven Himself such a powerful Redeemer in my life--primarily in the area of my (initially very difficult) marriage! Thanks for this opportunity!
Amy Hale

Stephanie (Ocean Mommy) said...

Hi Glynnis!

This is so exciting! After the gentle nudge of a few friends I'm going to do this. It will be the second entry in my "Worship Journal" and I will re-post it so it will be the first post on my page.

The organizational tips here were awesome. I need to print those off and get started!


Samantha Roberts said...

Hi Glynnis,
Thanks for all the great info and the opportunity to post for the contest. I'm posting my article about taking time for solitude ("Meeting God in the Whisper").

Thanks again,
Samantha Roberts

Linda said...

Glynnis, this is a wonderful opportunity, and I'm going to give it a go, even though I've just found this Thursday evening at 8:00!

Encouraged In Heart said...

Dear Mrs. Whitwer,

Thank you for this opportunity and time in considering my writing for the P31 Magazine. My blog is:


The writing I am submitting is, "Digging for the Nugget". It is about two things many women have and love - chocolate and emotions - and that God is in the center of both!

I believe this will encourage your readers and fits well into the First of the Seven Principles of the Proverbs 31 Woman. I give permission to use this writing in the format you deem worthy.

I would appreciate any feedback (if there is time remaining between your writing, filing and organizing - thanks for the tips!).

Very Respectfully,
Stephanie Fink

“My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ.” Colossians 2:2

Karen said...

I'm participating in Lysa TerKeurst's contest. I've reviewed the writer's guidelines and have posted my article on my blog. Here's the link to my blog:


Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Tami Boesiger said...

Thanks for giving us a chance to be in your publication. What a fun and gracious idea!

Lisa Roszler said...

You have motivated me to get serious! I attended "She Speaks" last year as a potential speaker, but have failed to get myself into gear. I did start my own blog this year, but now it is time to get organized in both thought and action. Thanks for the boost!

mandy said...

What an amazing opportunity!




BrownEyedGirl-- said...

Proverbs 31 team--

The article I wrote on is something that hit close to home when I realized my placement of God in my life and heart and it is called: Idolatry in Marriage.


Thank you for the opportunity!

Tam said...

I love P31 - i subscribe to your on-line devotions daily. Love them!!

I am submitting an article over at Lysa's site. You have my permission to use it in any way you see fit.

Thanks you for this opportunity!


Lisa said...

I'd love for you to consider one of my posts, "Lessons from the Left Field Wall" (http://john1010.blogspot.com/2004/10/lessons-from-left-field-wall.html) from my blog, Life to the Full (http://www.john1010.blogspot.com). This was one of my very first blog posts, but one that I reread quite often and continue to identify with. It's about waiting on God's best, which is something that I often struggle with, as I am not the most patient person!

Thank you for the opportunity to share our work with other writers, and for sharing your own expertise with us.

picketfencemom said...

This is a wonderful opportunity! Thanks for sponsoring it! As I told Lysa when I left my link to my entry on my blog, attending the P31 Conference last year will always be a highlight of my life. I made some wonderful friends, learned a lot, and had a great time! What a blessings!
And thanks for sharing the organizational tips...I need all the help I can get! LOL
Have a blessed day!
Amy O.

PS...My entry was a previous blog post entitled 'Pictures and Prayers At The Kitchen Sink' at this link:
It's about using our time (during an everyday mundane task) to uplift our loved ones in prayer. A 'reminder to remember' of sorts! LOL
Thanks again!

Amy Wyatt said...

Hi Glynnis,
Thanks for the opportunity to write and be considered for publication. I love the P31 magazine and look forward to reading it each time I receive it.

My blog is Signs, Miracles and Wonders and my post is "Oh I wish I were an Oscar Meyer Weiner - oh I mean I wish I were changed more by my Redeemer." It's about making others hunger and thirst for Christ with our lives.

I hope you enjoy it.

Terri said...

I have written about my experience of being discipled by an older woman and the blessing of fulfilling the Titus 2 mandate.


Anonymous said...

I have read the guidelines and left a comment on Lysa's blog as well.
My piece is called That's Life and is about embracing the mundane, the unexpected and the difficult by being present to God.

You can find it by clicking the screen name or going to my site called A Work of Heart:


Thanks again,


Joanie Butler said...

Hi Glynnis!

I have posted three articles for consideration for the writing contest that P31 is running. The first one is entitled, "Poo-Poo Prayer," and is about what can be learned about our relationship with God, through potty training a child. The second, which may be good for the edition prior to Mother's day, is entitled, "Mom's Best Gift," and is about how my Mother's passing brought me back home to the loving arms of my Savior. And finally, my third piece is entitled, "Me do," and relates yet another example of how my son constantly challenges me to grow in my walk with the Lord.

My blog is: http://strengthanddignity.blogspot.com. I lookforward to seeing the work of others, and to my growth in my quest to serve the Lord through my writing.


Anonymous said...

Hi Glynnis,

This is an awesome opportunity to share with your team about my mother's recovery from cancer. God is faithful!

Blog: adrianamorales.typepad.com

Entries: "Venezuela Part I-IV", "Turning point", and "Blessings from Venezuela" October 2007

Contact info: adrianabcba@yahoo.com

Alyssa said...

Planning to enter the contest on Lysa's blog. I would love to submit articles at other times. I am a Christian writer and speaker.

Mariel said...

This is such a great opportunity! Thanks for offering it! I have posted on Lysa's site, she said to be sure to let you know as well. I have a short article I posted on fanning into flame the gift the Lord has called you to. I love P31 magazine and would encourage all ladies to seek to know God's gift and calling for their sweet lives!
Blessings, Mariel

Joyful said...

Thanks for all the wonderful suggestions re:writing an article. I am going to participate in this opportunity. Thanks for all your help.

Kathy at Sumballo said...

I will post an essay on miscarriage at sunballo.blogspot.com Thanks for hosting this writing contest.

Miss Sandy said...

I just read about your writing contest over at Lysa's blog and I am so excited to be a part of this. Proverbs 31 daily devotions have been a favorite part of each morning. Thank you for the opportunity.

Lelia Chealey said...

Thank you so much for all of the helpful advice.
I look forward to reading some of the posts this weekend.
Many Blessings & hugs~

Jai said...

Thank you Glynnis for the guidelines for the contest AND your blog!Your tips are great!

Alene said...

WOW - thanks for all the tips. I found your blog through Lysa's. Thanks for the reminder to think. I'm to get coffee and do just that. Blessings, Alene


Julie said...

I read the guidelines, and have posted on the other blog.

Thank you,

Jennifer said...

Hey Glynnis

just realized I needed to leave you a comment too for the writing contest, but I love the things you'
ve written about and I can't wait to read more. I'm all about organizing!
my articles are called:goosebumps and tears and Coffee Grounds and Wafer Crumbs