Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding (Proverbs 3:13 NIV).
Lately, I’ve been busy in the recording studio (a fancy way of saying I’ve been in my home office with a computer and headset). Those who don’t know might be shocked to learn that I write thrillers in addition to editing, and writing devotionals, articles, and blogs. I enjoy this genre so much that I created a podcast last year called Murder Mystery and Mayhem Laced with Morality. Only in its second year, the show is already listened to in about thirty countries and has an audience of close to 3,000 listeners.
My author and expert guests have been stellar, award-winning, and engaging. I could be naïve and nerdy, but I think this is incredible!
However, without the proper knowledge, mentoring, and training I received, I wouldn't be able to create a podcast. Neither would I have been able to become a freelance editor or craft thrillers. None of this happened by accident, especially since I transitioned from a career in education to one in writing.
But before delving into a writing career and starting my podcast, I attended conferences, invested in mentorships and training, and partnered with various writing communities. Ironically, many highlights that helped shape my career occurred through BRMCWC (Blue Ridge Christian Writers Conference). I’ll share a few of them here:
I had a one-on-one critique/mentorship session with Edwina Perkins several years ago. She gave me honest feedback about my writing that I needed to hear to improve. I later took her excellent class on self-editing and benefitted greatly. Later, she introduced me to my mentor, Cecil Murphey, who helped encourage me to write thrillers. Without their belief in me, I would never have pursued writing in this genre. Later, my general market thriller "A Fifth of the Story" was picked up by Victoria Duerstock, founder of Endgame Press.
At my first conference, I listened to a powerful speech given by Eva Marie Everson. She talked about a critique group she helped launch called Word Weavers. I knew I had to be involved, and I joined an online and in-person chapter before leaving the conference. Through this experience, I met Susan Simpson, Robin Luftig, and Tina Yeager (Inkspirations Online), mentors in WW.
After attending a seminar led by Edie Melson and DiAnn Mills on social media engagement and building platforms, I felt equipped to step up my game and improve my social media presence.
I met Linda Goldfarb (Your Best Writing Life Podcast), at a podcast workshop she offered that was practical and hands-on. Her guidance and training provided tools that attendees could use immediately. She even helped me with the title of my podcast!
During a plane ride, I met Cynthia Ruchti, who, at the time, I had yet to learn, was an award-winning author and literary agent for Books and Such. We discovered we were traveling to the same writer’s conference right before landing. Her professionalism, humility, and humor left a lasting impression on me. I later took her class on “What to do while you’re waiting,” and I consistently gleaned from the wisdom learned from her.
During a riveting speech by Lisa Crayton, I was inspired to meet with her and take her classes. Her powerful words of encouragement helped inspire me for years to follow. I’ve also been motivated by the wisdom of Karynthia Glasper-Phillips, Dr. Saundra Dalton Smith, Barbara Roose, Larry Leech, and many others at BRMCWC. I'm also deeply grateful to Iron Stream Media, who I work for as a freelance editor and book coach.
My love for the thriller and suspense genre was cemented after attending Killer Nashville, put on by Clay Stafford. The connections, networking, and learning opportunities were excellent.
This piece is an ode to wisdom and the wise people I’ve been blessed to cross paths with. Yet, despite my gratitude to those I’ve learned from and who've helped me grow in my career, I understand that true wisdom comes from God.
Therefore, if we want to be lifelong learners who continue to increase in godly wisdom, knowledge, and understanding, here are five ways to do so:
1. Remember that Wisdom Originates From God: If we want wisdom, we should seek it from God. A relationship with God is the beginning of wisdom. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Prov. 9:10 NIV). Wisdom is uncommon sense. It stems from, lives in, emanates, and is given as a gift from God.
2. Pray for Wisdom: God commanded us to ask for wisdom. James, for example, wrote, “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him” (James 1:5 NIV). God generously gives when we ask for wisdom.
3. Meditate on God’s Word: Proper thinking brings wisdom—the capacity to determine the best solution. Meditation garners proper insight. Meditation helps us to view life in perspective, put it together, and make sense of it.
4. Obtain and Apply Wise Counsel: Solomon repeatedly said in his Proverbs, “A wise man listens to advice” (Prov. 12:15 NIV). When we talk, we repeat what we already know. But, when we listen, we can learn and grow wise.
5. Pursue Wisdom: “Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding” (Proverbs 3:13 NIV). God promises wisdom to us when we pursue it with our whole hearts.
I’m wiser because of the many people who were generous with their knowledge, wisdom, and friendship. But more than anything, I'm grateful for the wisdom that comes from God.
Dear Lord, help me treasure the gift of wisdom and understanding with You and the many others You place in my life. Please help me to actively pursue healthy, life-affirming partnerships with the people you would have me be knit together within the unity of love and faithfulness. Amen
Your turn: How do you pursue wisdom and understanding? Do you have any tips or stories to share? Any special people you’d like to thank? Please share. We’d love to hear from you!
Special links relating to people/organizations mentioned:
Blue Ridge Christian Writers Conference: https://www.blueridgeconference.com
Florida Christian Writers Conference: https://word-weavers.com/floridaevents
Inkspiration Magazine: https://inkspirationsonline.com
Word Weavers International: https://word-weavers.com
Killer Nashville: https://www.killernashville.com
Your Best Writing Life Podcast: https://open.spotify.com/show/3iUGyk1fhhnPpeowUOKbsD
Murder Mystery & Mayhem Laced with Morality Podcast:
Endgame Press: https://www.endgamepress.com/