Some of my most favorite books on my writer’s bookshelf are books I make myself. You can make these, too, and discover the joy and encouragement you can have through crafting your very own books.
Book #1: Scriptures for Scribes–This is a blank journal that I am gradually filling with encouraging Scriptures that minister directly to my writer’s heart. Whenever I’m discouraged I pull this out, start reading through the verses and am immediately strengthened to continue the call God has placed on my life.
Book #2: Writer’s Scrapbook–This is a scrapbook where I store memories and precious tidbits about my writing world. I have photos of my critique group friends whose happy faces brighten my day. I glue in copies of encouraging e-mails from friends and editors. I highlight publishing successes and have fun decorating themed pages about current projects so that even if they don’t get published, I am still enjoying the journey God has called me to take to write each and every single manuscript.
Book #3: A Zillion Zany Zingers! Nancy’s Dictionary of Wow Words, Fun Phrases, and Tips to Tickle Young Readers! This is a 3-ring binder that grows as I do as a writer. It’s the place I jot down great ideas I have for character names such as Bingo for a dog and Mr. Picky for a cat. It’s the place I write down such delightful names of actual places such as Itsyville, CA and Paradise, PA. It’s where I keep a dictionary of words that strike my fancy from Aardvark to zzz-aaAA-PPP! It’s where I jot down passages that touch my heartstrings when I’m reading a good children’s book or article and note which author said it and where. In short, this is my own personal reference book that I pull out time and time again to jumpstart my creative juices when my brain is all amuddle.
Book #4: Goal Notebook: Our dear friend Marilyn shared about her goal notebook so now I have one, too! In it I have a list of every single manuscript I’m working on at whatever phase it might be. I also keep my deadlines front and center in here, too, to keep track. Keeping a goal notebook helps me stay focused and productive.
Book #5: Prayer Journal: I create a 3-ring binder for each big book project I’m working on. Sections include:
Prayers where I write down my dialogue with God about the manuscript over the course of the project.
Scriptures and Inspirational Quotes that God gives me to encourage me along my journey
Timeline to keep track of the amazing miracles God does along the way both big and small
Proposal where I include a copy of the proposal to keep my initial project idea easily accessible
Other sections as God places them on my heart
So how about it? Have some fun! Go ahead and make creative books to fill your writer’s bookshelf, too. Your writing life will never be the same!
-Contributed by Nancy I. Sanders