Friday, July 31, 2015

Upon the Rock

Sometimes life gets rough. Even I'll admit that. This week was rough. I'll even admit that.

Sometimes we don't want to keep going. There were times this week when I wanted to cease all action and eat an entire bag of chips. From Costco.

Sometimes it seems better to just sit on the ground and cry, than to get up and do something about it.

Isaiah 40:8 (KJV) - The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the Word of our God shall stand for ever.

Even when life gets rough, the Word stands.

Even when we don't want to keep going, we have something to push us forward.

Even when we'd rather sit and cry, we have a solid foundation upon which to stand.

Really, it's what every writer needs.

We need something to stand on, something to keep us grounded and to keep us from flying away or falling into a pit.

That's what the Word does for us.

It grounds us.

It holds us in place, and reminds us of the truth.

And that's all we need.

Truth. Love. His Word.

All wrapped up in one.

I'm getting up.

I'm standing.

And I want you to stand with me. 


{Rani Divine}

Wednesday, July 29, 2015


How many of us are creatives?

I'd say a good many of us.

That's why we're here, isn't it?

Well, that's exactly my point today.


Hebrews 10:24 (NKJV) - and let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works

1. We're all in this together

If you're from my era, you're now singing that song from High School Musical. I apologize.

But really, it's the truth. Every creative out there, we're in this together. We're all fighting the same fight, trying to keep ourselves from falling beneath the waves, while waving our arms hard enough that we hope to be seen by audiences everywhere.

We all know what that's like. We all know how stressful it can be.

2. United we stand. 

I know many of us don't. Many of us are too proud in our achievements to stop and help someone else along the way. But it shouldn't be that way.

"Let us consider one another" -- let us work to help each other, let us be united together, to show the world how much creativity there is out there.

United, we could be a great force for this world.

Creatives, lined up together to say we're here, whether you see us or not. The strong helping the weak, the accomplished leading the newcomers along the road.

That's what life is supposed to be like.

3. United, we will not fall

When we do that, when we all stand together as one, we cannot be moved. No matter what anyone else in the world might say, it's creativity that makes much of life go round. Without creativity, how would science have begun? There would be no imagination, no interest without creativity. How would math have progressed, without creative people to try new things to push us into new equations? How would government have developed, without creative people doing creative things to retain human rights?

Creativity is what we need in this world. Creativity, shouting to the world with love and with joy, that we have in our minds something held by no other.

We are love, because He is love, and He is in us.

That's our not-so-secret.


{Rani Divine}

Monday, July 27, 2015


This week, as we close out the month of July, we're also closing out our series on faith. It's been a fun month for me, and I hope you've been enjoying my posts. Sharing with all of you is one of the highlights of my days.


1 Peter 4:10 (KJV) - As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 

1. We have a gift. 

Writers, artists, creatives, we've been given this gift. We're in the world to bring beauty and understanding, to show people that there's more than one way to look at things.

That's our gift. It's what God gave us. It's where He put us in this life.

For me, it's writing. It's getting to sit at my computer every day and write words for you all to read, words that I hope will touch your hearts and souls, words that I hope will mean as much for you as they do for me.

For some of you, it's music. For others, it's drawing or painting. Others sing. Some dance. Those are our gifts -- we, the creatives.

2. It's our responsibility. 

Those gifts belong to us. They're ours, and no one has the right to dispute it.

Some may try to tell us down, to talk us out of doing the things we love and convince us to set aside the gifts God has placed in our lives, but it is our right to choose. Our responsibility is to hone our gifts, to use them for light instead of dark, to show the world what He is.

No one can take that away from us, even if they try.

3. You decide

There's one big question here. What will you do?

Will you set your gifts aside, believing that you don't have time for them?
Will you let them fall by the wayside, thinking they have no use?

Or will you fight for them?
Will you use them to the best of your ability and beyond?

I choose light. I choose life. I choose my art.

And my art chose me, too.


{Rani D.}

Friday, July 24, 2015

I, Writer.

This week we've been talking about creatives and the fight against depression. Monday we determined that it's not inevitable. Wednesday we discussed a way to fight it off. Today, we're talking about the last piece of the puzzle, the last thing I want you all to remember as you fight the good fight.

I have what He says I have

Philippians 4:13 (KJV) - I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me

1. I am

Our Father is the great I AM. You know this. I know this.

Christ is the great I AM. You know this. I know this.

We are Christians, and Christ is in us. The Holy Spirit is in us.

That means that we have the same things as Him. We have His strength. We don't have to fight this fight on our own. It's not up to us. It's up to Him (and guess what? He already won). He's given us His strength, and through Him, we can do all things. 

2. I have

We have strength.

We have peace.

We have joy.

Love. Patience. Kindness. Goodness. Gentleness. Faithfulness. Self-Control.

And we won't give it up for something lesser.

Those are the fruits of the Spirit, those are the things that we inherently have in us through Him. We have no reason to turn our back on them. 

3. I speak

Say it out loud. Remind yourself. Let yourself hear it in your ears, through your lips. Say it. Hear it. Remember it. Never forget that this is who you are, and that you are strong enough. You won't give up. That's not who you are. It's not who I am.

Tell yourself.

Don't allow yourself to forget.

Allow yourself to love.



Wednesday, July 22, 2015



Monday we talked about depression. (Click Here if you haven’t read it yet). We talked about the fact that God doesn’t want us to have depression – even though science might tell us that it’s inevitable for creatives.

Today, I’m giving you one of the things I’ve used to keep from falling into that pit, that lie that says it’s impossible to stay away from depression.


1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NKJV) - Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

1. Rejoice

I know, I know, the word is a little archaic. But that doesn't mean we can't use it. We're writers, and we reserve the right to use every word in the dictionary. 

Point is, rejoice. 

Especially when you feel like you have nothing for which to rejoice. Praise God for everything He's done for you - even the things you couldn't see, or the things that were too small for you to pay attention to. 

Rejoice. Always. 

Stopping means giving up. It means giving in. And we're far too strong for that.

2. Pray without ceasing

Yeah, that's a lot of prayer. But prayer isn't a bad thing. It doesn't make you weak. It makes you strong. It links you to your Father, it brings you closer to the place you're supposed to be, and it gives Him the opportunity to speak to you.

So pray. And don't stop praying. Keep praying. 

We're writers. I know how many words you have in that noggin.

3. Give thanks

I guarantee you have something to give thanks for. Even if it's for nothing more than the clothes on your back, you have something to be thankful for. 

You are a son of God, and you are entitled to everything that comes with that sonship.

Ladies, that means you too. 

You know how sons have tended to get the better stuff out of the deal in their families? Well now we're sons. In His eyes, you're no different from a son in that sense. You still get all the perks. 

That's something to be greatly thankful for, wouldn't you say?

4. Embrace the peace and joy He’s placed in you

Whether you feel it or not, there is joy and peace inside you. 

Want to know how I know? 

It's because the Holy Spirit is alive in you, Christian, and He is peace. He is joy. So if He's in you, and He is peace and joy, then you have joy, and you have peace

So whether you feel it or not, remember it in your heart and in your soul. You have joy. You have peace. Don't say that you don't, just because you're not feeling it. Instead, ask Him to help you feel it, to embrace it. 

Do all of that, focus on Him instead of you, and you'll have fought off the beast. The enemy will have nothing to combat you with, because you'll know to respond only with love. 

And that's the best thing we can do, isn't it? 


{Rani Divine}

Monday, July 20, 2015

Think About It

This week is a bit of an anthem.

An anthem for the creatives out there.

Friday we talked about not giving up – this week we’re talking about depression.

Think About It


They say that every writer will have depression, at some point in their life. They say that every creative will. And they even say there’s a scientific reason why it’s true.

I say it’s false.

I say we get to decide if we let ourselves succumb to that lie, that fear. 

So if you’re one of those who want to be creative but hasn’t had the courage to do it, if you’re one of those people who haven’t stepped out to be creative because you’re afraid of the depression that comes along with it, please, read on.

If you’re a writer, an artist – a creative – and you believe that at some point you’ll be overcome by depression, please, read on.

If you’re a creative who’s already dealt with depression, who knows what it’s like to be through it, read on.

1. I’m with you 

It's not something that I often share, but depression was something that I fought in my early years of writing. It got to the point that I no longer wanted to write, that I wanted to throw in the towel and leave my entire life in the dust. 

And then I found something. 

Really, I embraced something I'd known for a very long time.

Christianity is all about love, which means we have to have love. It's in us, whether we feel it or not. 

Philippians 4:8 (KJV) - Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are noble, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things

2. Whatever

Whatever things are true. Noble. Just. Pure. Lovely. Of good report. Virtuous. Praiseworthy. 

Those are the things we're supposed to be focused on. 

Yes, sometimes we're writing intense scenes and our lives are insane and everything seems like it's falling apart, but there is always something in at least one of these categories in our lives. There is always something upon which we should think. 

There's always something to bring us back from the brink.

3. Fight it

Use it. Use those things to fight the darkness around you. Focus on your joy, on pure things and lovely things. Think on Him, focus upon Him, and stave it off! Your Heavenly Father doesn't want you to be trapped in depression. 

Would you like it if your child was fighting depression? Wouldn't you want to do everything you could to help them? 

Now, isn't God our Father? Isn't He the best Father in the universe? 

Then why would he want us to be in depression? 

Answer: He wouldn't. He doesn't. 

And I don't either. 

Stick around this week for more on the topic of depression, and if you're in Albuquerque, don't forget I'll be at Title Wave this coming Saturday! 


{Rani D.}

Friday, July 17, 2015

Don't give up.

Today is one of those days, where I just have to say...

Don't give up. 



When you have to kill (or cut) a beloved character...

When your editor tells you to cut your favorite scene...

When you forget to backup and you lose your first fifty pages...

When you hit delete instead of save...

When you get your first negative review...

When you receive a rejection letter...

When someone tells you there are better things to do than write...

When people look down on you...

When you feel downtrodden and alone...

When your heart breaks for your characters...

When the hopelessness of your characters reaches your own heart...

When your heart breaks for the loss of your protagonist...

When you've finished your first draft and dread the edits...

When you can't sleep at night because you have too many ideas...

When your boss keeps you overtime and you don't have time to write...

When your editor asks you for a full rewrite...

When you look in the mirror and you don't recognize yourself anymore...

Don't give up.

That's not who we are.

We're writers. We're Christians. We're strong enough to get through this.

Romans 12:11 (NKJV) - Never lag in zeal and in earnest endeavor; be aglow and burning with the Spirit, serving the Lord

That's what we should be. So...

When you have to kill (or cut) a beloved character... Go back and read one of their best scenes.

When your editor tells you to cut your favorite scene... Keep a copy for yourself.

When you forget to backup and you lose your first fifty pages... Cry it out, take a deep breath, and write it again. It'll be better this time.

When you hit delete instead of save... Check your system recovery, hit undo, or write it again.

When you get your first negative review... Remember that everyone gets them, and not every story is for every person to read and enjoy.

When you receive a rejection letter... Remember how picky editors can be, and try again.

When someone tells you there are better things to do than write... Politely tell them you think differently.

When people look down on you... Smile and think of what they're missing.

When you feel downtrodden and alone... Remember your Father is always with you.

When your heart breaks for your characters... Know that your readers will feel the same.

When the hopelessness of your characters reaches your own heart... Reach back and cry on their shoulder.

When your heart breaks for the loss of your protagonist... Know that it's okay to cry.

When you've finished your first draft and dread the edits... Take a deep breath and read your favorite parts, so you'll know it's not all bad.

When you can't sleep at night because you have too many ideas... Keep a pad and pencil by your bed, so you can write them down and sleep.

When your boss keeps you overtime and you don't have time to write... Remember that this is only a stepping stone, and that someday you'll be able to write full time.

When your editor asks you for a full rewrite... Know that they're used to being chewed out, but it's better if you send them cookies afterward.

When you look in the mirror and you don't recognize yourself anymore... Smile and introduce yourself. Maybe this new you is pretty cool too.


{Rani Divine}

Wednesday, July 15, 2015


Nobody ever said it was going to be easy to be a writer.

Nobody said it would be a walk in the park, a piece of cake, or whatever idiom you prefer.

Mostly, they said it would be difficult.

Being a Writer

Trust me, I'm a writer too. I know what it's like to be one of us, I know all the funny looks people give us, and I know how weird we're seen to be by the general public. I know about the late nights and early mornings, the deadlines and awkward schedules, the meet and greets, the readings, the editing, the fights with editors -- I know all of it. I've been through all of it.

And I'm guessing that at least some of you have as well, or else you wouldn't be here.

Thing is, even though nobody said being a writer would be easy, even though they all said it would be hard, there's still something we can look to.

Romans 8:28 (KJV) - And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. 

1. We are the called

Each and every one of us, we are the called. We're the ones that love God, the ones for whom all things work together for good. So even when writing seems like the end of the world, when everything's piling up around you and you can't even see over the stack of edits on your desk, remember that all of this will work together for your good.

2. We're doing what we were sent here to do

If you're a Christian, and you're a writer, then you're doing something that God called you to do. He gave you this gift, this ability to write.

By using that ability, you're fulfilling a part of your calling. Yes, it involves much more than just writing, but writing is a good start if it's something that's been in your heart. And when we follow that, when we write according to our purpose and calling, we're following Him into the goodness He has in store.

3. Even Jesus didn't say it would be easy 

See? That pretty much means nobody said this life would be easy.

But I think it can be worthwhile. If your writing can touch even one soul and bring them to see the truth about this world, then isn't it worth it?

That's what we're here for, in the end. We're here to follow the calling. Even through the tough spots, even through the piles of papers and phone calls with editors and decisions that need to be made even though we don't have the brain power to make them right now.

We were placed here to follow the calling.

I hope you'll follow with me, if you aren't already.


{Rani Divine}

Monday, July 13, 2015

Oh Deer

You've heard me talk about this topic before. If it bores you, you're welcome to move on. But if it's something that interests you, or something you really would like to know more about, I hope you'll stick around for a short while.

Deer in the Headlights

Deer in the headlights (or "seat of your pants") writers don't outline. We write as we go, so everything's a surprise. Unlike outlining, where writers tend to know what's going to happen when.

Like I said, you've heard me talk about this before. Specifically last year, when Deanna Leah and I swapped blogs every Friday. She's an outliner, and I'm a deer in the headlights.

My way is better, Deanna! *wink*

Proverbs 3:5-6 (KJV) - Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. 

It's all about trust, really.

That's what deer in the headlights writing is. It's learning to trust in the Spirit, and in your own ability to follow.

1. If you don't trust Him... 

You'll be the deer squashed by the front of a semi.

Trust me.

If you want to be a deer in the headlights writer, and you want to write the story that the Holy Spirit has in mind for you, then you have to trust Him. Because if you don't trust Him, you might as well not even try to begin with.

You have to trust Him, in the story He has, and believe that it's better than anything you could come up with on our own (*ahem* or by outlining, Deanna).

2. If you don't trust you...

You'll end up like the deer thrown to the side of the road in a heaping pile of broken bones.

Trust me on this one too.

There's more to being a deer in the headlights writer than just following what the Spirit tells you to write. You also have to trust in yourself, that you'll be able to hear Him when you're deep in thought and working on your story. And you have to trust that even when it looks like something isn't going to work out well for the story, He'll get you out, and you'll be strong enough to follow. 

3. If you trust Him and trust you...

Then you'll be the deer who stands in the middle of the road and stares down that vehicle until it stops two inches from your nose.

It might be scary.

It will be worth it.

If you can master the art of trust, of allowing the Lord to take over your steps and show you the way in which you should go, He'll take you places you've never even dreamed. Yeah, sometimes it might be scary. Sometimes it might look like things aren't going to work out right. But I've read the Bible cover to cover, and never does it say God will lead you halfway through the darkness and abandon you to see if you can get out on your own.

He's with you every step of the way. All you have to do is trust Him, and trust yourself to follow.

And stop outlining. *cough* Deanna. 



Friday, July 10, 2015


This one hits a little close to home.

See, I like my antagonists. A lot. I like to make very, very evil ones.

But for some Christians, that poses a problem.

Why? Because they're evil, and because to write them... we have to get in their heads. 


1. Some of the best antagonists come straight out of the Bible

So in case you were thinking that we can't write evil characters, because no self-respecting Christian believes in them, you'd be wrong.

Lucifer himself comes straight out of the Bible, and he's the biggest baddy ever invented, if you want my opinion (and if you didn't want it, you now have it anyway *wink*). Jezebel, Cain, the beast, they all come out of the Bible.

We're no stranger to the evil beings that lurk within those pages, and honestly, a lot of it can make a good basis for your own evil creation.

2. There is evil in this world

We can't deny it. Murderers, rapists, sexual traffickers, the list goes on and on. There is evil, and there's no point in saying it's not there.

The best stories are made up of reality, things that can and do actually happen in this world. So know your stuff, recognize the evil around you, and channel it into your antagonists.

Your readers will thank you. 

3. It's up to you, to define what evil is

For every story, evil is defined a little differently. Evil could be a person, it could be concept, or it could be a place. For us writers, it's up to us to determine what our characters see as evil. What way to their moral compasses point?

In the end, that will determine what your character sees as evil.

And don't forget, if you're writing from the POV of the antagonist, it's okay to make the good guys be the "evil" -- because to your character, good would be the equivalent of evil.

Just remember, we can write it without agreeing with it, without condoning their actions. And in many cases, that is what we must do.

Psalm 101:3 - I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me. (KJV)



Monday, July 6, 2015

Ghost Writer

In a way, I believe that many writers are ghost-writers. Not because someone hired us to write a story for them, not because we wanted to write someone else's story, but because the Holy Spirit is working in us to reveal a story.

Psalm 32:8 - I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: 
I will guide thee with mine eye.  (KJV)

1. Listen

It all starts with listening, of course. If you're not listening to the Holy Spirit, then you can't know what He wants you to do. But if you listen closely enough, writers, He will tell you exactly what to write. Sometimes it's like a download, from His mind to your keyboard, and other times it's like a slow drip from a faucet -- but it works. It happens.

Most of my stories were Holy Spirit breathed. He told me what I should write, what should happen at any given time in any given story.

He even helps me to write more than one thing at a time.

2. Heed

Listening is all well and good, but you also have to learn to heed. Sometimes this means putting down that thing you thought was more important, or not writing the scene that you want so badly to write. Sometimes it's hard. Okay, a lot of times it's hard, but in the end it's utterly worth it.

He knows exactly how our stories should unfold. He is the most creative being in the universe, because He is the creator.

How awesome is it, to even be given the chance to listen to His ideas and to heed them for our works?

3. Write

While those two are all well and good, but it all boils down to the writing. You can listen all you want to, you can understand every single thing He's telling you to write, but if you don't sit down and write it, then you've failed. Auto-fail.

Don't let that happen.

He doesn't want that to happen for you. He wants you to be like Him, to be creative in every possible way. Why not let him? Why not listen to Him, heed His advice, and write the things he has in store for your readers?

Try it.

I believe you'll be glad when you do.


{Rani Divine.}

Friday, July 3, 2015


I define myself as an author.

I don't generally say writer -- I say author.


Because they mean two different things.


Hebrews 12:2 - Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. (KJV)

Did you know that Jesus is called an author? That, in and of itself, is reason enough for me to want to share the name. I am Rani of Yahweh, author in the house of God. How awesome is it to speak those words?

But wait a minute.

I titled this post "authority" -- not "author." You noticed that, didn't you?

There's a reason for that:

1. Author 

As defined by Merriam-Webster, an author is one that originates or creates.

Jesus is an author as well. He is creative. We share that trait with God, because he put it inside us. He gave us the ability to procreate, and the ability to create with our imaginative minds. We, authors, are those who originate, those who create. We form characters and stories, people and places that live in no mind but ours -- that is, until others read the story we've written.

2. Authority 

Also as defined by Merriam-Webster, authority is the power to give orders or make decisions.

I hope that this is obvious enough that I shouldn't have to say it, but God is the ultimate decision maker in the universe. He's the one who will decide when time stops, and he's the one who began it in the first place.

But authors, listen to me, we have that power too. We give orders, we make decisions, and we put it together with our creative minds to fashion something beautiful, something worthy of being called good.

We make more than stories, you know.

3. Auctor

I'm guessing many of you don't know this word. It's from Latin, and it's defined as originater or promoter -- and it's a root for both author and authority.

They come from the same word. They share meaning in many different ways, and we have the privilege of sharing that with the Most High God. We share Jesus' name of author, and in that we are given rights and authorities shared with God himself!

We are powerful, because of our words. Life and death is in the power of words, and we are given the chance to play with that fire.

Proverbs 18:21a - Life and death are in the power of the tongue (KJV)

Deuteronomy 30:19 (partial) - I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore, choose life (KJV)

It's our choice, as authors, as those given authority, to choose between life and death, blessing and cursing.

The handy bit is, our Father told us what to choose.


{Rani Divine}

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Why write?

Today marks two things: 

The beginning of a new month, and the beginning of a new series! 

This July, I'm going to do something I've never done before. Our series is titled "Keeping the Faith," and it has a lot to do with just that -- faith. 

Every post will relate to one or more Bible verses, and will of course be designed for us writers, to better learn what we're doing out there, and how to go about doing it. 

Why do we write? 

It's a solid question, isn't it? Why on earth do we write, out of all the things we could be doing with our lives? 

Here are two solid answers: 

Jeremiah 30:2 - Thus speaketh the LORD God of Israel, saying, Write these words that I have spoken unto thee in a book (KJV)

Revelation 21:5 - And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful (KJV)

But how are those answers, you ask? 

Good question. 

1. It's a commandment

True, these two verses were not necessarily intended for writers -- but I believe that they were. See, these two verses were commandments from the Most High, telling people to write. That right there is a good enough answer for me. If God did not desire that we should write, he would've said so in his Word. 

But he didn't. Instead, he commands us to write, in true and faithful words, in a book.

2. It's an honor

Here's how I see it: God gave a commandment, to write. It's my honor to do as he says. If the Most High God, the one who created all in the entirety of time and space, wishes for me to put words on a page and show them to other people to read and enjoy... then yes, sir, I will do as he says.

3. It's a right and a privilege 

John wrote Revelation. We know this. And we know that John considered it a privilege to see his vision and to be commissioned to write it. Would we not be the same in his shoes? 

So consider your story the same, a vision given to you by God himself, for you and you alone to write. 

It's your right to see it through, your story to tell, and your privilege to see it through to the end. 

I think this series is going to be a lot of fun. Even now I can't stop smiling!