How to Be a Writer: Q&A with ‘Mornings with Jesus’ Writer Tricia Goyer

Whether you’re trying to get published or you need inspiration to get started, Tricia Goyer’s story of faith and determination will help you on your writing journey.

- Posted on Jan 12, 2016

Tricia Goyer's tips on how to be a writer

Tricia Goyer has written more than 50 books--from entertaining novels, like Guideposts Fiction's Home to Heather Creek series, to her inspiring non-Fiction books on family and parenting. For several years, her stories have also touched readers of Guideposts' popular Mornings with Jesus devotional.

But it wasn't always this way. Goyer's journey from teen mom to award-winning author is full of rejection, determination, friendship and faith. Here's her story. 

How did you start writing?

I was 22 and pregnant with my 3rd baby. I had been a teen mom and after I had my first son, I met and married a wonderful Christian man and started to live for God. A friend at church was working on her first novel. Something she said made me think, “I want to do that, too!” I saved up money for a year and went to my first writer’s conference in 1994. Just being at the conference, I felt like this is something God is calling me to. So when my three little kids would take naps, that’s when I would write. And I went to a lot of writing conferences and got lots of rejections for years and years, but I kept writing and then I started to get things published.

In the process of getting rejections, how were you able to continue your writing?

The very first writer’s conference I went to at 22, I submitted an article to a magazine and the very first one got accepted and then I got nothing else accepted for 3 years. That first article showed me I was on the right track but I had a lot to learn. That first article showed me what could happen.  I had a friend we met through a Christian writers conference and we started a prayer group through email –this was before Facebook—and everyone, 15 of us, sent in their prayer requests for the week and it really was that group of women that would pray and encourage each other. We all really supported each other. When someone said they wanted to give up, we’d say, “No, you’ve got to keep going.” Now, every one of us are published authors, we have books and articles and multiple book contracts. That coming together and that prayer, encouraging each other and not letting each other give up made a huge difference.


How did you start writing for Guideposts?

I first got a contract for the Home to Heather Creek series in 2005. Guideposts Fiction put a call out to the agents that they were going to start this new series, so I auditioned to write for that series and I wrote 5 or 6 books in that series. And then my editor there asked if I’d be interested in submitting a sample to write for Mornings with Jesus. It’s my 5th or 6th year writing with Mornings with Jesus.

What was it about Mornings with Jesus that made you want to write for that devotional?

After I became a Christian, I was a young Christian and I struggled with leaving my old way of life. I said, “God, I want to follow you but I just feel trapped in so many areas.” I started having my morning quiet time and being diligent about sitting down, even if it’s 15 or 30 minutes with my Bible, a devotional book and my prayer journal and just spending time with God. I noticed that the more time I spent with God, the less struggles I had. He was just slowly remaking me. After all of these years of struggles, just connecting with Him in the morning and having that quiet time and reading encouraging devotionals just changed me. That’s what I love about writing Mornings with Jesus. I know that people all over the country are getting encouraged just like I was. I still love my morning quiet time and sitting down with Mornings with Jesus  and other devotional books and it makes all the difference in my life.

What advice do you have for others who are struggling in their walk with God to lessen the feeling of struggle?

So many times, we try to do it all on our own and our determination lasts til like 10 a.m. When we have quiet time with God and focus on Him and depend on Him, ask Him to be our strength, it makes all the difference. The fruit of the spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, faithfulness, gentleness, that’s fruit of the spirit they’re fruit that comes from God. We don’t have to try to be loving, we just have to turn to Jesus, over and over.  I can just say Jesus, I need you to be patient in me. It’s a whispered prayer. We really don’t have to do it alone and we don’t have to do it in our own strength.

What advice would you give to a new writer trying to get their work published?

If you can get to a writer’s conference, I highly recommend it. You find like-minded people that can help you and encourage you. If you can’t get to a conference, find a like-minded friend who is also pursuing it. Having someone there to be an accountability partner when you feel like giving up will give you the strength you need to reach your goals.

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