Writing Tips from Author Frances Gregory Pasch
[Editor’s Note: This is an interview I conducted with author Frances Gregory Pasch. She’s 82 years wise and has blessed us with some awesome writing tips! Some background on Frances…
Frances Gregory Pasch has been married to her husband, Jim, since 1958. They have five sons and nine grandchildren. They live in New Jersey.
You can contact Frances on her website: www.francesgregorypasch.com.]
Do you consider yourself a lifelong writer?
No. I did write couponing and refunding columns for a year in the early 1980’s for a local newspaper, but I had not written anything before that.
In 1983, at the age of 50 I had a life changing experience when I committed my life to Jesus (story below). He blessed me with the gift of writing poetry, and in 1985, the church I attended started publishing my poems in their bulletins. In 1991, I began attending a local Christian writers’ group. After six months, the leaders could no longer attend so one woman suggested I lead the group. I didn’t want the group to break up so I accepted. Twenty five years later, I am still leading that group.
How did you become a Christian?
From the time I was ten, I believed in God and followed the rules of my church. My husband Jim and I took our five boys to weekly services until they were in their later teens.
In the early 1980’s, my son Brian came home one day and shocked me with two unexpected questions. “How come you never told us we could have a personal relationship with Jesus?” and “How come you didn’t tell us that we could know for sure that we will be going to heaven?” I asked where he learned this and he told me one of his high school teachers shared this with him.
I wanted to learn more, so I attended Brian’s church but still continued going to mine. I also attended Bible studies at his church. In 1983, at the age of 50, I invited Jesus to be my personal Savior and began an exciting adventure with Him. From that time on, I also knew that my eternal salvation was secure.
How does your book combine your devotionals and poetry?
My book has a unique format. It pairs each poem with a devotion on the same subject. A double eye-opener. Two ways of looking at the same spiritual truth.
When do you feel most inspired to write?
I have always enjoyed marketing, so when I hear of an opportunity to submit to a magazine or Sunday school paper, I feel inspired. Throughout the years, my poems and devotions have been published hundreds of time in different Christian and secular publications and book compilations. I am still getting published regularly.
Could you tell me what inspired you to start your new community initiative and a little about it?
The past two years, several writer friends either interviewed me or asked to use one of my devotions or poems on their blogs. Since my website had never been set up for me to return the favor, I had someone help me design a community page. Mine is different in that in addition to reading my posts, visitors can go to my community page and click on my friends’ writing sites and read their posts at any time.
What do you consider to be your mission?
Since a large percentage of my poems and devotions contain the salvation message, I felt that the Lord was leading me to reach out and share them to tell others the Good News. I also began creating my own Christmas and Easter cards using my poetry and clip art. I have been sending them for 25years to over 300 friends and relatives. I also have a bi-weekly e-mail ministry; I send a devotion or poem to over 300 people along with prayer requests and updates.
What do you hope your writings can do for those who read them?
I hope that my devotions and poems will uplift my readers and bring them closer to the Lord. I want them to have a relationship with God like I do.
How has writing blessed you?
God has blessed me in so many ways. I never dreamed that I would be writing and ministering to others. He continues to open new doors for me which bring me even closer to Him.
Eddie Jones, editor and publisher of Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, gave me the opportunity to write my first book. At the age of 80, “Double Vision: Seeing God in Everyday Life Through Devotions,” came out December 2013 and is available on Amazon.
What book of the Bible do you find most inspirational for devotionals and poetry?
I use verses in both the New and Old Testament. Most of my devotion and poem ideas come from seeing God in my everyday life experiences. Then I look up a scripture to go along with the subject
Do you have any devotional writing tips?
The most important tip I have for writers is to follow the guidelines of each publication they are submitting to. Each editor has different requirements for submission. A writer has a better chance of getting his/her work in print by carefully following the guidelines.
A copy of the Christian Writers Market Guide is an valuable asset for finding writing tips and lists of places to submit articles, poems, short stories, and books. A new edition comes out yearly.
Try to find a writers’ group so you can fellowship with people who are also interested in reaching out through writing. There are some groups listed in the Christian Writers Market Guide. If you can’t find one there, start one. You might ask your pastor if you can hold your meetings at the church. All you need are a couple of writers and enthusiasm to help each other. Critiquing each other’s writing blesses all the members