How This Writer Uses a Quote From Mother Teresa as Inspiration
Writer Spotlight: An Interview with Susan Grant
As a publication on Medium, we have grown to over 100 writers in 6 short months. We are excited to see what God is doing to get His Word out there.
Through this interview series, we want to share with you a little snapshot into the lives of our writers.
Susan Grant lives on the coast of Maine in Addison — a little town located just shy of the Canadian border. They don’t have traffic lights and the closest Walmart is 50 miles away. She joined Koinonia in July 2019. You’re invited to join us in learning a little bit about Susan and what makes her tick.
When did you join Medium? What influenced your decision to join?
April 2018, I enjoyed reading the articles sent to me but I didn’t see much in the Christian content. I thought that I could help add to that with my writing.
When did you join Koinonia? What attracted you to this publication?
In August, Janis Cox encouraged me to look Koinonia over and write for it. I liked what I saw so I signed up.
How long have you been writing and how did you come to it?
I have written as a hobby since jr. high days. When I began my Master’s degree work, my professors continually urged me, after reading my papers, to continue forward in my writing.
Who are some of the people who most influenced your decision to write?
Jan Karon, an author I have much respect for, encouraged me when we spoke at her book signings. She writes authentically and with Christian conviction. She is an example of bringing the Gospel to her readers in a gentle manner. People at work (I teach middle school language arts) like what I write and encourage me to continue.
Where do you get your ideas? What inspires you?
For my non-fiction writing, my ideas come from wrestling with the difficulties of the Christian faith. An example of this is my Medium article, “When God Chooses to be Silent.”
For my fiction writing, I simply take the difficulties I’ve explored in my non-fiction research and personal Bible study and then weave a story around the topic.
What do you like most / least about writing?
I love the creative aspect of writing. The feeling of sitting down and watching what happens as I write. Over my writing station I have the quote,
“I am like a little pencil in God’s hand. The pencil has little to do with it.” (Mother Teresa)
This best summarizes what happens when I write; God is the author of my gift.
What I dislike the most is editing; a necessary “evil.”
How do you balance professional time with personal time?
When school is in session, I don’t have as much time to write; it’s usually limited to the week-ends. In the summer, I spend most of my mornings writing — I’ve just finished the first draft of my novel, “The Bottle House,” (working title). In addition to my novel, I write daily tweets, reflections for my website and for Medium.com publications. My personal time comes in the afternoons.
What Medium publications/writers are you currently following?
What are some of your favorite things? What makes you unique?
I love to work with kids. Reading, writing and walking with my dog are all things I enjoy doing. I collect anything dachshund as my dog, Boone, is a red, short-haired dachshund. My husband and I love to sit on the deck in the warmer months in Maine (and this is very limited due to the climate here). I love to sing and belong to a local choral group.
How is your faith reflected in your writing?
To separate my faith from my writing is impossible. I thoughtfully consider this anytime I write. My fiction often has a character struggling with difficult things that happen in life and how God has the answer for this struggle. My non-fiction is mostly topical and usually is tied into a biblical subject.
What are some things you learned from your own writing? From others?
When I was writing my first draft of my novel, one of the main characters was a chaplain for a behavioral healthcare center. As I wrote scenes where other characters in crisis came to the chaplain, I was amazed at the conversation and insight this chaplain had. This is part of the gift God has given me; it’s almost as if His fingers are typing on the keyboard. I am humbled at seeing this happen. From my favorite Christian authors I’ve learned to be myself in my writing. I cannot manufacture a certain style; writing from my perspective is a good thing.
What is your ultimate writing goal?
To bring people into the kingdom of God, via Christ’s death on the cross, and to help Christians grow in their faith.
What advice do you have for a newbie on Medium?
Try not to continually read posts on how to get more claps or followers and attention on Medium. Some of these articles are informing but it might tempt you to write in a way that is not you. Being an authentic author is the best thing you can be.
Where else can we find you on the Internet? Do you have a website, blog, Pinterest board etc?
Thanks Susan for sharing a little bit of yourself with us today!
Stay tuned as we will be continuing our writer spotlight series with interviews of each of our other writers on Koinonia.
We are grateful for the fantastic writers we have and invite you to follow each of them: