Thursday, December 31, 2020

A Cup of New Year’s Tea for Writers

By Kathy Neely @NeelyKneely3628

There are very few things as delightful as a tea party. Porcelain cups on delicate saucers. A decanter of loose-leaf Darjeeling. Sugar cubes and demitasse spoons. Lemon scones and clotted cream. 

When I retired a few years ago, I had a tea party for my staff. We talked about many tea words (…ty) that would serve them well in the face of change. Today, as we usher the old year out and transition to a new calendar year, many of those same words are applicable to writers. 

Eternity – Psalm 90 says to establish the work of our hands. Whether you write fiction or non-fiction, all words that Christian writer’s pen should be God honoring. 

Authority – As I worked through edits for my upcoming novel, In Search of True North, a friend asked me how it makes me feel to have others change my work. I responded by sharing my respect for those with more experience and my willingness to glean from their knowledge. Edits aren’t mandates from a power-wielding authority, but are suggestions from someone who has a high level of mastery over the craft. I appreciate them. 

Unity – I’m currently mentoring a high school student as she pursues writing. I’ve discovered the helpful, sharing, and supportive nature of writers. It’s easy to make connections and industry friends. I have a dear colleague and prayer friend whom I’ve never met in person. We’re determined to span the geographic difference and someday meet for tea. 

Tenacity – The world of publishing can be difficult. Most authors experience a plethora of rejections before meeting success. If that’s where you are right now, remember that doesn’t mean your manuscript isn’t good enough. It just hasn’t found the right publishing house. Don’t give up.

Humility – When you do find that publishing house that loves your work, step into success with a humble and grateful heart. John 15 says that apart from God, we can do nothing. 

I hope you have enjoyed this tea party. The word list is not exhaustive. Pour yourself one more cup of tea and share another …ty word with us.


Kathleen Neely resides in Greenville, SC with her husband, two cats, and one dog. She is a retired elementary principal, and enjoys time with family, visiting her two grandsons, traveling, and reading. 

She is the author of The Street Singer, Beauty for Ashes and The Least of These. Her newest novel, In Search of True North, will be released on July 6, 2021, and is now available for presale. Kathleen won second place in a short story contest through ACFW-VA for her short story “The Missing Piece” and an honorable mention for her story “The Dance”. Both were published in a Christmas anthology. Her novel, The Least of These, was awarded first place in the 2015 Fresh Voices contest through Almost an Author. She has numerous devotions published through Christian Devotions

Kathleen continues to speak to students about writing and publication processes. She is a member of Association of Christian Fiction Writers. 
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  1. Love these words! Thank you, Kathleen.

  2. Loved your writing this morning. Your words are so helpful. Thank you for sharing with all of us.

  3. Thanks for the inspirational writing tips. And, the tea party.

  4. Yes! So much truth and wisdom in your words!
    Thanks for sharing.
    Good luck and God's blessings

  5. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Might "veracity" be appropriate for the -ty party? As a follower of Jesus, I want my words to show devotion to the Truth and to convey truth.
    Press on,

  6. Yes! Veracity; honesty; purity. There are so many. Blessings for the New Year.

  7. Thank you for your words. You're right - there are many ty words we can use to honor God in our writing. Happy new year!

  8. I really enjoyed reading this. What a lovely idea for a tea ‘ty’ party!

  9. I really enjoyed reading this. What a wonderful idea for a tea ‘ty’ party!

  10. Love this article. Having discovered your novels last year (and one of them making my top 10 for 2020), I look forward to your new books. Blessings.