Monday Mentor: Emily Wierenga

Dancer ~ Original Artwork by Emily Wierenga

Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to be over.

It’s about learning how to dance in the rain.  ~  Author Unknown


Welcome to Serendipitee Blog.

I don’t know if you serendipitously stumbled upon this site or if you are a subscriber, but I’m glad you are here. Today freelance journalist, author, and artist Emily Wierenga offers a few words to encourage all of us setting forth on our own writing journeys. Emily lives in rural Alberta with her husband Trenton and their son Aiden Grey. Her work has appeared in Christian Week, Faith Today, Adbusters, Geez, The Anglican Planet and Focus on the Family. When she is not writing or painting, Emily loves to travel. She has been to the Dominican Republic, Australia, Korea, Lebanon, Jordan, Japan, China, Mexico, Holland, England and Germany. One of her most enjoyable trips was to a writing workshop in Lake Como, Italy. When she was a little girl, she lived in Africa with her parents, who served there as missionaries. As a firm believer in Jesus Christ, she encourages all to live in love.

What can you tell us about your latest projects?

I freelance regularly, writing articles for Christian publications across Canada. This involves finding story ideas, pitching the ideas, then fulfilling the assignments which are paid per word. Sometimes, due to familiarity with editors, I am sent assignments. My favourite kind of article is profile; then, feature, and finally, news.

I’ve been paid twice to write books; once, by an organization, and another, by a family. By doing so, I write other people’s stories—something called ghostwriting. One of my books, Save My Children, was published in 2008 by a small Christian Canadian publisher called Castle Quay Books (

I have a couple more manuscripts with my literary agent, Sandra Bishop, of MacGregor Literary Agency. There are many kinds of agencies; MacGregor only takes previously published Christian authors who have established a unique voice. My latest book, Chasing Silhouettes—how to help a loved one who refuses to eat, is currently with Standard Publishing. (

 I also blog, participating in various online communities and organizing my own community of literary writers, Imperfect Prose on Thursdays. My friend once told me, a blog is a way for a writer to minister to the world. So I use it for that purpose, while honing my God-given prose. I also use it to market my self-employed efforts. (

 Finally, I paint. I do commissions, and I sell prints. (

Why do you write?

I don’t have a choice. If I don’t write, my soul shrivels. I write, because I must. I write because God has given me a gift, and I believe, for me, it would be a sin not to.

How do you find joy in your creative journey?

Everything about the creative journey is joy. It’s the marketing/selling/corporate side that isn’t… and that’s where one must constantly return to a place of worship, remembering that He has called us to this work, and will carry it out to completion. He is doing a good thing through us, and we just need to keep creating. He’ll do the rest.

What is the best advice you can give to a writer just getting started?
Failure is a stepping stone to success. Rejection is merely a challenge to try again. It only takes one “yes.”

Please answer the question I didn’t ask but that you wish I did.

My favourite genre to write is non-fiction. I like to take the day-to-day and put it to prose. I find no greater inspiration than the real-life stories happening around me. I try to seek simple moments of beauty, and to sing those moments into poetic existence.

Finally, please leave us with your favorite Bible verse, inspiration quote or song lyric. Tell us what it means to you.

 “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” (Phil. 4:13)

Sometimes, when the rejection slips paper the walls and I have no seeming promise of “yes,” the only way I can produce more words is by turning to The Word. It’s in Him that I move and have my being. It’s He who gives me strength, not publishers. More of Him; less of me. Always.

Please take a moment to visit the sites associated with Emily’s work. You’ll be blessed, and you’ll, in turn, have an opportunity to bless another. If you have questions or comments, please add them. We look forward to your feedback.