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Interview with Beth Vogt

It’s one thing to write for God, it’s another entirely to write with Him. To make every moment one spends at the keyboard an intimate time with one’s Savior. This was the greatest shift multi-published author Beth K. Vogt has experienced in her writing, but it didn’t come easily.

It took reaching the end of herself in order for her to learn to rely fully on Christ.

Where's the end?

The first of her challenges hit in 2010 with a debilitating case of vertigo—and the effects that lingered for two years. Then came intense back pain, followed by a frozen shoulder that restricted her movement for another eighteen months.

“One of those [challenges] would’ve been enough,” Beth said. “And then to be dealing with chronic pain. I’d always considered myself a healthy person. There were times when I was angry and when I was grieving the loss of mobility. Of having to redefine myself and having to figure out how to do life with chronic pain.”

Since she was on constant deadline, not writing wasn’t an option. But there were times the pain and accompanying insomnia strangled her creativity.

So she did her best to push through until things became so bad she couldn’t get herself up the stairs. One day, her pain became so bad she was forced to call her husband at work for help. “I couldn’t even sit up,” Beth said. “And if you can’t sit, you can’t type.” Quickly falling behind, she called her two mentors, Susan May Warren and Rachel Hauck. They advised her to ask for an extension.

The end of pride?

So, she sent her agent, Rachelle Gardner, an email: “I think I need an extension.” I think. Beth couldn’t come right out and ask for one, she said, because of her pride. “I don’t like to admit I can’t do it. I’ve been an editor—I’ve been on the other side of the desk—and I like to meet my commitments.”

Gardner’s response: “I’ll handle it.”

Despite debilitating pain, Beth remained self-reliant, believing she could figure out a way to finish her novel in her own strength. Plus, she was living on a healthy dose of denial. “I still wasn’t admitting to myself that my health issues were chronic. That I couldn’t fix the back pain if I walked enough.”

The beginning of surrender

Within a day, Beth’s agent sent her editor an email that said, “Beth needs a two-week extension.”

Beth panicked. “I didn’t ask for one. I said I might need one.” She realized, however, that her agent knew what was best for her “Sometimes others are more gracious to us than we are to ourselves.”

Humbled and grateful, she got to work. But it wasn’t easy, nor did she progress steadily. In fact, initially, she did nothing. Nothing but lay on her back for several days. And she just had to let it be. To surrender.

During the next couple of years, God kept bringing an idea to mind—that of creating with Him versus being creative on her own. She realized creativity wasn’t something she did on her own but rather is something she does in relationship with him.

God brought Beth to a place where she was flat on her back, literally, to replace her self-reliance with dependence and to draw her closer to Himself. She still deals with chronic pain, and she’s still pushing through, creating stories and meeting deadlines, but everything’s different. Sacred.

“For me, it was a gradual learning to rely on God,” Beth said. “He’s revealed to me that writing isn’t about getting a contract or getting an award. It isn’t even about the fun of seeing your manuscript become a real book when it gets published.

All that’s great, but I’ve learned this writing journey is about deepening my relationship with God. That’s how He uses it—to draw me closer to Him. He’s scraping all the gunk off me so I can reflect Him to the world.”

Since 2012, Beth’s published 10 books—novels and novellas—including her latest release, Almost Like Being in Love. But despite the contracts and accolades, nothing compares to the intimate times she spends with her Savior whenever she sits to write. And that makes any physical struggle she’s faced—or will face—worth it.


Novelist and speaker Jennifer Slattery, also writing as Jen Pheobus, uses humor, grace, and truth to inspire God’s children to live abundant, Christ-centered lives. She does content editing for Firefly, a southern fiction imprint with Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, and is a frequent contributor to Visit her online at

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