I have on my bookshelf several writing-to-inspire books. I refer to them occasionally for encouragement.
If You Want to Write by Brenda Ueland
A Writer’s Paris by Eric Maisel
Show Your Work by Austin Kleon
Letters to a Young Poet by Ranier Maria Rilke
Unless It Moves the Human Heart by Roger Rosenblatt
Adorning the Dark by Andrew Peterson
In the same vein, I have read The Creative Call: An Artist’s Response to the Way of the Spirit by Janice Elsheimer. She teaches about the Greek word pneuma and the Hebrew equivalent word rûach (both share the same meanings in Strong’s Concordance #4151). Both refer to God’s breath or His wind as the creative empowerment that inspires us to create.
Ezekiel 37:1-14 is the story of God raising up an army from a valley of very dry bones, so dry that they had no life force left in them. The Lord God told Ezekiel to prophesy over the dry bones, and “So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army.”
Sometimes I do have divinely sent ideas for blog posts and writing projects, and sometimes I sit in front of my blank laptop screen, racking my head for ideas (like today). But that is the essence of co-creation with God. We do our part and He does His.
When I moved here in 2013, many others were moving to Oregon too. It was the number one state to move to and I was proud to be one of the statistics. I came from Missouri, and for the most part followed the Oregon Trail all the way here.
My father passed here, so I decided to “go west, young man (older woman in my case)” and start a new life. And I have.
I have grown to love Oregon much more than Missouri: mild weather, beautiful shorelines, quiet community for the most part, the arts, the wide open spaces further east. No more tornado alley, however, I lived near the New Madrid fault line so that did not change here.
Many writing ideas came walking the beach with my portable radio and headphones on. Most of them haikus.
Politically, Oregon is not as liberal as many think. It is the same in most other states, the metropolitan areas are largely liberal and the rural areas are largely conservative. But I see much potential here in the days ahead. Dreams can come true here.
On a sadder side note, I will discontinue showing my like button. Problems with another account not respecting my boundaries. I rarely get any comments, but despite this will keep my comments section open.
Going through my Twitter feed yesterday, I saw a retweet of an article about writers staying in their lanes, i.e., separating or not even making public their thoughts on politics. It was a well written article, giving advice to those who wished to engage. I was on the side of separation before the stay-at-home orders hit. Not knowing what was coming afterwards.
What has been coming afterwards I am sure is scaring most Americans. Utter lawlessness. It won’t be confined just to the bigger cities.
I wish I could keep my political life and writing life separate, but the days call for a demarcation. In the movie The Patriot, Benjamin Martin votes no in the South Carolina General Assembly to prevent war with Great Britain, until the war comes to his front door.
Now is the time to pray – to do spiritual warfare in the heavenlies. All parts are important, be they small or large. For the writers who want to engage, write. Speak artistically in a poem or short story or novel or essay. God can and will get your writing to whomever He pleases. Just write.
In 1963, Joseph Brodsky was charged by his native country, Russia, of “social parasitism.” During his trial, the judge asked him who enrolled him in the ranks of poet and translator, since he did not have a high school education. His reply got him sent to internal exile. His response:
I didn’t think this was a matter of education, Brodsky said. I thought it came from God.
Since God is the creator of art, and mankind is made in His image, our genes of art are passed on from Father to His children. Some refer to the Muse as being their inspiration, as in the nine Greek Muses of mythology, or some other entity, perhaps evil in nature. After Jesus ascended to Heaven, He said it was better that He go, so the Holy Spirit could empower us to live what I would paraphrase as a creative life.
When I sometimes get a Holy Spirit idea, it is just the idea, and He wants me to worship through fleshing out this idea. A co-creation. Sometimes I ask Him for ideas on my own. But it is still up to me to write and edit it through to completion.
When I moved here to Oregon several years ago, I was ready to start a new life, a new writing life. And the beauty of where I live, started me to do just that. Despite the obstacles, to write.
Poets are not pariahs. Without art, or beauty, our lives would be dull, drab, utilitarian, and even perhaps evil.
Sometimes callings come and we don’t see them at the beginning. Answers to prayers likewise are not always apparent at the beginning. The opportunities are so small1 that we don’t recognize them at the beginning, that they are actually unfolding every little step that we take.
In the movie Moms’ Night Out, Allyson loves her family, but wants something else too – to be a mommy blogger. After the hilarious, chaotic evening that ensues, her husband gently shows her that she is already living her dream. Even in the chaos. Even with low follower numbers. And maybe because of them.
1Zechariah 4:10 NASB “For who has despised the day of small things?” The foot note to this verse states: Some thought the work on the temple was insignificant, but God was in the rebuilding program and, by his Holy Spirit, would enable Zerubbabel to finish it.