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.
Now that the festivities of the Christmas season are over, I have amassed a list of projects to keep me busy, and writing more blog posts. I want to make a spreadsheet of commonly used Linux terminal commands, reorganize my planner, and as stated before, one of the biggest is revamping my blog.
My New Year Resolutions get written on New Year’s Eve, sealed and read the next New Year’s Eve. They, over the last few years, have morphed more into a letter to the Lord and what I feel He wants me to do. Plus a few of my own desires thrown in.
Ordered three new books today. One in response to a follower: 1984 by George Orwell. It will be interesting to see how current events line up with the book.
Next two in line: Blogging for God’s Glory in a Clickbait World by Benjamin Vrbicek and John Beeson, and To Show and to Tell: The Craft of Literary Nonfiction by Phillip Lopate. I have a weakness for writing books; most of my bookshelf is crowded with them.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.Jeremiah 29:11 NIV
This verse – read in context – is during the time of Israel’s captivity, with promises from God that He will someday return them to their homeland. I think it is a key verse for 2021.
References to 1984 abound on the Internet today, with political and cultural turmoil and our surveillance society. I admit I have not read it, but it is on my classical novels to be read bucket list.
Popular writing advice includes to write what you do not know. To just start writing and you will find how you believe or feel about a topic while you writing. That writing what you really believe can lead to propaganda or didactic writing. Sometimes this can be helpful or even desired.
However, this advice has always made me chafe. A pencil, pen, or keyboard in the hands of an experienced writer can write the novel or short story subtly, co-creating with the reader’s own thoughts. But the the bigger issue to me is if, as a writer, you have something to say from the beginning.
As a writer, you need a secure foundation from which to write.
When I sit down to write a book, I do not say to myself, ‘I am going to produce a work of art.’ I write it because there is some lie that I want to expose, some fact to which I want to draw attention, and my initial concern is to get a hearing.George Orwell
I believe Mr. Orwell has succeeded.
Have a blessed weekend!
Today was a mailbox bonanza for me: two books and two writing magazines to peruse.
Both books had to do with road trips, and I did not even realize it until I had clicked the order button. It’s likely my subconscious, or conscious desire, is to get out on the road like I did before the lockdowns.
First up is Nala’s World – One Man, His Rescue Cat, and a Bike Ride around the Globe by Dean Nicholson. Another unmet desire is to own a cat again, but due to circumstances I can’t right now, hopefully in the near future. So I read vicariously. Color pictures in two sections of the book made my heart smile. If you have an Instagram account, you can find them at @1bike1world.
Second, is Writing In A Convertible With The Top Down by Sheila Bender with co-author Christi Glover. Looks to be an encouraging and fun guide to navigate the writing life.
Third, I have pointed to political bias in the writing magazines. One this time was no exception, though it wasn’t as bad as the last issue. (Throat clear – that would be Poets & Writers). Maybe they should rebrand themselves as a political writing magazine. That being said, looks to have some nuggets for me to panhandle. Writer’s Digest is celebrating their 100th Anniversary, and it is thicker than usual. I am really looking forward to reading this issue.
To all you readers out there – Happy Reading!
I have always enjoyed my own company, reading books and travelling by proxy to other lands and cultures.
Seriously lacking in our current culture is minding our own business. With societal lack of privacy and isolation, it is tempting to throw up our hands and let it all hang out. Even despite extreme technological abilities and the people who use it, my privacy rests in God. This is a biblical concept.
Stated in a previous post, I wrote that I hated writing a sonnet. Not as easy as the haikus I write. But today I decided to concentrate on the task at hand, and came out of it with 50 minutes of work and a decent 1st draft of my second stanza. I struggled for years thinking writing poetry was not work. Behind this was caring what others thought of me. It did nothing but rob me of poems that were not written.
Finished Walden. Henry David Thoreau loved his own company for two years. This is a gift.