Going on a Short Writing Sabbatical

I’m going on a short writing sabbatical,

Even though I know it may sound radical.

But I’ve got stuff to deal with and if I do not,

Then all it will do is stir up the pot

Of things I must juggle. For me, it’s too much,

And though writing can help me, it’s not the best crutch.

So, please understand if I’m not here as often,

My website is not going into a coffin.

But I cannot be here as much as I’d like.

So please understand. This is not about “Mike.”

And I will be back here as much as I can,

Though for now I’ve my hands full, I’ve too much to plan.



The Christian Writer’s Genesis, First Three Days

  1. To begin with, God made the Christian writer and began to pour through her a creative work – a glimpse of heaven delivered through an earthen vessel.
  2. The foundation of her work had no discernible form, however, and lacked wisdom. Darkness overshadowed the depths of her potential. But God’s Spirit moved upon the living waters of His Word.
  3. God said, “Shine revelation,” and revelation shone.
  4. He saw that the revelation was good, and divided the revelation from the condemnation.
  5. God called the revelation “fresh inspiration,” and he called the darkness “blind inclination.” Joy followed mourning to form the first step of a masterpiece.

 

It Had Begun. This Was Day One!

  1. Then God spoke to the Christian writer, “Your story needs a firm plot structure to divide the creative truths inside this work from one another, as each one has been designed with a unique purpose in mind.”
  2. And God designed a detailed plot structure for the Christian writer to follow, to separate lesser elements from her work’s highest goal. It was so happening!
  3. God called the plot structure “writer’s heaven” – hard work well worth celebrating. For, though difficult to write, this outline led to a new dawn. The second step toward a masterpiece had begun.

 

WOOHOO!

  1. And God said, “Put the work’s most refreshing elements into one spot, so we can see the parts that are more “down-to-earth.”
  2. God called the down-to-earth elements a “reality check” (drama) and called the refreshing elements “pure enjoyment” comedy. And God saw that the story was easier to follow.
  3. And God said, “Let down-to-earth readers produce constructive feedback, yielding seeds of inspiration to sow into the work. May these ideas grow into trees that bear great fruit – inspiring seeds for brand new stories. (Believe me, it was happening!)
  4. So, the Christian writer went for feedback, and down-to-earth readers provided it. It started with “grass-roots” – people that she knew. Writing became more than a hobby as ideas matured and in turn inspired more ideas. God saw that it was good.
  5. Enthusiasm overcame writer’s block, the third step toward publication.

Hence Day Three, Start of a Victory!

And thirteen became a blessed number because God created it! It’s not a jinx, but it can be pivotal. For with the information given, you have a choice: to give up writing (jinx it) or continue in the process and receive the many blessings that come from persevering to the end.

 

Blazing Trails Through Jungles of Writing Rejection

Laughter: Best Tool for Digging Writing Wells

God gave Abraham, the faith man, and Sarah, the free woman, power to conceive a son named Isaac, whose name means laughter (see Galatians 4:21-31). This was an amazing miracle because Sarah was ninety at the time and way past child-bearing age. Abraham was one hundred. But all things are possible with God (Matthew 19:26). After Isaac was born, Sarah said “God has made me laugh, so that all who hear will laugh with me.” (Genesis 21:6).

To “laugh” in this case clearly doesn’t mean to mock. It is not a wicked sort of laughter. It is completely joyful. Joy that comes from God makes miracles happen. Keep in mind, it was God who told the faith man to call Isaac “laughter.” It is the sort of laughter that sets you free to be everything that you were meant to be.

The day Isaac was weaned, Abraham gave a great feast. Again there was laughter, but this laughter wasn’t good. Abraham’s son Ishmael, son of his slave woman Hagar, was mocking Isaac.

As a result, Abraham had to send them away. “For the son of this bondwoman (slave woman) shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac,” said the free woman (Genesis 21:10).

Now, here’s something worth noting when it comes to Isaac being heir to Abraham: Abraham (faith) gave Hagar and Ishmael (who represents bondage to law – see the passage in Galatians) water for their journey. But Isaac (laughter) inherited his wells. The Philistines stopped up those wells, but Isaac reopened them. (see Genesis 26:15).

Laughter – joyful laughter – born of faith digs wells like no one can. Isaac was really into digging wells. The Lord’s unspeakable joy must have been his strength (see Nehemiah 8:10).

Now, there are different kinds of wells: natural and spiritual. Writers create wells of “water” that can either sicken or refresh the ones who drink it. I personally happen to like pure water. I want my stories to refresh readers, not leave them languishing in the desert. But as I struggle to express deep truths I find inside God’s Word, my writings can get way too serious and bogged down (like the law that condemns me because I didn’t “word it perfectly”).

That’s when I need to close my eyes, praise God, and tap into the well of joy and laughter Jesus has placed in me. For those who drink this glorious water will never thirst again (John 4:14).

 

Digging Wells that Demolish Writers’ Blocks

Digging wells is important, I have discovered, for dispensing living water that refreshes thirsty souls. When I first received the prophecy concerning God’s Word pouring out of me, I experienced a flood of inspiration. It bubbled up in the form of poems, skits, humor, stories, and profound Biblical insights. Drops of truth few others had dug up shone like gems inside my mind. I couldn’t wait to share them.

Then the Philistines came along and sought to plug the writing wells I dug by faith, while I following in the footsteps of Abraham, the man of faith. The Philistines, fathers of giants, used destructive criticism to dump dirt on the golden nuggets that sprang forth from my well. I had barely started digging but they wanted me to stop. Their intimidation tactics made me want to give up.

“After all, why write something nobody cares about?” they whispered in my ears.

“What if no one reads this novel you’ve been working on for years?”

“This isn’t right. You’re too obsessed. This work consumes you.”

“It’s an idol, not a gift.”

Their taunts, though true, hit my ears like clashing gongs. Forget the “diamonds  in the rough” I had unearthed. All they chose to feast their eyes on was the mess. As I listened to their digs, my pile of unpolished gems turned into a mountain of a writer’s block: huge, overwhelming, and impenetrable. With that as my focus, I’d never get anything to drink!

Let’s face it: Digging wells isn’t easy, but it’s the only way to move that writer’s block – because sometimes you have to move more mud out of the way to reach the water. Besides, that mud is packed with gems of inspiration. The more you dig, the more you’ll find.

For example, the first few gems you unearth may contain bits of dialogue. Later on, you may see some characters take take shape. Moreover, despite the fact  that  digging wells can be a years-long process, you’ll eventually hit water – but only if you keep digging.

Inspired by the story in Genesis 26:15-22

Roots and Shoots: Learning to Write With Grace

I. The Seed of an Idea Develops Roots

First come the roots an then the shoots: The author plants his seed,

Germs of magnificent ideas longing to be freed.

They seem so witty and inspired, aglow with revelation!

And so he plants them in the soil without hesitation,

Assured they’ll have no trouble passing the “examination.”

 

The soil is the heart in which the faith-filled seed can grow,

But what’s inside the heart, and is it possible to know

The environment that surrounds the seed the writer seeks to sow?

 Weeds of rash words come quickly, but editing great works is slow

   As authors send out roots of truth that penetrate down low

 

With grace to push past bitter roots of unforgiving doubt

As well as stones of stubbornness that need to be plucked out.

We thought they could protect us but they led to writer’s block

Because we trusted them instead of leaning on the Rock,

But they could not protect us from the unexpected shock

 

II. The Seed Develops Shoots and a Plant is Born

 

That comes when we expose our sprouts unto the open air

                                               Of feedback and don’t bury them beneath rags of despair

Or weeds of greed that seek our spiritual vision to impair

Because we’re frightened of the lion roaring in his lair.

It takes courage from above for writers to decide to share

       The plots that mean so much to them, the characters they love.

      But plants are born as shoots connect with wisdom from above.

    The story’s taking shape now, in a gracious atmosphere

     Where God’s Word reigns and to His throne the branches may draw near,

        As they rely on those who help them overcome their fear.

 

“Blessed is the man (or writer) that walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law does he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he does shall prosper.”  Psalm 1:1-3

“Whosoever comes to me and hears my sayings and does them, I will show you to whom he is like: He is like a man which built a house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock…” Luke 6:48

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oh Writer’s Block, Thy Name is Doubt

Oh writer’s block, thy name is doubt

Because of how you scream and shout,

And try to keep me from success

By magnifying my distress.

 

I hate you, scurvy writer’s block,

Because you tick tock like a clock,

Reminding me I can’t have fun

Until my editing is done.

 

“You have revised the thousandth time,

But it is not enough,” you chime.

Then, like a slave, I bend my back

Beneath the weight of this huge stack

 

I’ve edited for several years.

But still you holler in my ears,

“You’re ten miles from the finish line!”

You make me wish that prize was mine!

 

Then you remind me with a grin

That more plot holes must be filled in.

“Each time I check your manuscript,

I see where somebody might trip

 

Upon an inconsistency.”

I hate the way you mock at me

And give me zero breath to pause

As I repair the grammar flaws

I accidentally broke because

 

I lacked the patience to re-read

Those passages I fixed with speed.

But such errors have been unearthed

Since then, I wonder how I birthed

 

A book so riddled with mistakes.

They rose like bubbles in pancakes.

How did this work I can’t ignore

Turn into such a grueling chore?

 

And now I can’t see past this block,

Which ticks like Granddad’s booming clock,

Whose second hand I can’t ignore.

It asks me who my novel’s for.

 

“How will you market? Will it sell?

Most books these days do not sell well

Unless you hand them out for free,

But that won’t bring prosperity.”

 

Oh, writer’s block, thy name is Doubt.

For you don’t know what I’m about,

But question if I have the clout

To use my writings to cast out

 

The demons that attack my voice.

So then, you’ve given me no choice

But to throw out your losing dice,

Though it may be a sacrifice.

 

By grace I’ll tap into God’s heart,

Through faith take part in joyful art,

And always point to God above,

Who reaches out to us in love.