Tuesday, October 17, 2017

What Writers Say About Writing

Inspiration for writers
by Lucinda Secrest McDowell @LucindaSMcDowel

I just spent a glorious weekend surrounded by 70 writers and speakers at “reNEW” here in New England -- all of us seeking to be “renewed in knowledge after the image of Him.” (Colossians 3.10) It’s always stretching to interact with other creative Christians and I hope you have an opportunity to do that soon, whether in a large or small gathering. Because one thing we writers love to do is be inspired by other writers!
Today I’m sharing with you some of my favorite words from some favorite authors – Enjoy!

When you wonder if you should still keep writing…
"When the question comes, 'Are you still writing?' I hope your answer will always be, 'Of course I am writing. I am a writer.'  Tomorrow the sun will rise, God willing, and it will be time again for us to go to our tables. It will be time to pick up the pen or turn on the machine... There are stories that must be told and must be heard, stories waiting on you and me to do the telling. Tomorrow we will write, write and not waste time. We will make dark marks on the page, the gift to which we have been given, the gift that has been given to us. Tomorrow we will go dancing again. Dancing on the head of a pen." 
~ Robert Benson, "Dancing on the Head of a Pen"

When you wonder if you are meant to be a writer …
“My advice to those who want to write? Keep saying yes to the work that stirs you. Write what you are passionate about without fretting over who will read it or publish it. Write the book you’d regret not writing. Just say yes to the joy (and labor) of creating. And watch for how God is longing to shape you and stretch you in the process, regardless of the outcome. Relinquishing publishing dreams or expectations to God can be difficult, but defining our worth or success by a contract or number of copies sold is deadly.”
~ Sharon Garlough Brown, author Sensible Shoes novels

When you wonder if your words can really make a difference…
“More than the painting you see or the music you hear, the words you read become in the very act of reading them part of who you are… If there is poison in the words, you are poisoned; if there is nourishment, you are nourished; if there is beauty, you are made a little more beautiful. In Hebrew, the word dabar means both word and also deed. A word doesn’t merely say something, it does something. It brings something into being.”  
~ Frederich Buechner in “Wishful Thinking”

When you think that publishing will solve all life’s problems…
“It’s a miracle to get your work published, to get your stories read or heard. Just try to bust yourself greatly of the fantasy that publication will heal you, that it will fill the Swiss-cheesy holes inside you. It can’t. It won’t. But writing can. So can singing in a choir or a bluegrass band… If you don’t know where to start, remember that every single thing that happened to you is yours and you get to tell it.”
~ Anne Lamott, in her TED talk, 2017

When you need a prayer just before speaking…
Give my words wings, Lord. May they alight gently on the branches of men’s minds, bending them to the winds of Your will. May they fly high enough to touch the lofty, low enough to breathe the breath of sweet encouragement upon the downcast soul.”
~ Jill Briscoe, pastor, author, speaker

When you long for your words to have a far-reaching effect on others…
 “I’d delight if none of my words fell to the ground – if none were useless, excessive, dispensable, easily dismissed… But that’s God’s business. He might use the means of cyber technology, savvy marketing, good publicity. But either God, God alone, keeps our words from falling and scatters them wide, or else there is nothing in them worth keeping and scattering in the first place. Our concern, our responsibility, is simply to hear and heed God. It is always and everywhere to say, Speak, Lord, for Your servant is listening.  
~  Mark Buchanan in The Rest of God

“Every word You give me is a miracle word — how could I help but obey? Break open Your words, let the light shine out, let ordinary people see the meaning.”
Psalm 119.129-130 The Message


Lucinda Secrest McDowell, M.T.S., is passionate about embracing life — both through deep soul care from drawing closer to God, as well as living courageously in order to touch a needy world. A storyteller who engages both heart and mind, she delights in weaving grace and mercy into ordinary life situations. A graduate of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and Furman University, she is the author of 13 books and contributing author to 30+ books. Her books include the award-winning, Dwelling Places (2017 Christian Retailing Best Award for Devotional) , Ordinary Graces Live These Words Refresh! and Role of a Lifetime.  A member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA), Lucinda received Mt. Hermon “Writer of the Year” award and guest blogs monthly for The Write Conversation.Whether co-directing  "reNEW ~ retreat for New England Writing,"  pouring into young moms, or leading a restorative day of prayer, she is energized by investing in people of all ages. Lucinda’s favorites include tea parties, good books, laughing friends, ancient prayers, country music, cozy quilts, musical theatre, and especially her family scattered around the world doing amazing things.  Known for her ability to convey deep truth in practical and winsome ways, she writes from “Sunnyside” cottage in New England and blogs weekly at http://www.encouragingwords.net/ 


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