Thursday, February 6, 2020

Adorning the Dark—A MUST Read for Every Writer

by Lynn H Blackburn @LynnHBlackburn

I’ve been reviewing books on The Write Conversation for a long time, and I don’t think I’ve ever said this before, but here goes:

Everyone needs to read Adorning the Dark by Andrew Peterson. 

If you don’t already know, Andrew Peterson is a songwriter and novelist (and a lot of other things) and Adorning the Dark is part memoir, part encouragement, part writing advice, and part exploration into what it means to do creative work that will “adorn the dark with the light of Christ.”

I read Adorning the Dark while writing what will be, Lord willing, my sixth published novel. Every time I start a book, I experience a touch of anxiety a near panic attack because even though I’ve done this before, I can’t for the life of me tell you how. While there are few things I find more delightful than getting together with a group of writers to talk story, when it’s just me and a blank page, a flashing cursor staring me down at the starting line of a 90K race, I glance at the screen, then at my hands, and I have no real hope that I’ll be able to do it again. 

And then I read this: “How do we find the faith to press on? Remember . . . It happened . . . So I look at the last album, the last book, and I’m forced to admit that I didn’t know anymore then than I do now. Every song is an Ebenezer stone, evidence of God’s faithfulness. I just need to remember. Trust is crucial. So is self-forgetfulness and risk and a measure of audacity.” 

So I remember that, in fact, I have done this before. And I was just as scared then as I am now. But God! God is faithful. And so I write.

And then later, on a day when I just wasn’t feeling it . . . you know what I’m talking about, right? There was this kick in the pants: “The secret is that there is no secret. All you need is to force yourself to do it.” Alrighty then!  

While I have read a lot of books about writing, craft, creativity, productivity, the intersection of faith and art . . . you name it . . . I have never felt so known, so seen, so understood, and so, well, maybe not completely nuts, as I did while reading this book. I realize that may sound like hyperbole, but it’s true. There were many times when I stopped reading, took pictures of the pages with my phone, then read them again to be sure I’d read correctly the first time, and then texted screenshots to friends to share the goodness and beauty found in these pages. 

And now, I’m sharing it with you. Adorning the Dark is encouraging, uplifting, and inspiring. It’s also convicting, blunt, and uncompromising. 

Read it. 

Grace and peace,


Lynn H. Blackburn loves writing suspense because her childhood fantasy was to become a spy—but her grown-up reality is that she's a huge chicken and would have been caught on her first mission. She prefers to live vicariously through her characters and loves putting them into all kinds of terrifying situations—while she's sitting at home safe and sound in her pajamas! 

Her Dive Team Investigations series kicked off in 2018 with Beneath the Surface and In Too Deep (A SIBA Okra pick and Selah Award Finalist). The 3rd book in the series, One Final Breath, releases in September 2019. She is also the author of Hidden Legacyand Covert Justice,which won the 2016 Carol Award for Short Novel and the 2016 Selah Award for Mystery and Suspense. Lynn lives in South Carolina with her true love and their three children. You can follow her real life happily ever after at and on FacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram.


  1. Your review is enticing! I'm ordering my copy today.

  2. Can't wait to read this book - and your next!

  3. Thanks so much for sharing Lynne. I totally agree and loved this book. I gave it to myself for Christmas and devoured it. now I will go through it slowly... Blessings!

  4. I bought this book (I think you recommended it before too) but haven't read it yet. I need to!!! Thanks for sharing.

  5. Lynn, thank you for being so vulnerable. I'm on my 11th book and still feel that way. You're an encouragement, and I'm ordering a copy now.

  6. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Yes, anxiety can happen for every writer. I want to read this book. Thanks for the information.

  7. Just ordered the book from the library. Can't wait to read. Just your short review had captured my interest. Thsnks

  8. Thank you for throwing open the doors so we can see your writer's heart.
    I'll request my library to order this book. If it touched you, I know it will touch everyone else who struggles to write something...anything...of value.

  9. Thank you for sharing this book. It sounds like a “must read”.

  10. Lynne, thank you so much for sharing. I was moved to tears and will definitely order this.

  11. Thanks for this review. I'm convinced I NEED this book.

  12. I’m right there with you, Lynn. It’s one of the most beautiful books ever. Peterson’s writing is anointed. I read these words from the book one night while I was away for a few days to get some writing done. I literally woke up the next morning with a melody and was singing! It was like the Lord was singing over me as I pressed through a very painful chapter of my memoir. I’ll never forget it.

    “This is why the Enemy wants you to think you have no song to write, no story to tell, no painting to paint. He wants to quiet you. So sing. Let the Word by which the Creator made you fill your imagination, guide your pen, lead you from note to note until a melody is strung together like a glimmering constellation in the clear sky. Love the Lord your God, and love your neighbor, too, by making worlds and works of beauty that blanket the earth like flowers. Let your homesickness keep you always from spiritual slumber. Remember that it is in the fellowship of saints, of friends and family, that your gift will grow best, and will find its best expression. And until the Kingdom comes in its fullness, bend your will to the joyful, tearful telling of its coming. Write about that. Write about that, and never stop.”