Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Dipping the Quill Deeper; The Best Hours for Writing

Edie here. I cannot resist drawing attention to Eva Marie Everson's latest book, The Third Path: Finding Intimacy with God on the Path of Questioning. I had the honor of endorsing this book and I'm telling you it's destined to become a classic for those who write (and for everyone else as well). RUN, don't walk, to add this book to your library!!! I'm posting more about the book at the bottom of this post.

Dipping the Quill Deeper: The Best Hours for Writing
by Eva Marie Everson

“When do you do your best writing?” someone asked me.

I don’t mean a particular “someone.” I am asked this question at nearly every gathering of writers, whether by profession or hobby. I was asked this question several times recently at the biannual Christian Product Expo held in Lexington, Kentucky

When do you do your best writing . . .? 

And I think this is not the correct question, at least not for me. Because my “best writing” could come first thing in the morning before the rest of the world vies for my time, or it could come in the middle of the night when the rest of the world is sleeping (and therefore cannot vie for my time). It could also happen in the middle of the day shortly after I’ve decided to take a break from the business of writing. I’ve had my afternoon tea, which I enjoyed while reading another chapter in the book I hate to put down and, because I’m neck-deep in a well-written novel, I suddenly find myself inspired to run back to my office and work on whatever project I have going. 

However, it always seems that my best writing happens when I’m in the shower . . . or on a long walk . . . or driving up the interstate. You are writers, I presume, so you understand what I’m saying. About the time I am in a position not to be able to write, the words pour into my brain like harvested corn into a silo. I try to repeat them so as not to forget them until I can either write them on the back of an old envelope or ink them onto the palm of my hand or into my journal, or, better still, make it back to my laptop. But often, I lose them. Or most of them.

And I’ve learned that this is okay.

So the answer to the question “when do you do your best writing?” is this: whenever the muse comes and I happen to be in a good place for writing. I cannot say “morning is best” or “evening is best” but I can easily say that “whenever I can get away to just write is best.”

This also means that another question I often hear—Where do you do your best writing?—is closely connected to the first question. And again, those answers vary. There are times when I’m in my home office and the words come nearly faster than my trusty little fingers can type them. Other times when I sit in that same chair, stare at that same screen, and think, “I should probably do a load of clothes . . . wash some dishes . . . polish some silver . . . make a phone call . . . make a bed . . . go back to bed.” Anything and everything not to do what I need to do, which is write. This is why I often “go away” to write. I know why I’m there. 

I read something today that spoke to my heart on this very subject. The hour in our life in which we are best employed is the hour in which we best love Jesus (from Meditations of a Hermit by Charles de Foucauld). 

I had to ponder how the oft-asked questions and that one line related each to the other, but I instinctively knew they did. If, I concluded, I can say that morning is best—or evening or in the middle of the afternoon is best—or if I can say that the home office is my best location or Ramona’s Birmingham residence, or Jan’s Tampa residence, or that Holiday Inn overlooking the Atlantic is best, but I’m slaving away without first loving Jesus, then I’m not best employed at all. Neither the time nor the place matter and my words, though they may be eloquent or praise-worthy or even prize-worthy are, in fact, worthless. 

God gave me—gave us—this incredible talent, specifically the ability to see the world around us in story, in nouns and verbs, in adjectives and adverbs. I once heard a visual artist say that he sees everything in shadow and light. I remarked that we were much alike because I see everything in words. We writers overhear conversations and imagine the plotlines around them. We live life’s struggles and victories and pen the experiences. We cannot help it; God has wired us this way.

The important thing, then, is not the time or the place, but the way we give the gift back to God. 

We write, John penned in 1 John, to make our joy complete (1:4). We must. 

But the joy first came from loving God. It had to have had and it must always.


by Eva Marie Everson

A prayer labyrinth with four paths.
A path of questioning.
A book full of questions that demand an answer.
There are times when knowing God at a deeper level means knowing ourselves better ... and vice versa. But how do we get to the core of who we are? Perhaps by hearing-and answering-the questions God asks.

The Third Path offers 26 of the questions found within God's Holy Word, questions He asked biblical characters He dealt with directly. Questions that demanded answers. These same questions, when answered carefully and thoughtfully, allow us to know ourselves better ... and God better still.
Let's walk.

Eva Marie Everson is the CEO of Word Weavers International, the director of Florida Christian Writers Conference, and the contest director for Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference. She is the multiple award-winning author of more than 40 books and countless articles and blogposts. She is also an award-winning speaker and a Bible teacher and the most recent recipient of the AWSA Lifetime Achievement Award (2022). 

Eva Marie is often seen at writers conferences across the States. She served as a mentor for the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild and taught as a guest professor at Taylor University in 2011. She and her husband make their home in Central Florida where they enjoy their grandchildren. They are owned by one persnickety cat named Vanessa.

Eva Marie's latest book, The Third Path, takes a look at 26 of the questions God asked in the Bible, then makes them personal to the reader. The premise of the book is currently her most asked for continuing workshop at writers conferences.


  1. Oh, those lost words! I wonder if God has caught them in a bottle somewhere and saved them for a later time.

  2. Those lost words are God's perfume. They draw us back to Him, to our work that reflects Him. They linger as the rising smoke from a snuffed candle, a candle that can be relit by drawing the flame (of Love) close to the wick again. It is so good to read and sense the depth of God's love kindled in you, Eva, from all that you've suffered and known with Him and in Him and through Him. I see Him and hear Him in your work. His fragrance lingers near you. I look forward to reading this new outpouring from your heart and soul.