Category Archives: Writing

Sleepless

My old friend insomnia has been coming to call quite frequently in the last week or two. It’s been a long time. Here’s the thing, though, I remember hating these long, sleepless hours. I remember bemoaning the fact that I would be tired the next day and getting so angry about not being asleep that I couldn’t possibly fall asleep. Now, I almost relish it.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m getting to be an old lady and these late nights are taking their toll. So yes, I might be a little more emotional and bit more prone to over-caffeination. That’s okay. Here’s why:

~Sitting in silence with my dog sleeping on my lap while I read

~The chill night air battling to seep through my hoodie (which I can only wear at night this time of year)

~The rustle of the last pages as I manage to finish books I’ve been working on for too long

~Trying to be oh, so quiet in the kitchen and catch the tea kettle before it whistles

~The gentle scraping of my pen in my journal

~The quick, quiet tapping of my keyboard as I finally find myself writing again (night provides far better scope for the imagination!)

~The quiet kind of inspiration that seems so real that the world seems to fade away and only comes from feeling completely alone in the silence

So while I may not have missed the feeling of fighting to keep my eyes open for the first two hours of my work day, I’ve decided I have missed my late nights immensely.

Advertisements

Originality

“Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it.” ~ C. S. Lewis


Not Writing

It’s really a rather ironic thing about loving to write… it seems like it must come with the gift of dreaming up an unending list of excuses for not writing. It seems like there are plenty of ideas, but none of them good enough to write more than a paragraph about. Or they only come when I’m busy. Or when I’m feeling down. Or when I’m too tired. Or when I can’t get to my computer. Or sometimes I set time aside just to think and write, and no good enough ideas come. And I end up writing a post about why I don’t write.

Thankfully, writing a post about why I don’t write has proven something to me: Despite my many excuses, I do still love it. Maybe I’ll visit more often.


To Pursue Excellence in Writing

So… you can laugh at me if you’d like to. You can tell me I’m overestimating my own ability to use the English language. You can tell me the statists one how many people successfully make a living off of a certain career. It won’t change a thing. The truth is, I’m in love with words. I’m irresistibly drawn to a blank page. I obsess over pens and paper. And I often dream of being a real, published author some day.

I’ve spent hours just listening to people talk in an attempt to improve the dialogues I write. I give immense attention to the details of things, often thinking in full sentences describing in detail the world around me. I’ve sat down and read the dictionary, broadening my vocabulary and knowledge of the English language. I’ve read books upon books about writing techniques and styles. I’ve read classic literature, studying and practicing imitating the styles of great authors. And I’m sure I’m digging my own grave here, because you’re all reading this and wondering why my posts aren’t better written, but that’s beside the point. The fact is that I love writing. I want to write. And I’ve put at least some effort into improving my writing.

A few weeks ago, I had a conversation with someone that I’ve been thinking about. One of the staff members here at school asked me if I had any idea what I was doing after graduating and I automatically answered no. But instead of dropping it then like most people do, he kept pushing. He wanted to know about any interests or talents I had. I mentioned that one thing I would love to do is write. He seemed to like that answer and started giving me all kinds of advice.

He talked about writing styles, about observing life, about reading classic literature. We talked about the preparation I’ve put myself through and encouraged me to continue in those things. Then he brought up ideas. We were in the library when we talked, and he took me to a shelf full of philosophy books. He told me that not all of the ideas written by these men were correct, but he’d read some of my homework and had talked to me enough that he thought I could discern what to accept and what to reject. He said one that it was in those books that I would find what could make or break my writing.

He explained to me that writing wasn’t just about the words. Yes, having a mastery of the English language is important. You need to know how to weave the words together to communicate your ideas in the clearest, most memorable and convincing way, but the words are just the framework and what matters is what the words are holding. What does your writing say? Does it strongly communicate themes that will resound with the hearts and lives of your readers? Are the truths communicated timeless and relevant?

I know it’s a rather elementary idea. I’ve heard people say countless times that what you say matters more than how you say it. But somehow, the way he put it challenged me to take a step back and look past the words of what I write… to look at what I am actually communicating, if what I’m saying is even worth the reader’s time. In my thinking and studying, I’ve been considering what I write in light of a few different verses…

It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write to you an orderly account, most excellent Theophilus, that you may know the certainty of those things in which you were instructed. Luke 1:3-4

Now therefore, write down this song for yourselves, and teach it to the children of Israel; put it in their mouths, that this song may be a witness for Me against the children of Israel. Deuteronomy 31:19

I do not write these things to shame you, but as my beloved children I warn you. 1 Corinthians 4:14

These things we write to you that your joy may be full. 1John 1:4

But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name. John 20:31

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy — meditate on these things. Philippians 4:8

So I guess I’m still thinking… thinking about how to write… thinking about why to write… thinking about what’s worth writing… and thinking I’m more in love with it than ever before.


Writer’s Block

“3:41am, make that 3:42
Time just keeps rolling on while I’m here stuck like glue
So many things cross my mind
But nothing stays awhile, so frustrating
I just wanna say something worth while, speak through me
Lord, say, say what You wanna say, and say it loudly
Say, say what You wanna say…”

~MercyMe, 3:42am


The Lure Of The Page

I sit silent, alone, completely enthralled by the page before me. A blank page… a blinking cursor… endless possibility. Sitting in a room full of talking people or in a corner booth at the coffee shop makes no difference. Whether I’m surrounded by laughter and sunshine or sitting alone in the dark fighting back tears doesn’t matter, either. In happiness and sorrow, joy and pain, triumph and failure, the draw of a blank page is never lessened.

What is so entrancing about that clean, white expanse? As my fingers begin to rapidly tap away at the keyboard, a thrill rushes through my body. This is such an adventure! Who knows what may appear next. A mystery, a revelation, an insight… anything could happen. And yet it can be such a struggle… searching desperately for the perfect word, looking for the clearest way to express an idea, trying to turn confused and jumbled thoughts into something beautiful.

Like so many things in life, writing brings great joy. But it can bring pain as well. Do I write because it’s easy? I should say not, for if that were my reason, I would have given up long ago. I write because it’s worth it. I write to try to say something. I write in hopes of sharing some of what God has been teaching me. And I write because I can’t help it. The page constantly calls me back, enticing me with the potential it holds.

Maybe I’m just crazy. Maybe I should be able to escape the lure of writing. Or maybe this is something I’m supposed to be doing. Could it be that God is calling me to share my thoughts, that He will use somehow use them to bless or encourage someone? How wonderful to think that perhaps He will use my little scribblings for His glory! With that thought in my mind, how could I have any hope of escaping the draw of the page?


Longing to Write…

My mind is so full ideas… half formed thoughts… I have four or five half written posts waiting to be finished… yet whenever I sit down to write, my mind wanders. I long to write… to put my thoughts on paper and perhaps finally see some sense or order. Yet I have failed at that of late and my mind still races with confused and fragmented thoughts. One thing I do know beyond the shadow of a doubt, God is still in control. He knows what He’s doing. Even in what seems like the worst of life’s circumstances, He is there. Okay, this verse may not seem to really fit, but like I said my mind’s scattered, and it seems like it should go here, so that’s where I’ll end. Hopefully I can get a real post up soon.

O give thanks unto the God of heaven, for His mercy endureth forever. ~ Psalm 136:26