Jan, writing to you from my desk in the foothills of the California Sierras. As I’m enjoying a cooler day after an unseasonably warm weekend, I’m thinking about the writer’s spiritual wells.
When I hover my mouse over my word-processing icon on my computer desktop, it says, “Abide in me and I in you for apart from Me you can do nothing”–from John 15:5. Sometimes I chase ahead in my busyness without abiding; it’s not long before I feel the drain.
As writers we fill our wells in many ways. Over the years, I have either bought or been given books that help fill my well. For your perusal and encouragement, I thought I’d share a few of those with some excerpts . . .
100 Plus Motivational Moments for Writers and Speakers
This book takes me back to a time when I was first trying to find my writer’s voice and where God might want to take this itch to put words to paper. Compiled and published in 1991 by Joy Publishing, it is hard to find but worth picking up if you run across a copy. In it you’ll fine contributions from Sally Stuart, Steve Laube, Ethel Herr, Dennis Hensley and others you might recognize.
In her contribution “A New Song,” Ethel Herr compares our words to a song skillfully played:
“We are to play skillfully with a shout of joy. God plans each manuscript to be not only fresh and well-crafted. It is to be an exuberant overflow of a heart profoundly in love with Him” (p. 120).
Writing to Give God the Glory
Including poetry, devotions, and writing tips, this book, offered by the Chino Valley Christian Writers’ Critique Group, uses humor and inspiration to encourage the writer in his or her call to write.
In “A Ready Writer,” Teresa Billingsley writes:
“Writer’s block . . . is one common pitfall every writer experiences. However, it can easily be cured by asking yourself one simple question, ‘What has God done for me?’ . . . You could write a series of novels on this question alone” (p. 46).
Write His Answer–A Bible Study for Christian Writers, by Marlene Bagnull
Marlene walks with you through the pages of this study like a gentle but persistent discipler and writing mentor.
In “Crisis of Confidence,” Marlene’s own writing mentor has told her:
“New writing opportunities are stretching before you and, to put it bluntly, you’re scared. You’re protecting yourself from the possibility of failure by becoming so involved with other things that you have an excuse not to write” (p. 103).
In “By My Spirit” Marlene tells us why it’s important to take drink often from our spiritual wells:
“I’m almost always on the go, always rushing. Even when I do sit still, my mind isn’t still. Yet I know I cannot sidestep the importance of first being filled if I hope to write anything that will have a lasting impact” (p. 45).
Some of these books, and others, are available through Sally Stuart’s site, or through other online bookstores.
Today I was inspired and spiritually energized by something quite simple: A music video at Tangle of Amazing Grace LIVE, by Josh Wilson. As the last note played, I was ready to write!
Where do you receive encouragement? Do you have a favorite book, site, or Scripture? A way that you have found works for you to fill your spiritual well?
Jan writes nonfiction from her home in the foothills of the California Sierras. She is currently adding to her Live Free series for the teen/ya audience and also enjoys life coaching and mentoring writers. Visit her site at www.jankern.com.