Writer in training

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My good friend, Mike, over at A ‘Mike’ for Christ revealed his writing process in the post, “The Most Persnickety Writer You Might Know” . He asked me to discuss my own writing process.

Let me start by telling you I don’t really have a process. I’m what they call in the writing world, a “pantser”. That means, I write by the seat of my pants. No plan. No outline. Just go-with-the-flow writing. This doesn’t always work well when it comes to production. That’s obvious from how infrequently I post. Probably why I never finished those thriller novels I started, either…

I have noticed though, that as my relationship with my Father grows, He is developing a process of sorts in me. He is showing me how He works in my life, how He encourages the unleashing of my creative tiger, that voice of authenticity that sounds its “Yawp” from the rooftops.

Of  Seeds and Happy Dances

God plants a seed. It usually takes a few times before I realize I need to pay attention. Sometimes I can almost hear Him happy-dancing His way across Heaven, calling out, “She finally got it!”

Before proceeding, I’m going to let you in on a little secret: I love words. OK, OK, it’s not a secret. But words are to a writer what art supplies are to a painter. I love stuffing myself on all-you-can-read buffets. I read incessantly. My hubby says I have a sickness and should seek help (is there a Book Lovers Anonymous?) because I salivate when I see a bookstore. He’s joking. Kinda… I think he just doesn’t want to have to build me any more bookcases.

I have notebooks overflowing with new words and their definitions or words used in unique ways (Don’t get me started on my notebooks! I also salivate in office supply stores. Sigh.). Pages and pages of word pairings from a game I force, er, urge friends and family to play (Adjective/Noun game…oh how I miss you!) fill random spirals and restaurant napkins. Not to mention the thousands of pages stuffed with thoughts, ideas, journal entries, Bible studies, and the random things that pop into my head. Perhaps I am a word scavenger, subsisting on consonants and vowels. God created me that way, after all.

God plants His word-seeds through:

  • a whisper
  • an advertisement
  • a blog post
  • a book
  • a conversation
  • a song
  • an article
  • the nooks and crannies where words linger

It’s About Time!

My “process” for blogging is quite different than my process for writing my novel. So for now, I’ll focus on blogging.

Once God plants the word-seed, and I feel it nestled in the soil of my heart, I start the feeding. I spend time reading, researching, praying, and having a lot of conversations. I love talking out my thoughts with Lady Di and Cori over a cuppa coffee and an open Bible in our booth.

I don’t like to write the word-seed right away because I need time to work out the kinks. Not the word’s kinks. MY kinks. I still consider myself a “new” Christian. So I want to make sure I “get” what God is sharing with me before I share it with my readers. I want to be true to Him, true to His Word, and true to who He created me to be.

All Systems Are Go

It can take days of feeding the seed before I post. Sometimes weeks or months will pass before I am ready. I know that God’s timing is not my timing. His plans are bigger and better than mine. So I wait. I remain. I still the chaos around me or the excited kid inside me. I listen. I hope.

And then, I feel God tap me on the shoulder, and badda-bing, badda-boast out pops a post.

Sometimes I look back over my posts and I can’t remember writing them. Those are the ones that I know I followed God’s process and not my own. Because when I try it my way, I force the words, I fret over the smallest details, I try too hard.

But I’m learning to listen to Him. I learning to wait for the tap.

Thanks,  Mike, for inviting me to share my process.