Worship, wait, write. My trusted friend and coach encouraged me to implement this rule whenever I write. Her words inspired—moved me—to action.
Now, I’ve added an additional step. I put on my headset and listen to instrumental worship music while I write. The inspirational music drowns out noise and helps me focus. My spirit is lifted. I’m inspired to write with more passion which got me to thinking . . .
What does it mean to be inspired? And, how can I inspire myself and others to write well and for the greater good without succumbing to negative emotions that hinder creativity?
To inspire means to move (someone) to act, create, or feel emotions. Other words synonymous with inspire include encourage and motivate.
Although Inspire Christian Writers is a nonprofit organization that offers online resources, workshops, and mini retreats (when COVID19 isn’t an issue) to help writers improve their craft, its chief aim is to inspire Christian writers on their journey.
Let’s consider how inspiration moves someone to act, create and feel emotion.
I often hear people say that God laid a message or story on their heart. They feel led to finish what He called them to do. Others are compelled to write. The written word is how they express themselves. Ask yourself why you write and what genre (devotions, nonfiction articles, short stories, fiction, blog) best fulfills that purpose or desire. Then, take action and follow through. One way to make something happen is to set long-term writing goals, and then list the short-term goals that are necessary to arrive to that end. Regardless if your words get published, or you have a huge readership, true writers find great satisfaction in the very act of writing.
Bring your story and words into existence. If God gifted you with the talent and desire to write, then write—even if it’s for an audience of One! But remember, like any artist (painter, musician, sculptor, dancer, actor) learning how to improve one’s craft is imperative. There are no short cuts. We have to be tenacious, and practice, practice, practice. Lots of people say they’d like to write a book, but I’ve discovered that even a 250-word devotion that’s worth reading requires that four letter word—work. However, there’s also great joy when I create something worthwhile that I know pleases the Father and blesses others.
Instead of succumbing to despair when you feel overwhelmed, dwell on whatever is good and praiseworthy. Allow yourself to experience the wonder of seeing your thoughts and imagination come to life as you write. Enjoy the talent God’s given you and rejoice in Him while you use your talent for His glory. Revel in your growth as a writer and a job well done. Praise God when a reader is influenced and encouraged by your words. Find inspirational scripture and quotes that will motivate you to write.
However, writing is solitary business. We can act, create, and feel grand emotions, but let’s be honest. How do we get inspired when we’re staring at a blank page? Or, we’ve rewritten the same paragraph a dozen times and still don’t find it up to par? How do we keep on keeping on when we feel like we’re dog paddling upstream . . . alone?
If you haven’t done so, consider joining a community of like-minded writers such as Inspire Christian Writers. Whenever possible, gather with these members for coffee, an Inspire event, and comment on the Inspire Facebook page and its other social media to get connected.
Now that COVID19 has deterred most of us from meeting in person, we solitary writers are at a disadvantage. Inspire workshops and writer retreats are virtual. Critique groups are either on sabbatical or meeting online. I’ve noticed this social distancing (at least for my group) means we have to make more effort to inspire each other.
Our organization’s intent (and therefore every Inspire member’s) is to—inspire, encourage and equip Christian writers to act, create, and express emotions in a way that will touch readers, and perhaps lives will be changed. We all want inspiration, but are we personally doing anything to inspire other writers?
Here’s a few motivational ideas:
- Make it a monthly habit to call another writer, send a handwritten note, a text, or email.
- Applaud each other’s writing success (even folks you don’t know) when the good news pops up on social media.
- Consider setting up a Zoom prayer meeting with a few other writers.
- Ask another writer if she’d be interested in becoming prayer partners and/or hold each other accountable with personal writing goals.
- Send a thumbs up or thank you to one of your board members. They’re all volunteers and without them, ICW would not exist.
I realize reaching out to other members for mutual inspiration and accountability may not appeal because writers tend to be an introverted, private group. So if you lack inspiration, and are in this alone, I’ll return to the first three words in this blog: Worship, wait, write.
God’s Spirit is our ultimate inspiration. He knows our strengths and weaknesses as a writer. He is able to refresh our souls and equip us to write for His glory. But He also called us to love one another. Inspiring other writers to grow in their craft and continue writing is a great act of love! Don’t ya think?