Over the next few months we will be featuring some writers blogging for Inspire for the first time. Today, please welcome first-time guest blogger, Sandra Fischer.
Have you ever sat at your computer with fingers curved over the keyboard watching the cursor blink and blink? As you wait for your brain to engage and flow through to tap the keys, does that blinking become instead a “blankety-blank curse” to your writing aspirations? Or, have you held pencil in hand over your writing pad, twirling it around, hoping some lightning bolt will strike it to spark something of incendiary purport to enliven the page?
Most of us “inspiring” writers have been there. We call it “brain-lock” or “writer’s block” but I’ve found it’s a case of “wonderloss.” As we age, we lose that childlike view of God’s kingdom—that delightful perspective at each turn. We’ve forgotten how first discoveries triggered our senses. Picture a child wiggling her toes in beach sand or watching a ladybug spread wings or sniffing a flower. That’s “wonder!”
Could that be what Jesus meant when He exhorted religious people to become like children to enter the kingdom of heaven? (Matthew 18:1-4 ESV) Young children have simplistic views of people and things. They possess a sense of wonder and humility toward each discovery, a faith built on an intrinsic, God-given trust.
Sadly, like those Jesus addressed, we grow in knowledge, become puffed up and acquiesce to complacency that dulls our senses. We writers allow “wonderloss” to stymie us; we end up staring at blinking cursors and blank pages. We try googling up something to our ho-hum minds, anything to inspire us. The good news for “wonderloss” writers is that springboards of inspiration abound all around us. I have found if I allow my childlike senses to revive again, I can discover all kinds of wonders to get me writing.
Nature is one area where springboards abound. Watch an ant carry 10-100 times its weight as it shuffles a burden along. Consider a flower that shoulders its way up through a concrete patio. Or, witness a squirrel getting to a birdfeeder you thought was squirrel-proof. Found—inspiration to write about the topic of “persistence.”
Children are another springboard. Recently, I watched nine-year-old girls participate in an international golf tournament, I wrote a piece about what adult golfers could learn from how these youngsters conducted themselves.
They did not play out of turn nor walk through someone’s putting line. They repaired their own divots and ball marks. If they mishit a shot, they didn’t curse or throw a club. What examples these young ladies showed that “mature” golfers could emulate.
Books and blogs provide all kinds of opportunities to inspire us, but we need to read diligently to discover them. And, for us Christian writers, what better place to find them than in the Scriptures. For example, Genesis 24:4, relates how Abraham’s servant put a ring in Rebekah’s nose as part of choosing to become Isaac’s bride. That piqued my interest about women wearing nose rings, then and now. Doing some research led me to discover an idea for an article, because I “wondered” about it.
Specific websites are available that offer writing prompts to help dispel “wonderloss” and writer groups can be a way to network with others about how they find inspiration. Too often, however, some writers take Solomon’s view from Ecclesiastes 1:9 (ESV) that “there is nothing new under the sun” and they dismiss prompts that appear trite or overused. I say, “look again”, and you may get a different view. Like the story of the blind men describing respective parts of an elephant, we may be limiting ourselves to only one aspect of something, instead of “wondering” about a different point of view.
I encourage you to look around and revitalize your senses of wonder, looking for springboards of inspiration at every turn. God has blessed us with senses. But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear. (Matthew 16:13 ESV) Oh, the glories that await us when we become as little children in the kingdom and revive our senses—goodbye, “wonderloss”, hello again, wonder!