Writing Is…

Thinking Through My Fingers

Writing may very well be thinking through my fingers. But it’s far from simple.

Writing is …

Time intensive

That means editing and scrutinizing word choices. Sometimes a whole lot of editing and scrutinizing.

I have some writer friends who whip out a well-written blog in thirty minutes. I wish I had that gift. My blogs typically take four hours or more. And novel scenes, much longer.

Brain intensive

I brainstorm the idea first. Think through the possibilities. Decide if it sparks my interest or is something I feel compelled to say.

For a blog, my goal is to be encouraging or helpful.

For fiction, I want to entertain. So I keep asking, “What if?” and “What happens next?”

The first draft stinks. Then the wordsmithing begins.

Emotionally intensive

Robert Frost once said, “No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader.”

That’s true from deep grief to laughing hysterically and every emotion in between.

I was brainstorming a high conflict, argument scene one morning before starting work. When I logged in and read my email, it was all I could do not to shoot off a “get fired immediately” response.

I took a deep breath, shook my head, and reminded myself that my co-workers weren’t the enemy. Thankfully, I quickly pulled myself out of my story world and back to the reality that the day job pays the bills.

And there are some blogs or scenes that I can barely brainstorm or get on the page because I’m bawling my eyes out. My blog, Remember and Honor was one of those.

I can’t not write

Many years ago, after a string of very harsh critiques, I asked God if I should continue writing.

God sometimes comforts me. Other times, He has to be very direct. He chose the latter in this case. Basically, the conversation in my spirit went something like this:

God: If you write all of your life, and something you write helps only one person find Me and follow Me, so they can spend eternity with Me, is that worth a lifetime of your effort?

Me: (uncontrollable sobbing for a lengthy period of time)

God: (silence – He was waiting for an answer)

Me: (weepy, hiccupy voice) Yes, Lord. Thank you for letting me write what You want me to write.

End of discussion.

Writing is…

Writing is all the things I’ve described. And even if only a few people read my words, and I never secure an agent or attract the attention of a traditional publisher…

I’ll brainstorm, write, analyze, scrutinize, cry, laugh, edit — and ask God for the words He wants me to write.

What creative outlets do you pursue?

Writing Is…Something I Must Do. What Creative Outlets Do You Pursue? Click To Tweet

Joni Vance is an award-winning author of fiction, essay, and poetry. She loves mystery, history, and how God reveals Himself every day.

 May God reveal the mystery of His love in your life story.

10 thoughts on “Writing Is…

  1. The struggle is real! You spelled it out so well. It helps to know that other writer’s are struggling right along beside you and that God ends the story for all of us.

    • I appreciate your comments. And it is comforting to know we writers experience the same things. Lets me know I’m not by myself!

  2. Love this post Joni! Thank you for your continued encouragement.

  3. I am not a writer or very creative, but I love knitting and praying as I make prayer shawls.

    • Thanks for sharing. Your creativity is SUPER! Not just your prayer shawls, but your joy and love for others are marvelous gifts.

  4. Joni, this is so true—and so convicting . Recently I lamented to God about all the time, effort, and money I’ve wasted/spent/invested in writing, with few tangible positive results over the years. Now you remind me that from the perspective of eternity, no monetary price tag can be put on a human soul. Blessings, sweet friend!

    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts. So thankful for your plays, scripts, and books. Thankful for you, my friend.

  5. Joni, your words ring true for every writer I know. I agree—if I reach only one person to change their eternity, I’ve done my job. Praying for the works or your hands and heart.’

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