Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Shepherding Your Writing (revisited)

Repost by Kerrie
In honor of Christmas only 4 days away, here is a rerun from last year.

At church recently, the pastor was talking to us about the shepherds in the Christmas story; how they were going about their usual shepherding tasks when all of a sudden an angel appeared and changed their lives forever:

Luke 10And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.11For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. 

After hearing the message and getting over the initial shock of what just happened, they decided to set out on a journey to Bethlehem to see for themselves what the angel was talking about.The pastor went on to illustrate how we can learn from the shepherds and relate this to our lives today and of course it made me think of writing. Here are the three points he shared:

We must learn to:
1. Face our fears.
For the shepherds this meant dealing with angels popping up out of nowhere. For us as writers our fears are the blank page/screen, rejection of our writing by editors/agents, and harsh judgment of our work. But if we let these fears paralyze us, we will never find what we are looking for.

2. Determine what it is we are looking for
The shepherds knew they were heading to Bethlehem to find a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. They had direction and purpose. As writers we too must figure out what we are looking for. Is it publication? Writing a bestseller? Sharing information about a cause regardless of the pay? Making a living as a freelancer? Writing a memoir for family members? Whatever your goal is doesn't matter. But if we don't, figure out a goal, we end up frustrated and lost because we have no direction.

3. Be people of action
The shepherds did not sit around and talk about how great it would be if they went to find the baby. They got up and did it. I come across so many people who talk about wanting to write, but that is as far as they get-talking about it. Being a writer means you have to do one thing and that is write. Whether you set aside 30 minutes a day or few hours a day it doesn't matter, you just have to take action and put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard. 

Do you know what you are looking for with your writing?



Marlena Cassidy said...

I love this post because it's so true! Focus is so essential to writing, and I think a lot of people tend to not want to believe that. The whole persona of the starving artist being struck with inspiration out of the blue, I think, makes up want to believe that we don't need a focus, that inspiration will guide us.

Dean K Miller said...

Yes, I do know what I am looking for in my writing, and enjoy finding it every day.

Patricia Stoltey said...

This is a wonderful post, Kerrie. Yes, I know what I'm looking for in my writing...and like Dean, I find it every day.

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