Last weekend I attended the Lancaster Christian Writers virtual conference entitled Undaunted 2022. The speakers shared much valuable information, and I enjoyed every session I attended. If you haven’t attended a writer’s conference, take the step and do so. Although virtual conferences do not allow the person-to-person interaction in person conferences do, they are still a great source of learning and growing. Today I would like to zoom in on the keynote talk, The Gifted Writer given by Bob Hostetler.
He noted three major characteristics of Gifted Writers using the example of Moses.
Moses at the burning bush. “Take off your sandals for the place you are standing is holy ground.” Exodus 3:5. Why was it important that Moses remove his shoes? And what does that mean for us as writers. The point Mr. Hostetler made is: we as Christians need to remove anything that blocks our connection with God. Moses’s shoes were manmade, the earth and Moses’s feet were both creations of God. For us as writers, our inspiration should come from God. We must not allow anything to interfere with that connection. Whatever hinders our relationship with God must be removed. Our sins, our fears, our busyness are blocks. Shame can be a big impediment. All those negative thoughts born of Satan hinder our ability to receive inspiration from God. We think: God can’t or won’t use someone like me. I’m too defective. To be truly undaunted as a writer we must be purposeful in removing anything that acts as a barrier to our relationship with the great IAM.
When writing, ideas and inspiration can come in many different forms. For me, music is a great catalyst to propel a story forward. Take a listen to the music at the top of the page. What scenes or dialogue in a story does it evoke for you? Are you flying over a landscape when listening to the song? Part of an important mission with dire consequences at stake?
I remember the first time I had writers block in my story. I could not think of a way to advance the plot at all. I prayed about it, bounced ideas off family, and stared at the screen intently expecting the solution to just write itself. It wasn’t until I was mowing the lawn, headphones in ears, listening to music that inspiration struck. Suddenly, the scene unfolded in my head with each crescendo, and the story could continue. I couldn’t wait to be done mowing the lawn!
Keagan’s relived memory comes to an end as he finishes telling Bran what happened to cause his fear of being underground. I hope this final installment leaves you wanting to read more of Keagan and Bran’s adventures.
Hours or days later, I blink back the ever-present exhaustion when I stumble to a stop. The most recent curved passage Chaser has led me down opens into a cavern that is a mirror image of the one where I had first seen the rodent. Disorientation hits me. “What? Did you just lead me in a circle? Are we back in the chamber where I found you?”
There can be a variety of reasons writers lose their love of writing. Maybe it’s an illness, a critique, or simply the busyness of life, but writers often lose their love of writing and desperately want to find it again. Writing is therapy for many people. It’s a way for them to escape from the stresses of life, but also to express their creativity. In many cases, writing is more for the writer than it is for the reader, even though the reader is a very important component of the writing process.
Keagan’s memory continues as he meets a very special creature who gives him unexpected help.
The tunnel I have followed for the last few hours empties into a vast room; the ceiling barely visible in the light I carry. For the first time, the flame flickers and the movement of air gives me hope. I study my surroundings, moving forward in slow, even steps, scanning the floor for signs in the gravel. Farther into the cavern, the distant echo of moisture dripping catches my attention. Though faint, the sound grows louder as I approach a dark opening to my right. Another tunnel.