I like reference books. When I buy a writers’ book, I often begin working the examples. One of James Scott Bell’s pieces of advice suggested to read through the book once and highlight what grabs you. Then, read through it again and underline the thoughts that really stand out in red. I’ve done that. I began with his book, Plot & Structure: Techniques and exercises for crafting a plot that grips readers from start to finish.
It was copyrighted in 2004, and published by Writer’s Digest Books, Cincinnati, Ohio. The photo is from: https://books.google.com/books/about/Write_Great_Fiction_Plot_Structure.html?id=0arFsgEACAAJ&sorce=kp_cover
Another of his books I like is The Art of War for Writers: fiction writing strategies, tactics and exercises.
This photo is from: https://books.google.com/books/about/The_Art_of_War_for_Writers.html?id=9vwzOJFKtc8C&source=kp_cover
He copyrighted it in 2009, and Writer’s Digest Books, Cincinnati, OH published it.
Yesterday. I mentioned that we are made in the image and likeness of God and therefore, we are creative beings. I read and implement strategies from a variety of published authors that move from fiction to writing non-fiction about what helped them in the craft. Each book is unique because we are all individuals.
I’ve enjoyed learning from so many writers over the years, whether in person at writer’s conferences or through their expertise on the written page via paper or electronic devices. What a privilege. After the learning comes the doing, putting words on paper or screen.
Where we differ from God: He creates and it’s perfect. We attempt artistry and if we leave it alone for a few days, when we read it, our masterpiece doesn’t make sense or present the image we pictured in our mind. Then the editing begins.
Also, we may face fear of ridicule or rejection. God’s Word tells us that perfect love casts out fear. God’s love is perfect because He is love. 1 John 4 talks about His love.
Apostle Paul wrote the Colossian believers and in the following verses he talks about Jesus:
Col 2:6 As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him,
Col 2:7 rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.
Col 2:8 Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.
Col 2:9 For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily;
Col 2:10 and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.
From these verses and others in the Old Testament, I believe Jesus is God, the Son. I can’t say that He didn’t fear when He took off all His godly attributes and took on the form of man. Before the crucifixion, it says in the Gospels that He sweat blood because of the anguish He experienced in the Garden of Gethsemane during prayer.
In the book of Hebrews, it tells us that Jesus understands us completely because He became a man, but He was completely filled with the Spirit of God. As humans, we can experience an infilling of the Holy Spirit at times, but we have to seek God for more of the Spirit. It takes work because we’re in a spiritual battle and our flesh wants to do what the body wants to do.
It’s the same with writing as a career. I find that I can’t give up trying to learn more and trying to face down a tired mind and a weary body when I need to get something done for a client or a deadline. Also, keeping up with technological changes and industry standards and marketing takes stamina and using more brain cells.
To me, staying the course in Christianity and keeping on track for writing are worth the effort and bring me joy. The latter is a lesser joy, but if I give up there’s something within me that urges me back to the creative endeavor.
For a while in college and then for another seven years, I pushed God aside and lived as I saw fit. As a newlywed and a new mom, it should have been the happiest years of my life. Things and people satisfied for a short amount of time; selfishness caused discontentment and frustration and sorrow.
When we moved to another town, God allowed me to run into Christian neighbors and at first, I resented them. Then, they were so stinking nice. One said to me after I started to argue about a Christian public figure whom I knew nothing about, but I’d been hearing newscasters bashing him, “I thought you said you were a Christian? Can’t we agree to disagree?”
What could I say to that?
More than thirty years later, I’m still following Jesus and even in the hard times, I’d never turn back. That’s my fervent prayer and hope. I don’t trust myself, but I’ve prayed, “God keep me.”
When I first read the Scriptures where Jesus said if they persecuted Him they’ll persecute His followers, I stopped and pondered that a while. I’d rather be persecuted here on earth for a short time than to be in hell, tormented forever.
Christians are persecuted more now than ever before in history.
I heard the stars and planets are lined up exactly as they were when Jesus came to earth. Some folks believe Jesus is coming back for His church on Saturday. My daughter said when they start saying the day and time, then we know that won’t be the day or time, because Jesus said we won’t know the day or hour.
With all the earthquakes and hurricanes and tumult in the world, it seems closer than ever. I guess we’ll wait and see.
May God bless you. I’m grateful for the opportunity to write. Thanks for reading this if you stuck around for the whole thing. I didn’t expect to say so much.