I’m sure more has been written on this subject than I could express. But without it, writing is a pot-boiler: a rehash of old ideas or an assortment of pat answers. But where do I find inspiration?
Common wisdom suggests it is all around me. Wherever I look there is a story, I just need imagination to see it. Sometimes it’s obvious. Other times I need to work hard to see it. But even if I have a basic idea, it still needs hard work to produce a significant piece of writing. Ten percent inspiration, ninety percent perspiration, as the saying goes.
In many years as an architect, after some thought and inspiration, I could sketch a basic plan responding to a building need on the back of an envelope. But it would take many hours of work to make it into a usable building.
I spent many years as a pastor also, and found much the same. A basic idea might jump out of Scripture—an experience common to most Christians—but it would take several hours of my time to expand the idea, develop significant depth, and make it relevant to my hearers.
But inspiration is a spiritual phenomena. It may commonly be used to express any silly idea that comes to the surface, and ideas may come from less than holy sources. But as Christians, inspiration is “breathing in” the Spirit of God to our work.
If my writing is to achieve a God inspired goal—fiction or non-fiction—I become more conscious of the need to seek God’s insight into what I write. And that is not just the first ten percent vision, but also during the ninety percent development and re-vision.
Because my communication to another has to overcome a host of obstacles, it is best accomplished by the Holy Spirit who came to bring conviction. His direction is found by absorption of the Word and in communion with Him, and is essential in developing the final text.
If I can accomplish human goals by human inspiration, it is logical that I can achieve spiritual aims with Spiritual insight. The Holy Spirit is given to all Christians to ensure their efforts count for eternity. As we seek His thoughts, we can write with confidence.