We're pleased to welcome InScribe member Dayna Mazzuca today as our Guest Blogger on InScribe Writers Online.
For a writer, the search for inspiration is constant and ongoing. This sounds laudable, except the perfect phrase, or opening line, or even story structure often comes when we least expect it. It’s one of the paradoxes writers live with, a truth-of-the-trade.
I can be on my morning walk to the duck pond and be inspired by a fallen willow branch letting in the sun. I’ll come home and write a poem about God’s mercy breaking through in a storm. Or watching my son collect rocks at the beach and compose a poem about wanting the “heart of stone I own” to feel like flesh again. I can be piling my kids into the van and begging God for patience. When suddenly I’m in touch with my own childhood and my mother’s endless patience—that I took for granted for too many years.
That’s how it happens. I’m living life and I’m struck with a phrase, a poem or a memory that wants to be told.
So why do we, as writers, actively look and search for and concoct creative moments? What makes us think that when we ask for inspiration we will receive? Or when we knock on the door of our imagination it will produce? Or when we seek something meaningful to discuss that it will materialize?
Personally, I think we ask, seek and knock because we know it’s there. We know those moments happen. We hear those special words. We feel things beneath the surface. That’s why we write: to connect the dots between the ordinary and the extraordinary.
There’s a subtle point of reconciliation between this “seeking what can only be found when we’re not looking.” When we, as Christian writers, knock around for creative inspiration, we realize it’s really our own hearts and minds that we’re asking God to make receptive, open and aware. We want to notice what is right in front of us. We want to have ears to hear what is happening all around us. We want our spirits attuned to the unseen, as well as to the special, even divine, nature of what we can see.
To write inspiring words, in any genre, we must be living inspired lives. And that means being receptive to God, as he comes to us in our everyday lives. This is made possible for us by God coming to us in the flesh in the person of Jesus Christ. There is a working theology to our working lives.
We live in an incarnational world. And more often than not, for writers, it’s the theology of the Word of God becoming flesh and living among us that underlies our ability to invest with meaning what we do see, hear, taste, smell and touch. Words matter. So, the ability to receive and translate that creative spark into words our readers can understand is something we take seriously. And so, we prepare ourselves—our hearts and minds—to imagine reality. Afresh.
We ask. We seek. We knock. Then we relax, and wait for life to reveal its glory, as we know it will. In the walks we take, in the things we pick up, and in the tasks we perform. God is with us. As writers, we have the pleasure of saying this most basic truth in so many, many different ways. Thanks be to God for this gift he has given us.
Dayna E. Mazzuca, former journalist and magazine writer, is working as a poet and freelancer for Christian media on beautiful Vancouver Island. She's a homeschooler, creative workshop leader, writing coach and leads women's writing circles. Her bio is online at www.daynawrites.com; she blogs at iWonder.