A tiny seed breaks open, reaching tentatively yet tenaciously through soil and around rocks. Pushing, stretching, seeking sunshine and warmth. Once it was small, insignificant, buried by the weight of life, but in spring, it grows – transformed.
A small butterfly flits about, seemingly uncertain of her flight path or where to land – or perhaps dancing a winged ballet, celebrating new life. Once she was crawling and plain, then hiding in the dark, but now she is beautiful – transformed.
A little black tadpole struggles to survive in a stagnant pool, just one of many, but he sprouts legs and learns to leap into new adventures, perhaps to be kissed – transformed.
Reflecting on how writers can keep our writing fresh makes me think of frogs and other miracles of spring. Not just in our writing do we need to seek freshness, but also in life. When concerns weigh us down until we are buried in circumstance like a seed beneath the dirt; when restraints in health, finances, or time bind us in darkness like a caterpillar in its pupa; or when fear of danger lurking all about keeps us drowning in sorrow, like a tadpole in a stagnant pool - in those times, God gives us strength to struggle through the heaviness, the darkness, and the mud, by His power bringing transformation.
When we are feeling stale or need a new viewpoint in life, we can use our God-given natural gifts of creativity to make changes that will refresh. The surest way to change from stagnation to new life is to stretch toward God, allowing His Spirit to free us and lead us to new heights. Bury yourself in God’s Word. Cocoon yourself in prayer. Grow new legs as He teaches you and transforms you. It may be a struggle, but fresh words can blossom, giving flight to new ideas and leading us into new adventures. I believe growth in God always leads to freshness in writing.
Other practical writing ways we can creatively change include breaking out of our norm to stretch our gifts beyond circumstances that weigh us down. Write for someone else - tell a child’s imaginative story, especially if it makes no logical sense. Help a senior write a letter. Provide a press release for a non-profit organization’s fundraising event.
Or we can leave our regular audience, not changing our message, but changing with whom we share our message as we flit about. Write a children’s version of your non-fiction essay, or a blog for single professionals rather than your usual followers.
We can even leap into a new style or genre. Write a poem, even if just an acrostic to celebrate a new baby’s name. Write a devotional based on a scene from your fiction novel.
We don’t have to be good at what we try; we just need to be willing to experiment with creative change, to rediscover the joy of playing with words. Our writers’ groups or contests may be safe places to share the results, or we can keep them private. It is the effort that is sure to bring new growth that will revitalize our writing, and our life.
No matter the genre of our writing lives, we need to be growing. While here on earth, we are to become more Christ-like, and together become the beautiful Bride of Christ.
So be like a seed, or a caterpillar, or a tadpole. Struggle through the dry, dark, dangerous times and be transformed by God’s miracle in you.
Therefore, since we have such hope, we use great boldness of speech … being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. (2 Corinthians 3:12, 18b NKJ)
Photos – a few frogs from my collection - someday I will share the story of how I came to collect frogs – it’s all about transformation :)