February 22, 2015

A Date With the Artist by Susan Barclay

I have to admit, I was a bit stumped by this month’s theme, the “Artist’s Date.” I don’t have any regular weekly activity that intentionally feeds my writer’s soul. 

With respect to the act of writing, my practice is to work in as silent an environment as possible, usually in the mornings before other things crop up to interrupt the flow.


Here are some things that I occasionally use to stimulate ideas and creativity:
  1. Asking ‘what if…?’ in response to overheard conversations or visual scenes
  2. Reading books on the subject of writing
  3. Writing prompts, either from book or online sources
  4. Trying something new, like writing a poem. Recently, I joined a local songwriting group that works collaboratively. Very cool.
  5. Reading blog posts from different viewpoints or on topics I know little about
  6. Culling from my own and others’ life experiences
  7. Getting feedback on my work, with suggestions for new directions or ideas
  8. Getting out in nature, enjoying the beauty and quiet, letting it speak to me. For example, this is where, God willing, I will be a few months from now:
The Grand Canyon - Inspiring, don't you think?
This is a short post because there’s really nothing else to say. Also, I have an important date I must keep – a date with the great Artist Himself.  “It is through him that we are able to live, to do what we do, and to be who we are” (Acts 17:28, ERV). Through Him I am able to write and call myself a writer.


  1. You clinched it with your ending...this is, for a Christian Writer, I believe, our Ultimate Awareness of how brief the Time before the last date and we want to make our moments count...find ways to stir readers to a greater awareness of God and the appointed time.

  2. I agree with Janet! Blessings

  3. I have always appreciated the verse you quote in your conclusion, Susan, but I am more familiar with the translation in the KJV or NIV where it reads, "For in him we live and move and have our being." Reading this in ERV as quoted by you, "It is through him that we are able to live, to do what we do, and to be who we are."

    That presents a slightly different dimension to me as a writer. God made me and I am understanding more than I used to that I can, through God, be a writer. I have his blessing to do what I do, which is write, and to be who I am, which is a writer. Thanks for sharing this blog and this scripture, which both give me new insight. Thank you, Gloria.

    1. Yes, I was more familiar with the KJV and NIV versions as well, Sharon. When I'm using a quote, I like to look at different versions to see how they express the same thought. Sometimes a different version resonates and offers, as you say, a new dimension that gives insight.


  4. Well said! I too like the ERV of that verse. And I'll add some of your suggestions to my list for an artist date. Thanks!

    1. You're welcome, Marnie. Thanks for reading!

  5. Acts 17:28 is one of my favourite verses too--it inspires me to live and move and "be" in Him. Thanks.

  6. Oh I so relate. Lovely thoughts. Thanks.

  7. There's just no substitute for the real thing, is there? That experience of standing in the breeze and sunshine in awe of the Artist, and with the Artist. A nice reminder and some good suggestions, too, Susan.


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