October 11, 2015

Thankful to Write Poetically by Connie Inglis

To be honest, I have not yet had many experiences in my writing life. I still feel like a newbie in all this. It was only just over a year ago when I actually said these words: "I am a poet." I am becoming more and more comfortable with that and get so exhilarated when I write poetry. And I am so thankful God has opened that creative side of me and that I always find Him there.
That being said, I have realized just in the last couple of months that I am not a fiction novelist and I don't think I ever will be one. This revelation surprised me--at first I didn't want to even acknowledge it. You see, ever since I was a little girl, I have dreamed of writing a novel and have always carried a few plot ideas in my head. But I am taking an Advanced Fiction course right now and am already struggling with my first assignment: to write the first chapter of a fiction novel. I've started but none of it comes easy. Last week I heard my inner voice say, "I'd much rather be writing a poem." Where did THAT come from? And what do I do with it? So, I started pondering what that was all about.

At first, I was bummed. Did my dream of being a novelist just take a major fall out the window? I was somewhat confused...but then God affirmed that voice through a different window. I've been reading Sage Cohen's book, The Productive Writer. She is the voice of an author who wondered about her writing as a poet and so I listened. Early in the book she talks about finding your platform, that she had never considered that "poetry was platform worthy. Poetry was poetry, and I loved it and I read it and I wrote it -- but what was I going to say to the world about it?" A light came on when I realized that this was me and that this was God showing up with the right book from the right author at the right time to give me the right perspective. After that, I read the book through fresh eyes--through the eyes of a poet.

I cannot explain how emotional this epiphany was for me--my soul was soaring and free, liberated to follow its true passion. I am not sure what's going to happen with my writing course, (I wish the university offered upper-level poetry courses but they don't) but I'm not fretting. God will help me with it I know, because He has proven to be faithful. So I trust.

And today, of all days, I am thankful: Thankful for a family that supports me in my writing; Thankful for InScribe and my writers' group that are always so encouraging; Thankful for God's guidance and direction in the past and in the future; Thankful for a country where I can write and share freely through the written word.

God reminds me daily that He is and will be with me as I pursue this passion. Every time I am inspired to write a poem, I know this to be true. Just a few mornings ago, an unusually warm fall morning, I was sitting outside on my deck with my morning coffee and heard a chickadee singing beautifully in my plum tree. I couldn't see it. It was hiding. But I could hear it and could feel the joy of its song. And then an old nursery rhyme came to mind:

"I'm hiding, I'm hiding
And no one knows where;
For all they can see is my
Toes and my hair..."

And then I thought about hiding and that I too was hiding, but not in the same sense as that bird. I am hiding in Jesus. So, I changed the words and even put it to a tune but for now, I'll just share the poem.

I'm Hiding, I'm Hiding

I'm hiding, I'm hiding and I'll tell you where,
In the sweet arms of Jesus, you'll find me there;
Come seek and hide with me, under His care,
I'm hiding, I'm hiding, I'll tell you where.

I'm hiding, I'm hiding, under His care,
With storms all around me, Jesus is there;
He holds me gently, He hears my prayer,
I'm hiding, I'm hiding, under His care.

I'm hiding, I'm hiding, come hide with me there,
For Jesus He loves you, He'll hear your prayer,
In trials and troubles, Your burden He'll bear,
We'll be hiding, sweet hiding, under His care.


  1. "Poetry is platform worthy." That pretty much says it all. then you follow with, "I cannot explain how emotional this epiphany was for me--my soul was soaring and free, liberated to follow its true passion." Just reading that line excited ME!
    I am not a poet, although I enjoy reading poetry and teaching poetry in my English classes is one of my favourite units. I feel great admiration for the artists who create poetry because they are able to say so succinctly and with such depth when other writers need paragraphs and pages to achieve the same result. (Actually, it is never the same result. Poetry stands alone in my mind in its ability to affect so deeply.)
    Anyway, I am inspired by your post, not begin writing poetry, but to continue in writing what gives me that sense of excitement and purpose - which ironically, is novels. LOL

    1. Argh! And I hate that in my excitement to share my comment there are grammatical errors!!!

    2. Hahahaha--Tracy you are so funny. I did notice the grammar mistakes but I do understand the feeling of getting so excited that your fingers can't get the excitement in your brain down fast enough on to paper. And I'm glad that you are a writer of novels.

  2. You are a poet. Tell the people about Jesus in your poems. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thanks Addy--that is always my goal: to shine Jesus. Are you a poet?

    2. I looked back at a few of your previous posts where you had written poetry. I did that because I remember liking those bits of poesy. I was not disappointed! Congratulations on finding what genre you enjoy writing most--at least for right now. Sometimes I find I change my views on choice of genres. I love the poem you wrote for this blog. To me, this poem has a beautiful flow and a wonderful message. I agree with Addy about telling the people about Jesus in your poems. Somehow I think you will.

    3. Thanks Sharon. I'm glad you are enjoying my poetry. And yes, I too find myself switching favourite genres at times. Your words are encouraging.

  3. Connie,
    Thanks for sharing how God is leading you. When I read this post, a picture of a proud parent watching a child came into my mind. I think HE is excited with you. :)

    1. Awwww--I LOVE that word picture. Thanks Ruth.

  4. I remember the day the Lord released me from thinking I was obligated to grow an online platform if I was to be a writer. What joy! I see you having the same release from feeling you have to write a novel. Keep in mind the strange twist we discussed at Writer's Cafe, though. I'd love to see you tackle that never-been-done concept!

    1. Yes, Bobbi, I haven't forgotten--can't seem to get it out of my head, actually. It sounds like a daunting task. BUT, I will talk to my tutor about it.

  5. Oh, Connie, this post made MY heart soar! I absolutely love your "hide & seek" poem at the end. Thanks for an uplifting message of God's faithfulness.

  6. Thanks Marnie for your encouraging words. That poem was definitely Spirit-led. I am still humming the tune with the words in my head. Yes, God is faithful.

  7. Poetry, I believe is a call that comes with its own set of struggles just like any other writing. It can seem a lonely venue without a real platform but in spite of that I wouldn't trade 'the call' for anything!. I love what you said, "Poetry is platform worthy." If we honor Jesus with our words it is worthy indeed! thank-you for doing that and for this super-encouraging article!

    Hugs and prayers from a fellow-poet.

  8. Thanks Janet--I LOVE your poetic voice so your words of encouragement speak strongly to my poetic heart.


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