When I was active with my story ministry, stories popped into my head easily. When a group of people (ladies’ groups, nursing/seniors’ homes, churches, etc.) would invite me to speak, they’d tell me about their topic for the meeting. And after praying about the subject, a story would pop into my head. I’d see the story unfold in my mind like a mini movie. Once the story was down on paper, then the real fun began; tweaking it. It always amazed me how the story improved just by rearranging sentences, changing a word here and there, omitting some words, or adding new ones. A thesaurus certainly came in handy.
But sometimes ideas don’t flow easily. I sit in front of the computer screen with no imagination at all. The white screen stares at me, defying me to mar its perfect surface. But when I start typing something, anything, it’s like grabbing a lump of play dough, rolling it around mindlessly with eyes closed and pulling at it. When I open my eyes there’s a vague shape that resembles something; a person, an animal; a plant. I look at it closely and begin molding, tearing little bits off, and adding more play dough, maybe even adding a different colour. Soon the vague shape becomes a definite recognizable figure. And it looks pretty good to me.
That’s how some of my writing goes; from a blank page sprinkled with a few words to a crafted story that pleases me. If I force the words out, hammering them onto the page, the story sounds…well…stiff, unnatural, phoney. And I’m not happy with the end result. Other times, I’m pleasantly surprised what I’ve written. Did I write that? Oh, that couldn’t have been me! Certainly not! That must have been the Holy Spirit. Awesome! There’s nothing more exciting than having the Holy Spirit speak! What a blessing!
what a wonderful analogy, Shirley. (The playdough one!)ReplyDelete
Thank you, Tracy. And thanks for you plug on Face Book. That was kind of you. ShirleyDelete
Yes, Shirley, the act of writing is a truly transformational process. By permitting your thoughts to flow freely onto the page, it's surprising how tuned in you become to the Holy Spirit's guidance in molding these random reflections into a well-crafted story.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Nina for your comments.Delete
The play dough analogy was perfect. I completely relate. Thank you!ReplyDelete
I agree with the others, the play dough reference is a perfect one.ReplyDelete
I was drawn to your line ..."from a blank page sprinkled with a few words to a crafted story that pleases me." There sure is a lot of kneading and working and forming going on before our stories are presented to the world in a pleasing manner. Thanks, Shirley.
I too was drawn to your paragrahp about writing "from a blank page sprinkled with a few words to a crafted story that pleases me." But I also identify with you when words come out stiffly and we're not happy with the results. And tyet when the words surprise us, we know the Holy Spirit ha been breathingHis words into us.ReplyDelete