I will thank the Lord with all my heart as I meet with his godly people. How amazing are the deeds of the Lord! All who delight in him should ponder them. Psalm 111:1-2 NLT

Monday, October 4, 2010

Hope, Hummingbirds and Writing...

'Hope is the thing with feathers, that perches in the soul, and sings the tune without words, and never stops at all.' Emily Dickinson

This morning as I watched the small ruby-throated hummingbird drink from my feeder, I marveled at the transformation that had taken place over the summer. He started out a scrawny little thing, but over the last few months he’s almost doubled in size as he’s sucked up calorie-loaded water. He’ll need it for his solitary 500-mile flight across the Gulf of Mexico to his winter home.

Five hundred miles? What in the world would make a bird fly 500 miles over that vast expanse of nothingness? The same thing that makes us write.

Because he has to.

As writers, we’re a lot like that hummingbird. Now, I’m not saying we’re fat. Yes, I am. We’re fat with experience and knowledge—things we learned as children and teenagers and every day of our lives—and we infuse our characters with emotions from those experiences.

Then, like that small, winged bird who risks everything as he sets out across an ocean, we risk our very heart when we place our work before agents and editors.

The similarity doesn’t end there. Like the hummingbird, for most of us writing is a solitary path. It is very daunting to sit in front of a computer and look at that vast expanse of white nothingness where a blinking cursor mocks us. But guess what! We’re really not alone. God, the Supreme Creator, guides and instills His creativity in us, renewing it each day.

I am so thankful that the God who put the desire in the hummingbird to return to his winter home put the desire in me to write.

“Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4
Pat Trainum
I asked God to teach me patience, and He gave me a book to write.


  1. Pat, you've described the journey so well--masterfully! Thank you and encouragement as you continue your writing flight.

  2. Great analogy, Pat! And I love your line about "I asked God to teach me patience, and He gave me a book to write! So true! Thanks for sharing.

  3. What a beautiful analogy! I love it. I think I need to hang a picture of a hummingbird above my computer now as a gentle reminder.

  4. Thank YOU for the comments. Y'all are such an encouragement!

  5. Love the image you presented, Pat. So true about a writer's life. God gives us these ideas, and when we are obedient about doing His will, He gives us the desires of our hearts. So so true. Thanks for the lovely post. :)

  6. Thank you for the wonderful analogy!

  7. Great Monday morning encouragement. I love hummingbirds. They always remind me of God's love (because of a hummingbird story that maybe I'll share one day on this blog.)

  8. Um, did you just call me fat?

    Kidding! Great post, Pat! You know, it's freeing, really, when we realize our creative desires come from God. That knowledge alone gives me "wings" to pursue my dream...

  9. Beautiful and encouraging analogy! It's so nice to know that just as God guides the hummingbirds across that 'vast expanse of nothingness,' He guides us in our writing. He won't give us the desire to write without providing the means to do so!

  10. Angela Bell10/4/10, 2:38 PM

    Beautiful post! :-)

  11. Pat,

    What an encouraging post! I especially appreciate the reminder that on this writing journey, we are really not alone. Our Father is with us, speaking heartening words when we need them most. What reassurance that the Lord guides our efforts to reflect Him when we write what He's put on our hearts. Thanks for the reminder!

  12. Pat, that was beautifully stated. You amaze me. Great words of wisdom.