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, August 27, 2012

The Weird Thing about Writers...or at least one weird thing



by Teri Dawn Smith

Writers can't exist without faith.

We may not know what we will write next—whether it’s a blog post or the next chapter in a book.  Writers often do not even know what the next book will be about.

 But one thing we do know—we will write something.

God somehow placed it in our genes. The next blog post, the next chapter, or the next letter—it comes to us. In the night. In the early morning hours. In the middle of a conversation. (Pardon us if we suddenly tune you out. We’ve probably had sudden inspiration.)
I’ve even had to pull over on the side of the road and rummage in my purse for pen and paper. Otherwise I might not get that tidbit of insight again.

Recently my brother phoned my mother and asked how I was. I overheard my mother try to explain that I was “working with words.” In truth, I was adding words to my Random Word Box.  It must have sounded strange to my brother—except by now I’m sure he’s used to his sister being weird.

I hope he also saw a tidbit of faith in my heart.

Faith that I will someday need the words in my box.

Faith in the process of randomness.

Faith that the book industry survive.

Faith I can still write.

Faith the Lord will continue to take care of my parents.

My brother never said anything to me about this strange practice his sister has of writing down choice words. Maybe he’s getting used to my weirdness.

Or maybe he just has faith.

How has faith popped up in your life? Are you one of these weird folks who can’t keep from writing? What other strange qualities have you noticed in writers?




28 comments:

  1. Yes! I am one of those strange people who can't keep from writing! My husband just doesn't get it, even though he's a supporter of this crazy impulse. When I told him the synopsis of my latest project, he just scratches his head and wonders why.

    I teach writing to middle grade kids and sometimes as I listen to them, I get an idea for a scene. You are right in that it probably looks like I am tuning them out, but really I'm not!

    I'm just strange that way.

    Great post!

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  2. Teri, were you sitting beside me in church last night when I had that epiphany about chapter 5? But it is so odd the places we get our ideas. And you're right, we do have to have faith. I, for one, have faith that you will soon be published!

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  3. Ruth, I sooo understand both about the head scratching and the sudden tuning out of the moment!

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  4. Pat, we writers just get each other! To be published, I have to keep writing...so here goes!

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  5. Great post (& great brother). My friends are used to me saying or hearing something and then saying, "Hey, that would be great in a book" and spinning off. Or threatening to use some cute or unusual thing they've done or passed on to me in something I'm writing. Fun and doesn't seem to alienate our understanding family and friends.

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    1. Sounds like you have the right kind of friends!

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  6. Ah, yes, I so understand, Teri.
    I love words -- and have been known to write down favorite ones to use later in a chapter.
    And there's no "not writing" in my life -- even when I don't want to write. It's in my blood -- and I believe it's who God made me to be. And if that makes me weird, so be it.

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    1. So true, Beth! We're made this way...does that sound like I'm blaming God?

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  7. After reading Ruth's post, and thinking about my poor hubby, I think he's the one who's had the faith on my crazy writing journey. He's supportive of my taking the time to write, at 3:30 am when I can't sleep, after work while HE'S cooking dinner, and many evenings when I could be spending time with him. I've tried to reward his faith, not by being extra nice (as maybe I should!), but by letting him in on what's going on in my mind...explaining why I'm writing and rewriting little blurbs about my book (for pitching at the conference), explaining why I want to rewatch a movie I've already seen (to deconstruct the plot), explaining why I need copies printed of my novel (for my critique group), explaining and brainstorming with him about my next book's plot and themes. This writing journey requires faith for more than just the writer, eh?

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    1. True, Dana! Our family needs a lot of faith to put up with us!

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  8. Teri, this is such a fun post. I've admitted before that I'm NOT one of those writers who can't not write. :) I am REALLY good at not writing. Hahaha...I can find a bazillion other things to do. BUT...I can't stop the storyteller in me. The creative side that craves truth in story form...and has this mega need to tell stories. I think it's a God-thing...he's the ultimate storyteller and I believe that's a trait he's passed on to many of us writers. And so, even though I'm honestly pretty darn good at not writing, I always find myself filing things away for stories, daydreaming about new story ideas, talking to my characters and thinking through my plot when I should be doing other things. And thus...I end up writing. Haha!

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    1. I think you just wrote your way into saying you're not one of those writers who can't not write until you work yourself into a state where you can't not write!

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    2. Haha, hilarious, Teri...yes, I think that is what I'm basically saying. Hehehe...

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  9. Wow, Teri, you sure knew what I needed to hear this morning. Overwhelmed by discouraging little incidences, you brought me back to where I need to be: keeping my faith in Jesus. Though that may not be exactly what your post was about, keeping my eyes in the right place, restores my perspective and gives me the freedom and creativity to write, revise and fill the page before me.

    My husband is the person who helps me keep faith along the writing journey, listening to my story ideas, offering me insights and believing in me. I've trained him well. When we watch a movie, he can now pick out some of those story elements we learn through My Book Therapy, and ask me how I'm incorporating them into my story. :) I love my man. And I love your words today. Thanks.

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    1. Jeanne, Whatever you do, keep that man!!

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  10. Like Melissa, I have a million things pulling at me, keeping me from writing. But the bottom line is I'm emotionally healthier when I write. I have faith that God doesn't waste anything. This is how God wired me. He'll use my writing for His glory.

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    1. Yes, it's how we're wired, strange as it is!

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  11. I'm so with Melissa and Roxanne! I love the story telling but there are always a 100+ things that require my attention. Days when I can actually sit down and write without distractions? Umm, very few and are between.

    I'm working intently on focusing for the next three weeks till ACFW. I'm walking on water here, anybody want to join me?

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    1. Walking on water...sounds like more of that faith!

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  12. Thanks for this wonderful reminder that we must continue to stand on a rock-solid faith.

    Isn't it fun to hang with people who get this weird wordiness?

    Great pic up there at the top!!

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    1. The picture is just further proof that writers are weird!

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  13. Yes, Patti! That's a little of what The Ponderers are all about! We hang with these strange writer folks.

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  14. Even though some people may think the pauses, pulling over of the car, jotting ideas in midstream, or even the whipping out of a pen and note pad at any given moment may seem strange to some, I have learned some amazing writing techniques from my greatest teacher...you Ma. I love you and am so proud that you share your talent of writing with the world. You are awesome and I look forward to reading your next blog. I love you Ma! Keep up the good work. -Daniel Smith

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    1. Aww, thanks, my son! Humbling to think my son reads this blog!

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  15. Faith is what keeps perspective in the challenges we face as writers. Weirdness is what keeps us sane. LOL!

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  16. Teri, I love the weirdness of being a writer. I can easily not write, but I can't turn off my brain. Having faith in God, my abilities and my words keeps me going during those not wanting to write moments. I am a writer, so I need to rely on God to help me through the process.

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