Encouragement for Faithful Writers everywhere. Please share with your writing friends. Reading time: about four minutes.
May 25, 2019
Faithful Reflection: Step outside for inspiration
This morning I sat on the bench right outside my kitchen window, well equipped with a notebook, pen, binoculars, camera, and—most important of all—a steaming hot mug of coffee, the comforting aroma waking me up even before the caffeine went to work. I let myself settle for a few minutes, sinking into the sights, sounds, and scents of late Spring before picking up my pen.
Within 30 minutes, I had filled four-and-a-half pages in my spiral notebook—mostly observations but also the thoughts and emotions those observations evoked. I stopped writing occasionally to lift the binoculars for a better glimpse of a bird or insect. I took a few pictures. This may become a post in my “View from the Bench” series, but mostly it was a way to practice both mindfulness and my writing craft at the same time.
I find that observing the world around me—whether it’s a vista outside or a potted flower on my window sill—is a marvelous way to prime the pump for writing. Try not to be an editor when you write like this. We are writers, so we should just write!
What are you reading?
Reading is both fuel and inspiration for writers, so we serve our writing well when we read broadly and deeply. Memoirs, devotionals, and spiritual writing—both fiction and nonfiction—can inform and inspire, but you never know when you’re going to get smacked between the eyes by the wisdom of some fictional character’s earthy comment or the insights from being transported to another world.
If you’re interested in my personal reading, click HERE. I just finished Emily P. Freeman’s The Next Right Thing: A Simple, Soulful Practice for Making Life Decisions. It was marvelous. Peter Heller’s new release, The River, is one of the most riveting and exquisitely written books I’ve read in a long time, but it’s on the dark side.
What are you reading that’s making you think, teaching you something new, or inspiring you in some way? Let me know using the contact page.
Faithful Writing Quotes
“You can say smart, interesting, complicated things using short sentences. There’s nothing wrong with well-made, strongly constructed, purposeful long sentences. But long sentences often tend to collapse or break down or become opaque or trip over their awkwardness” ~ Verlyn Klinkenborg, Several Short Sentences About Writing.
“Writing isn’t about making money, getting famous, getting dates, getting laid, or making friends. In the end, it’s about enriching the lives of those who will read your work, and enriching your own life, as well. It’s about getting up, getting well, and getting over. Getting happy, okay? Getting happy.” ~ Stephen King
What are your favorite writing quotes? Let me know.
Writing Tip of the Month
This month’s tip is one that encourages me to record my reflections and observations in a journal or notebook.
“Let your life be your first draft.” ~ Max Lucado
Your own experiences, observations, thoughts, and insights are often the richest fodder for your writing. This includes the experiences you have in your imagination through reading good books.
What’s the best writing advice you’ve ever gotten? Let me know.
May Vocabulary Challenge:
Here is the Merriam Webster Advanced Vocabulary Quiz (“Tough words and tougher competition). I got 10 out of 12. All were familiar but the two I missed were from my erroneous understanding of their meanings. How did you do?
May Resource: The Creative Penn
I’ve recently rediscovered Joanna Penn and her blog The Creative Penn, which is chock full of excellent and valuable information for writers of all genres and skill levels. Now she also has a weekly podcast of the same name in which she interviews authors, editors, publishers, and writers of all kinds. I particularly appreciate that each episode includes a transcript, because sometimes it’s a bit tricky to understand her British accent. She has a delightful and breezy style which is warm and encouraging…not at all preachy. Check her out.
May Writing Prompt
We share our idyllic rural home with lots of wildlife. When I come across a find such as this feather, I always wonder about the story behind it. What kind of bird was it? What made the feather fall out? Was it attacked or just molting? Where had it been? Where was it going? Set the timer on your smartphone for 15 minutes. Don’t think; don’t edit; just WRITE! Feel free (but not obligated) to share your results in the Faithful Writers private Facebook group.
Faithful Writer Spotlight: Pamela W. Wight
Pamela S. Wight writes fiction for children and adults. She is the published author of two romantic suspense novels –The Right Wrong Man and Twin Desires – and of the illustrated children’s book Birds of Paradise. Her second children’s book, Molly Finds Her Purr, will be published in September 2019.
Pamela earned her MA in English from Drew University, continued with postgraduate work at UC Berkeley in publishing, and teaches creative writing classes in the Boston and San Francisco Bay areas. She pens a popular weekly blog called Roughwighting.
Pam and “her guy” enjoy spending time with their daughter and her family, who live nearby in the Boston area, and then traveling to CA to spend time with their son and his family. They are still open-mouthed that they have six grandchildren, ten and under. Pam shares her love of baking and reading with each one. She’s read her children’s book Birds of Paradise at each grandkid’s classroom and is encouraging them to write their own stories. She only wishes she had begun to write years earlier, herself.
Pam’s advice to the Faithful Writers in our group
Write every day. Don’t edit yourself, just write. Give yourself a fun prompt and go to town with it. Most of all, have fun. When the writing is fun, the writing is open and honest and good. Pam also recommends writing a blog. She has made so many friends through her weekly blog, learned so much from other writers, and discovered a supportive group of people who encourage her and even nicer, buy her books!
Lastly, Pam believes that through writing, we find and “talk to” the Spirit within us. Writing is a magical, spiritual process.
Connect with Pam
Website: Roughwighting: Life in a flash. A weekly writing blog.
Goodreads author page (for all books): https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7042822.Pamela_Wight
New on the Heartspoken blog
Not Just A Writer’s Conference – a guest post by our own Mary L. Hamilton. I am so grateful to her for sharing her experience in April at the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference.
Am I Going Crazy? – I shared a typical day and wondered if I was going crazy or perhaps I am just brilliant. Just for fun…
Happy, Happy Mother’s Day! – Besides wishing all my readers a Happy Mother’s Day, I shared a cute little video song to celebrate the day.
Compass Points May newsletter – newsletter for my Heartspoken subscribers – May’s theme was “Bloom Where You’re Planted.” If you’d like to get on that newsletter mailing list, CLICK HERE. The newsletter included this link to Coconut Cake: A Taste of the Tropics – one of our family’s favorite cake recipes.
Book Review: Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens – a delicious summer read!
Connect with Nature to Make a Better World – I shine a spotlight on the work of Paloma Teppa, a young Argenta-born entrepreneur in Florida who is making the world she wants by connecting her clients with Nature.
How is your writing going?
What’s going well?
What’s hanging you up?
Let me know so I can help you celebrate or look for resources to get you unstuck.
See you in June!
P.S. Have a question or comment? Need some help? Let me know.
P.P.S. PLEASE SHARE THIS NEWSLETTER with your writing friends! If someone shared this newsletter with you, why not get your own? When you add your name to my email list (CLICK HERE), you’ll get a special gift, this monthly newsletter, and my enduring gratitude.
Join us, faithful writers!
Learn to use your writing to strengthen your connection and service to God. You'll get our Faithful Writers Resource List and the monthly "Faithful Writers Toolkit" newsletter.