This post was written for an online discussion group about the book On Being a Writer by Ann Kroeker & Charity Singleton Craig and was linked up over at Kate Motaung‘s place.
Chapter 3 – Surround
*Prompt: In what way does my writing reflect the things I surround myself with? and What can I surround myself with in order to tackle new topics or ideas I might like to start tackling in my writing life?
I love writing about God and what He’s doing in my life and in the lives of those around me. My goal is to—both in person and in writing— encourage others in their walks with Him and to inspire them to continue to cling to Him and His truth in the midst of whatever they are going through. I also desperately want myself and “my people” to be free to be who we each truly are— who God has designed each of us to be!
So first and foremost, I immerse myself in God and His Truth. I have seen too many times in my life how very inept I am at “living my life well” if I am not connected to My Source. So I arrange my days and my weeks in such a way that I will make lots of time to really dive into His Word and into special, soul-enriching times with Him.
After all, how can I tell others about having an intimate relationship with Someone I never actually get to know firsthand?
Been there. Done that.
So that’s my top priority in life: how can I connect with and get more of God? After that comes people. Obviously, I am surrounded by my kids and/or my husband all the time, so those interactions are always great challenges (aka “learning experiences”) that birth much of my writing.
In addition to family time, I also set aside time each week to connect with folks who can both inspire me and challenge me in different ways. I’m part of a couple of weekly Bible studies wherein I have the honor and joy to be able to chat with and dig deep into God’s word— and life— with other women from my church and community. Story-swapping with friends is a huge learning experience for me. I love hearing what they have to share about whatever topics I am currently captivated by and itching to write about.
Another thing I surround myself with is books! I love reading multiple sources that have to do with what is currently boggling or confusing or inspiring or exciting me in this season of my life. I’ve always got a stack of books next to my bed or in my purse— some I am currently working through, and many more are waiting to be explored. TED talks, interviews and sermons are other sources I often watch or listen to when I’m in “research mode.”
Some of my long-standing favorite writing voices are AliaJoy, Ann Voskamp and Beth Moore. I adore their honesty, raw vulnerability, hunger for God, and willingness to communicate their lives— struggles and all— in writing so that others can grow and be encouraged as a result. I find I tend to gravitate to these women’s words when I need a reminder about either why I write or how I might be able to write better.
I just love learning and thinking and processing through all I soak in on a regular basis. Both the learning process and the writing process are good soul-food for me. Surrounding myself with wise friends and honest, God-inspired writings and speeches have enriched my life in more ways that I can even express in words.
What about you?
What do you most often write about? Does it reflect the things you surround yourself with? Does it reflect what you’d like to be writing about?
Please feel free to share your comments or your own journey in the comment section below.