Thursday, February 17, 2011

Thoughts on Creative Writing, 1 of 15



My comments are based on Ken Kuhlken's book, Writing and the Spirit.

1. Begin with the Spirit



I have discovered the greatest killer of creative writing for me is lack of sleep. The second greatest obstacle is worry—about the future, my family, my career, or not being in control.

In recent years, I have made sleep a priority, but I haven’t conquered this dragon. On some days he roars out and I am beat completely. I tell myself, this, too, shall pass. Tonight I will get a good night’s rest and tomorrow I will begin again. The first step, though, is recognizing the need and then pursuing the need with commitment. I have found the commitment is attainable, though not without sacrifice. Sometimes other things don’t get done. But to be creative, I must get sufficient sleep; no ifs, ands, or buts.

The second obstacle presents a more slippery slope. I call this the battle of emotions. My human nature is to worry; my spiritual nature is to trust God. As pointed out in the chapter, I must begin with the “spirit” to even have a chance of winning this battle. Without God, I can’t do anything. My writing is stale and I don’t even have a desire to write. All my energy is consumed with whatever I am besieged with, and the result is depression.


I have come to realize there is something circuitous about this; I write not to become depressed, but I can’t write if I am depressed. So it begins with the Bible, focusing on God, and prayer. These tenets of the faith help me to be in the right mindset to overcome evil, and I believe it is evil that prevents me from writing. It is a battle of the mind for control—worry versus trust, belief versus unbelief. These battles, though, can be woven into wonderful stories with redemption. That is why I write.


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