A few more things that we have learned along the way:
6. Don’t discard anything. Keep all your writing until the work is finished.
7. Write through your moods. A bad mood can bring depth to the work.
8. Don’t talk your book away. Don’t discuss your work before it is finished.
9. Watch out for tears. They usually signal something holy in your work.
10. Write down ideas immediately, before they evaporate.
Would love to hear your thoughts about these tips or others you may have.
Laurie and Betsy
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Listening is the beginning of story. My neighbor who is an avid birder taught me about bird calls. When we stand outside our houses to chat for a neighborly moment he hears in a different dimension. While I am unaware of the birds in the trees around us, he is always listening. He will cock his head and say, “Listen.” We stop talking. Suddenly I hear the crisp notes of the call. “Cat Bird, ” he will say or “Wax Wing.” How much in life do I miss by not listening?
“My writing knows more than I know. What a writer must do is listen to her book. It might take you where you don’t expect to go. That’s what happens when you write stories. You listen and you say ‘a ha,’ and you write it down. A lot of it is not planned, not conscious; it happens while you’re doing it. You know more about it after you’re done.” – Madeleine L’Engle
What do we miss in writing by not listening? Sometimes we have to be silent to hear the thoughts and stories that we are writing. We can over plan and force the writing.
Can I stop talking today and start listening? Like L’Engle can I listen, say “a ha”, and write it down? What a nice way to work.
Wishing you “a ha” moments today, Writing Sisters
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“Those who kill giants have stories to tell. They have seen God at work. They know what God can do. They are utterly convinced that God is able. And for this reason they are dangerous.” Mark Crumpler
Sharing the best of our reading this week: Words about the power of story from Mark Crumpler at Peachtree Presbyterian Church, Atlanta, GA
But David stepped into the valley that day armed with something that no one there could see, certainly not Goliath and not even Saul. It was not weapon that could be held in the hand or placed on the head or draped over the body.
Perhaps David’s most formidable weapons that day were stories and memories: stories and memories of God’s help, God’s deliverance, God’s presence in trouble, God’s power in the face of threat. David had lived this. David had seen this. And it made him confident. These stories had made a giant killer of a shepherd boy.
This is no mere belief in God. When it’s time to face a giant it simply will not do to say “I believe in God.” Killing giants requires more than the kind of agreeable mental assent we often label as ‘belief.’ Those who kill giants have stories to tell. They have seen God at work. They know what God can do. They are utterly convinced that God is able. And for this reason they are dangerous.
So what stories do you tell? When and how have you seen God unmistakably at work in your life? When have you known his presence as close to you as your own breath? When have you sensed his peace taking up residence deep in your chest? Be specific – and remember. Tell yourself and others this story. Rehearse it. It will make you dangerous today against whatever you face.
“I remember the days of old; I meditate on all that you have done” (Psalm 143:3-5).
Mark Crumpler from his series: Alive With God
Insight is defined as the faculty of seeing into inner character or underlying truth. As a writer I must constantly look beyond outward appearances to seek the truth, the inside story. Like the rings of a tree, the story is hidden. I learned this lesson recently at a dinner party.
“I have a lot of stories,” my dinner companion said leaning forward over her plate. The party around us seemed to recede and her eyes grew more intense, “Yes, I have many, many stories.” She didn’t look like a woman with “stories.” There was no indication in her smart dress and pulled together look that she had led anything but a charmed life. But there were the stories.
She told of growing up in an eastern European country and being exiled with her mother and grandmother at the age of two. Between bites of broiled salmon and cranberry salad she told a story of her mother, a pianist, spending ten years in a labor camp. And then she told the story of her separation from her own daughter who was in the United States when martial law was declared. Three years later she saw her daughter again. Time stood still as we talked.
Hidden within a tree, each ring symbolizes a year of life. Years of drought, the ring is small. Years of plenty, the ring is wider. We hold inside of us our stories, the thin rings, the thick rings. The good times, the bad times are written in our brains and in our hearts.
“I have many. many more stories,” my new friend said as she left and I knew she had spoken for us all.
May I always look beyond appearances to see the inside story.
Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.
1 Samuel 16:7
Betsy Duffey writingsisters.com