What sorts of things stir the pot of creativity for you? Music, artwork, certain films, etc. … be specific. 🙂
Nature. Watching a heron glide in for a landing with its pterodactyl-type wings. Seeing an iris slowly unfurl. The intricate design of fern leaves. The whimsy of bunnies (even when they are ransacking my garden).
Movement. I was a ballet teacher and professional choreographer for twenty years. Usually dance is a response–an expression, rather than the thing to stir creativity for me, so I don’t know if that counts.
Worship. The community of believers, the richness of texts of some hymns, the power of the Word, the time of pulling my focus off all my silly preoccupations. The music–the more variety of instruments and styles the better.
Drama. My major in grad school was theatre–so I still get excited by watching crackling dialogue and a well-executed scene.
Time alone. As much as I get lonesome, I find I need long stretches of time to be with God, to cast off all the clamor of other voices, in order to start finding the stories my heart wants to tell.
What three bits of advice would you give a new writer? (or, not those not so new?)
The most valuable advice I can share is to seek Him first. If stories burn in your bones and you wrestle the words onto paper and that’s part of how you know Him and make Him known–then it will be time well-spent.
Recognize that Christ’s redemptive sacrifice, the Father’s creativity and compassion, and the Holy Spirit’s empowering are all far beyond the ability of our writing to express–so we will always face the frustration of seeking to “utter the unutterable.”
We’re all like Isaiah, saying, “Woe is me. I’m a man of unclean lips.” Our words are so limited and flawed in the face of God’s glory. Yet when God calls us and touches that coal to us, like Isaiah, we can cry out, “Send me!”
And He will. He’ll give you unique stories to tell about the human condition, and about His grace. Calvin Miller said, “You are the steward of your glorious individuality.” No one else can write the stories God has given you to write. Treasure that calling. Make yourself available. And trust that He uses the broken, the wounded, and the flawed in bewildering and unexpected ways.
Remember that the entire interview will be made available at the Christian Fandom site–keep checking!
And tomorrow, or the next day … who knows? I might even blog about my own life for a change …