"If you write FOR a particular market or FOR a particular editor you will often miss the mark. But if you write because your fingers have danced across the keyboard, because a character has tapped you on the shoulder, because a story has settled in your heart, then even if you never sell it you have done the work you were meant to do. And sometime, dear readers, real magic happens." Jane Yolen


Inspiration...and Perspiration

 I'm at the Internet Cafe' this week, serving up some thoughts at the Family Counter. Learn a bit about the punch in the stomach (figuratively, I promise) my son gave me the other day when I chose to finish reading my Bible chapter instead of buttering his English muffin. Check out Are Your Kids More Than A Distraction? I think it's a message we all need to hear. I know I needed it!

 By the way, my cafe' article was written ON its due date (which is something I try to avoid - I'm not a procrastinator most of the time). I'd been fiddling with a certain idea for my post over there, but it was NOT coming together very well. Then, the VERY MORNING the piece was due, I had the incident happen that I described in my barista post - and boom. There was my post. And it flowed from my fingertips.

Love it when writing happens like that. Don't you? But it's rare...for me anyway. Most of the time, I get an idea, and I start writing, but it doesn't exactly slide from my head to the paper (or computer screen) fully formed. Writing can be, and often is, a lot of work. Like they say, it's generally a lot more perspiration than inspiration.

But you know, if it was always easy, anyone could do it. And I like to think that God has gifted me with a handful (or more) of stories to tell in my own way. Sometimes, he almost writes them for me. Most of the time, however, he lets me work through them so I can improve my craft, learn perseverance, and maybe become a bit more like Him in some way. And that's fine with me.

I'm willing to perspire a bit to put out a quality piece--as long as it inspires my reader to look to the One who directed me.

Do you find writing to be more inspiration or perspiration? How do you feel about these two aspects of your craft?

Paving Rough Roads With God's Presence


  1. It depends for me. One of my biggest issues is when inspiration hits. It is usually after I am settled into bed and all cozy...and I let my mind wonder and suddenly I am writing in my head. Sometimes I get up and write it down...and sometimes I kick myself later because I cannot remember.

    I do work better under a deadline so my column for Exemplify can be hit or miss....a day or two early or squeaking it in right at the deadline.

    Sometimes I do ponder writing short stories and enjoying them...I was never meant to write a long book but sometimes short stories seem so fun!

    This was a fabulous question Joanne and it made me think :o)

  2. As much as I try to get ahead of the game. Almost everything I write for my blog ends up getting done "day of", but it's a still a balance of inspiration and perspiration. The idea jumps in and then I sweat it out.

  3. I love your article over at the Cafe! Thanks for sharing your gift of writing with us!


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