Friday, October 05, 2007

The Stirring - Austin

It is strange, this writer’s life. I have come through weeks with little to say, little to write, no deep passion to communicate anything . . . I wouldn’t call it writer’s block. There were no long bouts of depression. I never sat for hours staring at a blank computer screen. I never bothered to turn the computer on many days. It was simply a dry time, much like the summer weather. When the rain did come, it found parched ground, shriveled roots, and little life. But that seems to be passing, even as the seasons are changing. Fall colours are approaching their peak. Much of the garden produce has been brought in. Summer projects have been largely completed, and a quiet stirring in me longs for the creative hours once again. There is no deep urgency at this point. It is not like the mad rush of spring, with buds bursting, birds madly protecting their territory, building nests and raising young. It is more in tune with the season, that elusive restful time after the stifling heat of summer and before the bitter cold of winter – a season of reflection.

The stirring – fall leaves close to their peak, the majesty and artistry of God all around, the urgency of summer tasks passed, time pressures eased, and the air crisp and invigorating – it should get the creative juices going.

“Thank you for submitting – but” letters have come through the summer. Gentle and courteous in their refusal, but still disappointing. Projects I have put my heart and soul into wait in a kind of limbo. A mocking voice in the back of my mind says: “give up and get a real job.” But it is a voice that lacks conviction. Another voice whispers very quietly: “I have called you by name. You are mine.” That voice never promises million selling titles. It never promises wealth or fame in following this calling. Yet it quietly affirms that the hours wrestling with words, whether in poetry, in fiction or in articles, are hours invested under God’s leading. There is rest and contentment in that. It doesn’t mean that every word from my pen or word-processor is God-breathed. It does mean that the words I write matter, and that God will use them.

What a rich life – as a writer. I have a vested interest in reading as widely as possible. I have a vested interest in polishing the craft of writing, in honing my skills and improving my grasp of language. I have a vested interest in being at the computer when the words flow and in being there when every word seems dragged through sweat and tears. And as I yield those words to God, listen to His quiet nudgings and share them as opportunity comes, I have the privilege of watching Him use my creative efforts in ways I never imagined. “God Uses Ink.” I have loved that phrase since I first saw it – since I attended my first writer’s conference. I love it still, for the simple truth is that God does use ink – even mine.

1 comment:

Marci said...

Thanks for this, Brian. It reminded me that there is a season for all things and the dry times are just as necessary as those of plenty.

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