Friday, February 08, 2013

Trust That This is a River - Carolyn Arends

I recently had the opportunity to interview Wm. Paul Young, the "accidental" author who penned The Shack as a Christmas gift for his family and watched it sell 18 million copies.  I wondered if he might have faced the world's worst case of writer's block when he sat down to intentionally write his next novel, Cross Roads.  His answer--"No, I think writer's block just means there's something else you'd rather be doing"--aggravated me to no end.  (I'm prone to more than my share of blocks.)  When I expressed my incredulity, he offered a perspective on his creative process that I suspect will be instructive and inspiring to all of us who seek to co-create anything (literature, art, music, business solutions, Sunday School lessons, etc) with God.

In the fall of 2007, when The Shack started taking off, I had this night of epiphany—something that’s never happened before or since. At 2 am, I woke up and I was under a waterfall of creative ideas.  After an hour of this, the thought crossed my mind, “I’ve got to get up and write this down.” And it all stopped. 
The Holy Spirit spoke to my heart and said, “Paul this is just like you. You don’t trust that it’s a river. So you want to dam it up and get your little bottles out and get all the water you can and then sell it—for identity and worth and value and significance and security and meaning and purpose. You want to commoditize the river because you don’t trust that it’s going to be there. “
So anytime I write, my first thought is always, “I trust that this is a river.” And if the timing is right, I’ll get swept down-river somewhere.  -- Wm Paul Young
You can read my entire Light Magazine interview with Paul HERE.

Learn more about Paul's new book: Cross Roads

And visit me at

Splash in the river today!


Marian said...

Love that insight about the river. Creativity does flow like a river and who knows how much never gets written because we fear the flow and where it's taking us?

Peter Black said...

I smile. The analogy of the river and the insight given about it reminded me of times when I'd browse through some of my old sermons.
What they had to say may be OK -- solid stuff, but whereas, when originally written and presented, I was fired up and there seemed to be a freshness about them (at least to me), they now struck me as being dull and jaded.
My son, a pastor, scrapped years of sermons in order to trust God for fresh bread and wine in his ministry -- trusting that the river will continue to flow! :)
A very enlightening interview; thanks Carolyn.

Marcia said...

Yes, thanks for this. Worth pondering. :)

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