Then the Lord replied:
“Write down the revelationHabakkuk 2:2
and make it plain on tablets
so that a herald may carry the correct message.
If you had been wondering about how late I am with this post, this has been – well – “One of those days!” Extra parent care; lightening storm knocking out power; AC guy in and out of the house; torrential rains; more parent care, conference calls. Finally, at around 3:15 in the afternoon, it looks like I have some time.
This post is – essentially – about writing. I know that sounds a little meta, but writing about writing is good for me every once in a while. Writing is a definitive element of who I am, so it bears some introspection.
Over the years I have talked with a lot of great writers about their craft. They all offer thoughts about what works for them, plus I have read any number of books detailing the “how” of technique, and the process of editing and polishing a finished product.
I absolutely understand that a story is qualitatively different to a newspaper column, that preparing a report on an event looks nothing like a Q & A with a celebrity, and that while poetry, political analysis, and financial reports are lightyears apart, it all comes under the umbrella of writing.
Currently, as a professional in the field, I write a monthly newspaper column, I consult as a features reporter for a financial newsletter, I offer tips and advice for husbands and fathers on a dad’s website, I author inspirational books, and I am a novelist. All these involve very different elements of style.
What is consistent for me, however, is the process. Many writers will tell you they “love to have written…” but I say – consistently – that I love love love the doing of it, the nitty-gritty of typing, editing, re-writing, and so much more.
I love to feel the words flood out of me like a torrent, but I also like to re-read, break down, move the words and phrases around, throw stuff away, and then put it all together again. I have as many “ahah!” moments in the editing process as I do in the initial writing. I’d go so far as to say that editing involves as much creativity and originality as any part of the work, from conception to completion.
Art for art’s sake:
For me one of the most important aspects of art is the idea that I am not doing it for the paycheck, or the recognition, or the accolades. I write words the same way I compose music, or take photographs – it is the intrinsic, spiritual value of engaging in the process of creation. Then, when I am finished, if the art I have birthed garners “likes,” or opens doors, or wins an award, or actually results in money earned… then so much the better.
This blog is a prime example. Sometimes several thousands of people will enjoy a post… other times barely a couple of hundred. One day something I write here may “go viral,” and it may lead to another book deal, or an invitation to speak. But that does not change anything about the process, or the value, or the way the art speaks.
My prediction is that only a handful of people will likely read this post; but that’s okay. I have shared something that has grown inside of myself and then flowed out of me and into this space, and I know that it is beautiful.
This then is how to write. Our creativity sings its own song to God, and that song is always beautiful – DEREK