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Saturday, September 30, 2006

Thoughts On Writing

Stephen King wrote On Writing, A Memoir of the Craft. If you’re around me long, you’ll know that this man has been my mentor even though he doesn’t know it. You may cringe because you think you know him, but stay with me for a little while. This man is one of the greatest storytellers of our time.

I want to address one sentence that I underlined on page one hundred fifty-two. He says, “If God gives you something you can do, why in God’s name wouldn’t you do it?”

We’re all joined together here by the common thread of writing and mothering. I know that God gave me my son, Zane. I wake up with him, and I’m with him all day long. I feed him, I homeschool him, and I tuck him in at night after our prayer. God also gave me words. But for some reason, those get shoved to the bottom of the pile when things start to avalanche.

In my life, today especially, I need to ask God to forgive me for putting this gift of words under a basket. I always understood that verse to mean that I shouldn’t hide my love for God. But today, it means something new. I looked at it from a different angle. The light God asked me to shine comes in the form of writing. Yet I am so afraid of it, so terrified to admit I might be good at it, and so unaware that He has given it to me to shape and mold through Him.

Can you imagine the horror if I treated Zane like I treat my writing? Oh boy, medical emergency, can’t be with my son today. Fridge went out, no time for the boy. Life is crazy, put the boy aside. Gotta go grocery shopping, plan a party, go to Bible study, be a soccer mom, I’ll get to the boy soon, just not right now.

This thing called writing should not take over and consume my life, but it also shouldn’t be shoved aside and thrown out with the trash. It should be cared for and nurtured. It is the gift God gave me and He expects that I take care of what He gives me. How disrespectful of me to say, “Oh yes, Lord. Thank you for giving me this gift of words. Let me just shove it away in the corner until I’m ready to use it.”

The theme of this year’s ACFW conference was New Beginnings. I think this should be a new beginning. A clean slate. I’ve asked God to forgive me, now I need to show Him that I appreciate the gift of writing that he has blessed me with.

My thoughts grew hot within me and began to burn, igniting a fire of words
Psalm 39:3

Michelle Pendergrass is a coffee-lover who lives in Knox, Indiana where she homeschools her son, Zane. She blogs at Just A Minute. When you visit, please note that her son is most definitely weaned and has been for some time now. Some names just stick.

©2006 Michelle L. Pendergrass - All Rights Reserved


Anonymous said...

Thank you, Michelle. This perfectly describes why I have to write.

Michelle Gregory

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Michelle. I was hesitant to post this because it was a little too personal and uncomfortable.

Jennifer Tiszai said...

I love On Writing. Apparently my dog did, too, because he ate through the cover. But I still kept the book.

Great thoughts. And I think so true of us to feel like writing is just this little thing we do on the side and feel kinda guilty about. But the parable of the talents is pretty clear that God expects us to well use what He's given us. Thanks for the reminder.