This is the introduction of this series : WRITING FOR A CHANGE 2017 THE INTRODUCTION It would help you understand the reason behind the WFAC concept. Once you are done with that, you can dive into this week’s episode titled Birthing the Vision.
Now, I don’t know if you would believe me, but I would tell you all the same. I need to say this upfront so that when you are reading, you would not be asking yourself some puzzling questions. Okay, here goes. The truth is that I have never been pregnant before. So, although I am making use of the concept of pregnancy, I am writing not as an experienced person. The smile on your face right now is the reason why I wrote this paragraph.
For me, the process of writing mirrors the process of childbirth. There are some similarities that I believe will help us in our journey as writers. For the purpose of this write-up, we will explore three.
- Conception: For the writer, ideas can be gotten from anyone anywhere and at any given time. A TV program, an experience at school or work, nature and an idea from a book are examples of how we can get inspiration on what to write. However, just like with conception in biology, not all ideas should be followed up on. Ideas should be put to test in order to ensure that only the best concepts are considered. This requires absolute sincerity. Do not allow your love for an illustration or a concept stop you from seeing that the idea is not suitable for writing. In essence, don’t write about everything you think about. Sift your ideas.
For me, I try to get ideas from everyday activities such as sports, politics and entertainment. Also, I make use of current trends in my country or the world at large. The reason why I pay attention to these sources is that they make it easier for readers to relate to the message I am trying to pass across.
Most importantly however, I get inspiration from the Holy Spirit through the scriptures. I believe that the Bible is the word of God and that it was given for our edification. However, beyond the letters, the Spirit of God gives life to the word (2 Corinthians 3:6) The Spirit of God helps believers to see beyond the surface; it grants us access to the deep mysteries of God’s word. It connects dots that we never even knew existed.
After conception, however, there is an important phase that should not be overlooked. Can you imagine how things would be if delivery came immediately after conception? Scary right? I thought as much. That brings us to the second phase: The Gestation Period.
2. The Gestation Period: There are few things that are useful in their raw form. Most things that are of value usually require a process to get that value from them. The Gestation period is the time between conception and birth where the mother carries the foetus and allows it to develop.
When a foetus is in the womb, the mother supplies him/her with nutrients to aid growth. In relation to writing, this period is the one when you take time to reflect upon the ideas that you have in mind. It requires time for meditation as well as internal and external deliberations. Although you have a mental picture of what you want to pass across, you still need to consider which illustrations to use, the length of the article, the audience you intend to reach and other important issues.
There is no universally accepted gestation period for an article. It depends on the nature of the assignment you are working on. Using the animal kingdom as an example, the gestation period of a goat is two months, while that of an elephant is about 21 months! Did I hear someone say Wawu! While it is not right to terminate a pregnancy, in writing you can decide that an article is not worth pursuing or it is not yet time to follow through with a particular project. It may be that you have to keep it in a special folder and let the passage of time strengthen your resolve or give you the required experience to discuss the subject.
To sum it up, this period is the process of developing and fine-tuning your ideas so that they are of the required quality. Also, it can be a phase of discarding or deferring some ideas and projects. However, this is not the end of the process. After all, what is the benefit of a child that never leaves the womb?
3. Delivery: “This day is a day of trouble and rebuke and blasphemy; for the children have come to birth, but there is no strength to bring them forth” Isaiah 37:3
There are few things more than frustrating than passion that cannot find expression. The words “trouble”, “rebuke”, “crisis” are exact representations of the situation. From the passage, the problem is not with the conception, neither is it with the gestation period. In fact, the children have come to birth. In other words, the ideas have been tested, well thought out and developed. However, there is no strength to bring them forth. What a tragedy.
This phase, just like the previous two, is very important. If the process of delivery is not well orchestrated, the idea can become a stillbirth. After you have taken all the pain to get ideas and incubate them, you must realize that your job is not yet over. You need to birth the dream. You need to birth the vision.
For some, the fear of people’s opinions, feelings of inadequacy and obsessive desire for perfection are reasons why their dreams are still in the womb years after they have fully formed. Several people have unpublished novels, skits and scripts because they have not taken the extra efforts to deliver them. Challenges like lack of funds and a lack of visibility have also stopped the “children” of several people from seeing the light of day.
There is no single solution because the problems faced are not cut from the same cloth. However, for every challenge that you are facing, there are several others that have overcome (. Seek ways to connect with them. If your problem is your writing style, you might need to buy books or attend seminars. If your challenge is a lack of visibility, you would need to read books that deal with improving your online and offline presence. You get the idea, right?
However, you don’t have to wait for the time when you are perfect to start. “Those who wait for the perfect weather will never plant seeds…” (Ecclesiastes 11:4). So today, decide to start that blog, write that book, edit that script… use the gifts that God has given you to expand His kingdom! Write, Writer, Write…!!!
Now, it’s your turn to give feedback. What processes do you go through before you write? How do you ensure that your ideas grow from your mind to your paper? Are there any materials, websites or courses that you have found helpful in your journey as a writer? In what way has this article helped you? How do you intend to make use of the lessons you have learnt?
This is just the beginning though. Next week, we will consider a very important matter in our journey as writers. I am expectant! *insert wide-smile emoticon* Thanks for reading. Feel free to share.