I would like to start by saying Thank You! This year’s Writing for a Change has been an enlightening experience. Sharon Ajao kicked us off with PUTTING FIRST THINGS FIRST where she discussed the importance of placing Christ above anything and indeed everything. Catherine helped us understand what it means to write words that inspire and transform people in PENNING WORDS THAT GIVE LIFE . Then, last week, Victor James Wahab, a writer who passes his message across with ease and humour shared on SPICING YOUR STORY . Today, we consider a theme that is dear to my heart. Here goes:
About two years ago, I wanted to start a blog. This blog. There were so many questions in my mind: questions about who would read and how I would handle the technical part of blogging. However, one main fear I had was how I would keep writing. From a random sampling exercise, I discovered several blogs that were started a while back that had become inactive. I didn’t want my blog to be one of such.
Away from writing, I have a deep affection for people who succeed over an extended period of time. I admire one-hit wonders, but there is something that triggers my heart when I hear of an artiste who released several chart-topping albums spanning decades. There is a tender feeling when I see a couple that is happily married years after they tied the knot. Those people, groups, and organizations that beat the odds and set trends consistently do something to my heart that I can’t explain well enough. This is where my fear of running out of steam came from.
I believe God desires sustainable success for His children in whatever field they are, so as writers, we must keep keeping on. How can I keep writing and not get exhausted? How do I run and not grow weary? I believe that to sustain the flow and prevent stagnation, you need to grow. G.R.O.W.
G: Get exposed.
“Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.” Proverbs 4:7
Writing is a skill, a craft, a profession. It is something that can be learnt. No matter which level of writing you find yourself, whether novice or expert or somewhere in between, to sustain the flow, you must be open to learning.
There are writers’ workshops that you can attend. There are books that you can read that teach you how to become a better writer. There are videos and podcasts that are centered on the subject of writing and its attendant branches. Get connected to these sources of learning.
The phase you are in as a writer would determine what your learning focus would be. In the initial stages of writing, you would be more concerned with the building blocks of writing – tenses, sentence structure and paragraphing, for example.
As you grow, you would need to consider your niche. That special place that you want to write from. What is your focus? As a writer, you should be focused on what you are called to do and where you are called to be. Studying on areas such as marketing, networking and branding would be needed as you climb up the ladder.
If you want to sustain the flow, you must increase your capacity by learning. You can’t draw from an empty well, or can you?
R: Remember your reason.
Writing for a Change is an avenue for Christian writers to learn. As a Christian writer, you have a reason why you are writing. For me, writing is a channel through which I express the mind of God in order to strengthen the saved and to save the lost.
In my final year in the university, I got involved in weightlifting. The people around me were into it, so I figured I could give it a try. The first day was great. I was lifting like there was no tomorrow. Well, tomorrow came and I was weak. My body hurt all over. Who send me? I stopped afterward. I cannot come and go and kill myself. Why did I stop? Because I did not have a strong enough reason.
The last few years have been busier for me. Trying to connect the dots. Finding time to write has not been easy. Also, there have been times I didn’t feel like writing. However, I remind myself that writing, for me, is more than a hobby. It is a calling.
The words of Mordecai to Esther are apt for this point: “For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”
Last year’s WFAC, I shared my thought process for writing, from conception to delivery. Read here: BIRTHING THE VISION
As a writer, it is important that you take notice of what is going on in your environment – physical and virtual. For example, there are events and occurrences in sports, politics, education, and entertainment that you can write about.
France’s World Cup win can be used to discuss how salvation is for the Jews and Gentiles, just as the team was made up of natives and immigrants. The political cycle of changing governors and leaders can be used to remind us that God’s reign has no tenure. You get the idea?
Also, you need to observe your audience. In Acts 17, when Paul was the meeting of the Areopagus, he made a reference to a quote by the Cretan philosopher Epimenides which they would have been familiar with. “For in him we live and move and have our being”. As Paul spoke, I can see some of the people looking at him intently and nodding. He got their attention.
W: Wait on the Lord
“Those who wait on the Lord will find new strength. They will walk (write) and not grow weary” Isaiah 40:31 modified.
As Sharon wrote in PUTTING FIRST THINGS FIRST, we must remember that our most important priority is Christ. Our ministry, in this case – writing, is an outflow of our walk with Him. It must not become the priority.
Having stated that, to be writers with enduring impact, we must wait on the Lord. He must be our guide – teaching us when to write, what to say and how to present it. We must be open to Him so that we can hear Him clearly. We must be obedient to Him when He calls us away from our writing table to the secret place. We must be ready to sacrifice our Isaac – writing if He demands it. We must learn to wait on the Lord.
Do you desire to sustain the flow in writing and in life as a whole, then you must learn to GROW. To G.R.O.W.
Thank you for following the series. Thank you for the comments. Thank you for subscribing (if you haven’t, you can do that now 🙂 ) God bless you. I am looking forward to reading from you.
Keep writing. Keep blessing lives. Keep making God proud! #WFAC2018
PS. I have started exercising recently (not weight lifting though); I have a strong reason now. To keep fit and ensure that the container is fit to carry the content and fulfill the purpose that the Creator assigned for it. Yeah yeah.
Now, an announcement…
For a while, I have been working on a book. It is nearing completion and I am really excited. In the days to come, you’ll get more information 🙂