How To Write in Tandem With The Holy Spirit
John ShoreBesides here on Crosswalk, John blogs on JohnShore.com.
- 2008 Apr 26
I get a fair amount of questions/input around the dynamic of writing in conjunction with God. So I thought I'd burble out a little sumpin' sumpin' about that particular phenomenon.
First of all, if you're trying to do any sort of creative work, you don't have any choice but to access and stay with the Holy Sprit. You have to connect to God within you and let it work through you if you hope to write anything more interesting or substantial than whatever you could scrape together with your normal, everyday brain.
Your normal, everyday brain is great for doing taxes, returning videos on time, and remembering why you shouldn't attack your boss in an elevator with a stapler. It's generally useless, though, when it comes to creative work. For creative work, you've got to give it up for the source of all creativity.
The key to successfully doing that -- to truly divesting yourself of what really does amount to all control over your writing -- is trust. You have to trust in the quality of whatever God produces through you. The thing that most often causes writers to choke is thinking too much about the end result of their work: they wonder if it will be good enough, smart enough, clever enough, engaging enough. But thinking about all that sort of stuff is like taking a boat out into the water and then shooting a hole through its floor. You're sunk before any of the fun can even begin.
Writing has to be about the means, not the end. And the key to experiencing creatively rewarding means is not worrying at all. You can't create if you're worrying about being creative. You aren't creative. God is creative. The Holy Sprit within you is creative. You aren't: You can barely tie your shoes without accidentally snagging your thumb in a tourniquet. So let The One Creative Power use you to do his creative thing. All you have to do is ride the train of blessed phenomenon to wherever in the heck it takes you.
The key is to trust that train will take you somewhere new, good, and exciting. Don't worry about the results of what you write: that kind of evaluation is for uptight teachers, loser supervisors, pursed-lipped Pharisees. Worrying about the quality of creative work is the mortal enemy of creative work. So don't. Don't do that to yourself. Don't do it to the creative spirit within you. It can't be anything but a waste of time.
When you want to write, poise yourself with your pen in hand or keyboard beneath your fingers, close your eyes, open your heart and spirit, keep them open, and then wait.
Pretty soon you hear that distant train whistle blow. Then you hear the train coming closer.
Then it's upon you, and you catch onto its rail -- and then go, cat, go.
Try a little creative commenting here.