Reading and writing go hand in hand. Even though I have not written much in the past several months, I have read quite a bit. I have been carried away to other fascinating times and places thanks to several outstanding reads. Now, as I return to my writing, the literacy cycle nears the point where it is fully connected.
The other piece that is required of a writer to bring things full circle, a piece that fits somewhere between and among the reading and the writing, is the noticing. Being aware of what is going on in our surroundings, and focusing on the details of those happenings – that is the first breath of life for our writing.
And it brings life to our hearts as well. Oh, the joy of being aware of the little things, the quiet things, the connections – all around us.
Then, when we are able to capture the significance of our noticing – to uncover the understanding of why it is important – and when we discover a way to make those specific observations of our lives translate into meaningful words that speak to others, then our writing finds its purpose.
Whenever this happens in my writing, I know it is not through myself. I am thankful that our God reveals His world to us each day. And I am grateful for the words that come, and the peace that those words can bring.
These thoughts are from the author Tayari Jones as she begins her writing routine with a prayer:
I start my daily prayer with a message of thanks and gratitude. I list all the things that have already been given to me to make this writing possible. When you think about it, we have already been given so much toward this dream. I give thanks for everything– the small writing table, the project idea. … I always remember to express my gratitude for the gift of writing itself. By gift, I don’t mean talent, but just the joy and possibility writing offers me, as a human being… the privilege of literacy.
In the second part of my prayer, I ask for greater focus, discipline, and endurance. I also pray to be rid of toxic thoughts and feelings like ego, ambition, jealousy and fear. I ask to be purged. I ask that the story I am writing serve a higher purpose, that I be given words that will be healing to someone else.