Monday, June 17, 2013

Creative Best Series: Seven

Annette M. Irby
Hey everyone, Annette here. We've spent the last several Mondays focusing on the amazing passage of Galatians 6:4-5 in the Message translation. Today, let's see how the following phrase applies to being our creative best: 

Each of you must take responsibility

Our calling to write came with a mantle of responsibility. There's a temptation to sometimes see writing as a hobby we can “get to when we want.” But, the Lord calls us to take it seriously. Still, it's not all hardships, is it? Check out the sometimes “fun” responsibilities we have as writers:

~ Feed your creativity. What inspires you? Movies? Reading? A walk on a late spring day? Take the time to do that. This is your responsibility. No one either 1) knows when your creativity needs refreshing and/or 2) can refresh your creativity for you. But what fun! Enjoy this one.

~ Know your craft. There are so many “no-no’s” in writing. Sometimes so much so that our words can get stifled in the telling of our tales. After we know the rules, when we’ve proven yourselves, we can break the rules. But we have to prove competence first. Get your hands on the books and tools that will work for you. We can’t skimp on this responsibility.

~ Read your genre. We have to know our genre(s) well enough to determine if we’re meeting readers’ expectations. They pick up a Christian fantasy, you want to give them what they want. It’s your responsibility to know your genre.

~ Know what’s out there. Reading in your genre will also make you aware of what’s out there. When you’re assembling your proposal, you’ll need this information. If you’ve actually read the comps you’ll be able to compare your work with them intelligibly rather than relying on summaries.

~ Commune with God so you’ll have something to give your readers. Your relationship with God needs tending, like a garden. We can’t get so busy with our to-do lists we neglect spending one-to-one time with the Lord. As writers (just like in any position in the body of Christ) we must serve from our overflow. It’s our responsibility to get into a position to be filled up, then as we sit down to write, we work from the overflow.

~ Love your reader. As Christian writers, we are ministers. The most effective ministers love their flock. Let’s be shepherds after God’s own heart, caring about our readers.

~ Pray for your reader. Part of loving our readers is praying for them. Who else will if we don’t? Ours is a unique perspective. The written word is powerful. God can use us to change lives. What a privilege. If we pray for our readers, we’ll better address those needs, point them in the right direction, encourage them, offer hope.

Called to be a writer? Write! If God asked you today if you’ve been responsible with your calling, taken it seriously, how would you answer? There’s grace, both to cover us in our weaknesses as well as to empower us for the future. Avail yourself of that grace.

Take responsibility to be your creative best!

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  1. Some of these items I do on a daily basis, others not so much. Thanks for the reminders, Annette. Love this series! :-)

    1. Thanks, Dora! Me too. ;) (on the consistency issue) God's been speaking to me through this series too. Funny how that happens. :)

  2. I need to put this as an infographic so I can post it on the wall and read it every day. Great practical steps to help us meet our responsibilities. Thanks for this, Annette!

    1. That's a great idea for accountability. I used to keep a printout of Galatians 6:4-5 on my desk. Somehow the MSG Bible gets to the heart of it. Write on!

  3. These are wonderful reminders, Annette. I agree with Dora, some I do regularly, others, I need the little push. Thanks muchly for this.

  4. Thanks, Tanya! I'm in the same boat. Good thing we have each other for encouragement. :)

  5. I do like that idea of the infographic, Annette. All good points. You'd think they would come naturally, but we (I) do need the reminders.


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