Tuesday, November 5, 2019

When Words Are Scarce by Emily Conrad

Blank Postcard

Writers write.

That’s the only qualification we have to meet to call ourselves writers: we must write.

It sounds easy, but writing is much more complicated than a two- or three-word sentence.

In order to write, we make space in our schedules and we take care of ourselves so we can have both the time and the energy. But, even when these variables are under control, we sometimes lack the spark of inspiration.

Even if we want to write, even if we sit down to write, words do not always appear on the page.

I would know. It’s November, and I’m still trying to wrap up a manuscript I started in February and hoped to finish before August. Entire weeks have gone by without my adding to the word total of the work in progress.

But after months of struggle, on October 27th, I wrote more than 4000 words. That’s more than double what I usually can write—on a good day. What’s more, this standout day is part of a larger streak, where I wrote 24,000 words in just over two weeks. That's an incredible run, considering the first 58,000 words took me about eight months.

So what happened?

God answered a prayer.

As a Christian writer, I’m concerned that my words would honor Him. When I pray about my writing, that tends to be the direction my petitions go.

Lord, whatever I write, may my words bring You glory.

I still want my words to bring God glory, but I've realized now pride laced that prayer. I had this underlying belief that I'd be able to write because of factors I could control. Difficult hours at (or avoiding) the keyboard proved me wrong.

I need God to provide words in the first place, and also for Him to shape those words in the way He desires to fulfill His purposes. So, about two weeks ago, I switched the focus of my prayer.

I prayed for God to give me words.

Ask, and you’ll receive. He's answered that prayer abundantly.

a blank open book

As I write this post, describing what happened, part of me feels like a disclaimer is necessary. This past year has brought some tough events, and it could be that I’ve made progress in healing. I’ve also been using some calming, inspiring routines, like burning a candle and listening to music.

And yet, as the words started to flow, I knew. I knew I’d just changed my prayers, and I knew that whatever tools God used to get me to this breakthrough, the resulting words are from Him.

Routines and moods and all the self-care in the world won’t result in words unless God provides them. God, the Master Creator, the Word become flesh, is the one who gives all good gifts, including any words we might be eager to give back to Him.

Writers write, but Christian writers never write alone.

As we pray for our writing, may we never neglect to acknowledge that we have nothing to dedicate to God that He doesn't give us first. May we humbly ask Him to provide inspiration and words and then ask that He would use those words when and how He sees fit.

Lord, creativity and inspiration come from You. I pray you would give me just the right words today for each project I approach, whether it's a novel, a blog post, or an interaction with a friend. Without You, I have nothing, so I pray you would provide all that I need to serve You. May all my words be pleasing to You and bring glory to Your name.


Writers write. It sounds easy, but writing is much more complicated than a two-word sentence. @emilyrconrad on defeating #writersblock as a #Christianwriter #seriouslywrite

God, the Master Creator, the Word become flesh, is the one who gives all good gifts, including any words we might be eager to give back to Him. @emilyrconrad on #writersblock and #writing #christianfiction for #seriouslywrite

Writers write, but Christian #writers never write alone. @emilyrconrad on #writersblock for #seriouslywrite #writetip

Photo credits
Blank postcard photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash
Typewriter photo by Florian Klauer on Unsplash
Blank book photo by Martha Dominguez de Gouveia on Unsplash

Graphics created on Canva.com

Emily Conrad headshotEmily Conrad writes Christian romance and a blog to encourage women of faith. Her debut novel, Justice, released from Pelican Book Group in 2018. She lives in Wisconsin with her husband and two rescue dogs. She loves Jesus and enjoys road trips to the mountains, crafting stories, and drinking coffee. (It’s no coincidence Justice is set mostly in a coffee shop!) She offers free short stories on her website and loves to connect with readers on social media.



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