The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug. **Mark Twain

Friday, June 26, 2009

Jerry B. Jenkins, Writing for the Soul

I hope you schedule reading time into your writing day. Good writers are also good readers.

One of the greatest values of reading other writers is the connection we make with their lives. Writers are lonely people. We quietly walk around the library doing research. We quietly look through books on sale at the bookstore. We quietly sit at our computers doing more research or trying to solve the next mystery so we can put it in our new book.

If we don't make connections with other writers we can become stale and lose the fire in our writing that touches the reader. I've been reading Jerry Jenkins book, Writing for the Soul. In the chapter, Keeping the Goal in Sight, he talks about being in New York in 2001 when the Twin Towers were attacked.

"Months later we visited Ground Zero, a hole too big to comprehend until it was brought into perspective by the sight of a cement truck at the bottom that looked like a toy.

I was struck that our job as writers is to provide that kind of perspective, touch points to make clear the enormity of the themes we examine. Though we may be writing fiction, if our focus is clear, we reveal reality in all its pain and joy. And as inspirational writers, we have a duty to do justice to a worldview that may bend but will never be crushed under the weight of hopelessness.

There is a place for the stark reality of the kind of writing that despairs of the seeing hopelessness of man's inhumanity to man. And while we must not flinch in the face of such a bleak worldview, our burden, our task, our privilege is to represent hope. That doesn't mean Pollyanna stories in which everyone lives happily ever after - at least this side of heaven. People still suffer. Innocents still die. But we are believers, and if we cannot crack the door to hope, we dare not call ourselves inspirational writers."

Wow! Jerry - how true. I encourage you to get his book. You can use the link in the sidebar.

God has called you to write,


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