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Monday, December 14, 2009

What Writing Seven Blogs in Seven Days Taught Me.

Most people who write consistently recognize that doing so gets words on the page: the more you write . . . the more you write. It's a truism. Writing solely from inspiration or waiting for "the magic the to happen" slows the writing process. That's what I was doing prior to the Seven Days initiative.

Last week I noticed a particular dynamic at work. Writing daily opened me to paying more attention to how an ordinary day is packed with intriguing stuff to write about. Every day is full of interesting ideas, encounters with people, creative opportunities lying in wait for expressing, natural wonders and weird confluences of events, thoughts and experiences just showing up.

In the process, I also realized my "noticing apparatus" was dulled and needed tuning.

It became clear to me that when you have to write to be read, you start to look for what might be interesting. You become more mindful of the treasures lying camouflaged in the mundane and ordinary. I realized this noticing is similar to the way visual artists see light and shadow. They look at a scene and notice what is there in a nuanced way well beyond what the untrained eye sees. Similarly, musicians hear sounds and rhythms in daily life the untrained ear never notices. It is a matter of paying attention and learning what to notice.

I started to notice more because I had to. It was stimulating and refreshing.

Secondly. I am becoming more in touch with my writing "voice," more at home with it. I am noticing I have something to say and a way to say it. I like watching the words unfold on the page in a design that says something. I notice how I use words and structure ideas. I love being surprised when I stumble into a turn of phrase or way of thinking about something fresh to me. I love the creativity of it: empty page, then full page. And seeing my patterns of thought centers me. Having ADD, I need such focussing.

Lastly, I am always heartened when someone reads what I wrote, connects, is challenged or encouraged. Connecting and making an impact which moves people beyond where they are is how I am wired. It is deeply fulfilling when my words mingle beneficially with another person's life experience. Man . . .

So I am going to keep writing frequently and let the discipline shape me. May Jesus guide the process. May Jesus shape me for his use in it.
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