Writer’s Block

My heart is overflowing with a good theme; I recite my composition concerning the King; my tongue is the pen of a ready writer.” Psalm 45:1 (NKJV)

I am not a writer and I “don’t play one on T.V.”  I never intended to write a blog. I don’t write fiction, I don’t write poetry. So, how did I wind up doing this?

It has been almost a year now since I started writing this blog. I look back with utter amazement at what God has done in my life since that first post. For me, writing this blog started out as a terrifying experience. An extremely private person, the thought of putting my thoughts and feelings up for public debate and possible ridicule, just about did me in.  It was many months before I would allow what I had written to be searchable by the search engines.

So, how did someone who is not a writer, become one?  I don’t know. Only in the most general terms would I even consider myself to be a writer: a writer is someone who writes. I have no dreams of writing a great novel (or any novel, for that matter), a book of poetry, plays, or anything else with the goal of publication.  My only goal to say what I believe God wants me to say; He is then responsible to find someone to read it.

Case in point: “The Chrysalis Of Fear.”  God gave me a few phrases many months ago.  I knew that He wanted me to write them into a poetry format, but I don’t write poetry.  I must have tried half a dozen times or more to write something coherent, but was singularly unsuccessful, until last Saturday.  I pulled myself out of bed that morning, at my usual middle-of-the-night hour, and about half-way through my first cup of coffee God began to speak to me.  The cobwebs were still fully entrenched on the majority of my intellectual capacities, but God told me I needed to write about the chrysalis of fear–right now!

I have between eighty-five and ninety-five drafts waiting in my blog’s queue at any given time. God will give me a thread of an idea or a passage of Scripture, but no clear “go notice” as to what should be written or when it should be posted. Very rarely does what I write, end up as it starts. I can’t tell you how many times I will be writing along, thinking I am going in the right direction, and God has me do an “about-face.”

The draft (what little I had of it) for “Chrysalis of Fear” had been waiting patiently in my queue. I had “writer’s block,” if you will. I couldn’t make any headway; a testament to my numerous inabilities. It sat there until last Saturday morning, when God tapped me on the shoulder, mid-sip of coffee, and within the space of about two hours it was written, edited, and posted.

Now, there are many true writers out there who would say that what was written last Saturday bears no resemblance to “real poetry.”  I would have to agree with them, since I don’t have any idea how to write poetry in the first place. I do know however, that what wound up in that “poem” is what God wanted said. I am not planning on arguing with Him about whether or not it contained the basic elements of poetry.

What I have learned about writing, and myself, over this past year is not what I expected. When I started this little blogging adventure, I never considered that I would still be writing it a year later. I didn’t actually think at all. The fear of sharing personal thoughts and feelings was so overwhelming that all I could think about was getting something written, hoping that no one saw it. (See “Fear Factor“)  I hoped to be obedient to what I believed God wanted me to do, without it costing too much. How many times do we approach obedience to God in that manner?

Thank you to all those who have read, and commented on, this blog, You have been incredibly gracious and kind. Miraculously, some have returned to read again.  What an encouragement that has been.

The most important lesson of this past year has been how to be led by the Holy Spirit. Over and over again, it has only been when I have asked God what He wanted said, that the words came together into something coherent. There is no greater writer than the Holy Spirit. We have evidence of that every time we read the Bible. Each word, each story, was breathed into life by the Holy Spirit through the men God chose to write it down.

As long as I ask the Holy Spirit what He wants written, I will never have to contend with writer’s block. If something is not coming together, it is because He has not ordained its timing or I am not writing what He wants said.  I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Oh, and for the record, I have no plans to give up my day job. I will leave the writing of great literature to those whom God has gifted with the imagination and skill; those whom He has called to do so.  Thank you to all of you who have come along for the ride and have been such a blessing to me. You will never know how much that has meant.

It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door,” he used to say, “You step in to the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there is no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien, “The Fellowship Of The Ring

Copyright © 2011 by Susan E. Johnson
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