Tag s | Creativity

A Writer’s Beatitudes

In the famous “Sermon on the Mount” passage in the Bible’s Gospel of Matthew, Jesus presented a series of eight “beatitudes.” Each was a saying that turned conventional wisdom on its head, showing how in God’s eyes the oppressed are blessed and the despised are prized. No one can improve on those inspired beatitudes, of course. But what if we tried to capture their perspective and redirected them to apply specifically to the writer’s life? Such as:

Blessed are the writers, for to write is to create, and to create is to reflect the image of God.

Blessed are those who write in weakness and pain, for their honesty and vulnerability will enrich their writing.

Blessed are those who are humbled by success as well as failure. One is sun, the other rain; both are needed to grow.

Blessed are those who do not love their own words too dearly but hunger and thirst for helpful criticism and accept the work of an editor with wisdom and grace, for they will be valued.

Blessed are the writers who are readers, for whom books and stories and articles are their food and drink, for they will be filled, and out of the abundance of their hearts and minds they will write.

Blessed are those who delight in non-monetary rewards, for they will be richer than those who write only for money.

Blessed are those whose manuscripts are rejected, for (like saplings that withstand the storm) they will be strengthened by adversity.

Blessed are those who seek God’s glory more than their own, who are warmed by their names in print, but set aflame by a spiritual truth well expressed, for great is their reward in heaven.

Do you see yourself in any of the above? Would you delete or revise any? What “beatitudes” would you add to the list?

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Create Magic with Words

Years ago, I took my five-year-old daughter to Toys R Us to meet “Barbie.” “Barbie” turned out to be a cute and charming teenager who, yes, looked like the classic blonde image of the doll. She wore a pretty pink gown. I expected a lot more fanfare around this event. …

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Be Careful Little Hands What You Type

Just as those involved in Christian ministry are committed to serving God as “his hands and feet” on this earth, Christian writers are similarly motivated, giving a voice to God’s work and communicating his grace and love to a hurting world. But just as some ministries can veer off the …

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Book Reading in a Social Media World

At some point every writer confronts the trend of readers who would rather consume 140 characters in social media than 140 pages of words. Social media and smart phones change everything in our world and their impact on book reading and writing is substantial. At the same time social media …

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A Title Wave

Some writers find it hard to title their work; others have as much (or more) fun creating titles as they do writing articles, stories, or books. So, just for fun, I asked some of my colleagues and clients: “What title of a nonexistent, imaginary, unwritten, or unpublished work do you …

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Creative Boundaries

Creative people usually don’t like being told what to create or what not to create. Similarly, explorers and researchers don’t like being told, “Don’t look there,” or “Explore over here.” By nature, they follow their training and instincts from place to place and thought to thought. As a writer, while …

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40 Days with One Composition

For the last few years I’ve used the forty days of Lent as an auditory discipline. I try to listen to one collection of music during the entire season. This year’s choice was Franz Joseph Haydn’s “The Seven Last Words of our Savior on the Cross.” I listened to the …

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Creative or Effective? You Decide

Very early in my working life, I was involved in advertising sales for a radio station.  Probably because I was pretty much a “blank slate” back then, I remember the first advertising seminar I attended like it was yesterday. People who know me well, might smile (or roll their eyes) …

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