My Writing Proceedure: Do I write as the ‘Bug’ bites?
No! - Well maybe ‘yes! – if the ‘Big’ bites.
Trouble is most of the ‘biting Bugs’ for this writer, at least, are toothless, fickle or squashed.
So, how do I write?
Being a minister for over forty years I’ve preached nearly every Sunday and sometimes twice on that day. Add to that Bible studies, youth, women and men’s talks I needed more than ‘Bugs’ to bite. It ultimately came to discipline and appreciating my people. Having a great resource book, the Bible, plus knowing a little about life and the joys and sorrows of my people gave me a framework. Sometimes issues arose from the community or world scene which stirred me to support, defend or oppose. However it all came back to the discipline of forming the material to be presented.
When the time came to be serious about writing Devotional material I had to approach it in a similar manner. There were word length requirements when I submitted to Upper Room Magazine. They really gave me my first real opportunity outside my denominational paper. When multi-published Debra White-Smith accepted some of my prose and poetry for two of her books on marital relationships I had to learn other arts of discipline. It is called pruning the excess and selecting the most striking way to say what I wanted said.
Out of all this grew a desire to let others into my convictions about the Lord Jesus, His Word and its transforming grace and power. Being a procrastinator I needed more that a desire. I needed the motivational incentive of my wife. Because she is a multi-published novelist and I went with her to various conferences, I met certain publishers. Enter Rochelle Manners of Wombat/Even Before Publishing books (now Rhiza). This lovely enterprising young woman was willing to give me a chance to publish some themed 31 Day Devotionals I’d put together.
What did I first present to her? ‘Children, God’s special interest’ and ‘From Eden with Love’ The latter is about what I discerned in the Scriptures about God’s heart for married couples. The debates about so called ‘marriage equality’, seeing marital breakdowns and the ignorance about God’s purpose re marriage fired me up to write. (Was this a ‘bug’ or a ‘whip’?) The one on Children stems from the joy I’ve had as a parent and grandparent combined with stories of child abuse.
The discipline I needed to write these and other devotionals was to plough through the concordance on all the relevant information it offered. Then it was ‘sifting, sorting, selecting and shaping it, plus seeding it’ with my own insights and experiences. It goes without too much saying that all this had associations with editing, cutting, pasting, tears and sometimes whoops of joy. Then comes the hopes, the fears and the waiting after it is sent to the publisher.
I’ve had the privilege of having four other devotional books printed. Each one encompasses some aspect of my conviction about God’s Word and life and faith. You can check them out on my blogsite. http://rayhawkinsauthor.blogspot.com.au
Would I write my heart even if no one wanted to publish what was written? Yes! For the following reasons:
i) It is good discipline for my soul as I research, especially the Scriptures. ii) When I’m long gone to glory someone might read them and be helped. iii) Then again there is the world of ‘the web’ which I believe Christians should make better use of in sharing their faith and convictions.
I will share some challenges Devotional writers face when next I have the opportunity to put words onto your computer through the grace of ACW. Ray (wanting the ‘bugs’ to bite) Hawkins.