by Carolyn Miller @CarolynMAuthor
Recently I was reading through Psalm 45 when I noticed the last phrase of verse 1:
“My heart is overflowing with a good theme; I recite my composition concerning the King; My tongue is the pen of a ready writer.” (NKJV)
A ready writer.
Those last three words might vary from my particular version – perhaps your Bible says a ‘skilful writer’ or something similar, but the ‘ready’ aspect really struck me, with its sense of preparedness, of letting nothing slip. Matthew Henry’s commentary says of this particular psalm “The song was a confession with the mouth of faith in the heart concerning Christ and his church…of that Spirit of prophecy that dictated the psalm to David, that Spirit of Christ which was in the prophets.”
The poets in biblical times had to be prepared, ready for when a moody king (ahem, Saul) might want a song or a poem outlining their greatness, or when a more God-focused king might want a faith-building reminder of God’s accomplishments in the past. I imagine that much of their time would have been spent in contemplating such things, spending time in prayer and God’s presence to hear His heart, spending time in ancient manuscripts to remind themselves of the past, and then carefully crafting their words to best reflect God’s truth for today. All of these elements would have served to build within a plethora of praiseworthy phrases and words ready for when the king might need a song of encouragement and demand something immediately – with threats of imprisonment (or worse!) should such a request not be fulfilled.
Chances are we won’t be required to produce a psalm-like hymn to an insecure authority figure in our life (or maybe we will…), but I like to think that we are ready writers in the sense of being prepared, of knowing our subject matter to a degree that means our words can flow rather than be stilted and halting, that we can trust God and the leading of the Holy Spirit as we begin our times of writing in prayer.
So how can we be a ready writer?
· Being a ready writer might mean taking care to record those snippets of dialogue that come to us in the middle of the night, necessitating pen and paper by the bed, or a smartphone or voice recorder that can record those phrases of gold that tumble from our mouths as a song inspires us to find exactly the right words as we drive or we’re on a walk.
· Being a ready writer might mean taking this writing journey seriously so we carve out space in our houses so we can easily create, rather than treating our writing as an afterthought, hidden under layers of papers and bills and the stress of modern life.
· Being a ready writer might mean committing time each week to doing exactly that: writing, even without a deadline approaching.
· Being a ready writer might mean preparing to invest in quality resources and materials, and attending writer’s conferences and online writing seminars.
· Being a ready writer is about allowing God to speak to us, taking time to hear His voice, so our words can be moulded by the King of King for His use.
I’m trying to be a ready writer, and I’m sure you are, too.
What are your tips for being a ready writer?
Carolyn Miller lives in the beautiful Southern Highlands of New South Wales, Australia, with her husband and four children. Together with her husband she has pastored a church for ten years, and worked part-time as a public high school English and Learning and Support teacher.
A longtime lover of romance, especially that of Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer’s Regency era, Carolyn holds a BA in English Literature, and loves drawing readers into fictional worlds that show the truth of God’s grace in our lives. Her Regency novels include The Elusive Miss Ellison, The Captivating Lady Charlotte, The Dishonorable Miss DeLancey, and Winning Miss Winthrop, all available from Amazon, Book Depository, Koorong, etc