I spent the morning writing this devotional to the 100+ members of our Words For The Journey mailing list (Rocky Mtn. Region). For my faithful blog readers who share my love of writing, and even those that don’t, I’m including it below, in the hopes it might be helpful (I believe it applies “well” beyond the world of writing).
“Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; And you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. Why spend money on what is not bread and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what it good and your soul will delight in the richest of fare.” (Isaiah 55:1-2)
“If you dip your pen into a dry inkwell, don’t expect the letters to take shape and stick. You can’t write a fresh word from a empty well.
I have one simple, but profound question for your pondering today: Are you trying to write from a dry well? Does your spirit feel parched, your heart numb, your passion dissipated? Ever sit at your computer determined to craft something amazing, and—after staring at the screen for an hour—you realize you got nothin’?
Put the deadline to the side, for now. Step away from the voice that whispers, “You really should write something today…” Put down the shoulds and oughts and to-do lists. Instead, grab your Bible, maybe a journal, and a chunk of uninterrupted time (Yes, it DOES exist). Or pull out your headphones, crank on some music and head outside for a walk (Yes, you CAN). Your writing needs to come from a never-ending spring of life. One that infuses you, reignites your passion for life, awakens every cell and emotion, and then spills out in what you pen, effectively nourishing readers who likewise find their wells a little dry.
Consider this fair warning: I’m going to be all over you to put a premium on this part of your writing life. Your ongoing relationship with God needs to be supreme, the non-negotiable deadline of your day. Five minutes or fifty, that’s up to you to determine. All I’m saying is that the publishing world and her readers don’t need another dry, empty writer. Instead, they need—they’re begging for—pregnant prose bursting with hope and truth and tension and authenticity. We need writing that flows from a legitimate source. A source that, in fact, does not begin and end with the writer herself. Ultimately, if you are your only source of inspiration, it’s only a matter of time until your inkwell dries up for good.”