Thursday, April 12, 2012

Why Creative Writing?

Why do I do it?  That’s a question with several answers. 

  • I write because I read books that gave me direction.  I read many books but two books in particular creative writinginfluenced me to start writing again.  Yes, again.  I had stopped writing anything but my business newsletter.  The books that inspired me are not writing books, nor are they books that will necessarily inspire you to write, but they might help with another need in your life.

The first, by Luci Shaw, is a book that can be explained by the title.  If you live life too cautiously, what are you missing? 

The Crime of Living Cautiously: Hearing God's Call to Adventure

  The next, is a completely different sort of book.


Leading on Empty: Refilling Your Tank and Renewing Your Passion

Leading on Empty focuses on burnout, specifically the story of one pastor’s burnout and what he learned and what changes result from that time in his life.  One of the questions the book asked me was what do you want to be doing in 20 years.  My considered response:  I want to write.  Somewhere along the way in life, I had a dream to write, but it was pushed aside for other things.  This book prompted me to resurrect the dream. 

  • I write because a dream without action is a dream unfulfilled.  No, I am not a full-timer writer now, but I may be in 10 years . . . or not.  What I am doing now is acquiring the tools and techniques I need to be a better writer, and practicing.  Practice does not insure success, but those who succeed never do so without practice.  Practice has ancient precedent:

Study to show yourself approved to God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15, AKJV. (Emphasis added.)

Practice also has modern support.

Outliers: The Story of Success
  • I write because I have trouble finding books that I want to read.  Writers are told to write the book they want to read.  I find so few books that I want to read that I started writing my own.  And now that I’ve started writing, I have also started reading books I never would have read in the past and many of those authors encourage me to write and write better.  Two novels which fit that criteria are:


Bel Canto (P.S.)


  • I write because I want answers to questions.  I ask a lot of questions.  Why did he do that?  What was going through her mind?  What happened to cause this event, that action?  I sit and think about the answers and sometimes that takes me in the direction of a story or an essay.


  • I write because I am curious, although maybe that’s the same thing as wanting questions answered.  Curiosity, however, leads me to explore areas in which I formerly held no interest.  I want to know how things work.  I want to know more than I do now.  That’s why I’m reading commentaries and trail guides and dissertations, why I’m buying books on horses in the 9th century BC, and why I read geology books, and archaeology books, and wild flower and insect books.

Here are a few of those: 

The Horseman of Israel: Horses and Chariotry in Monarchic Israel

Butterflies of North America (Kaufman Field Guides)
Forager`s Harvest A Guide to Identifying, Harvesting, And Preparing Edible Wild Plants [PB,2006]
Roadside Geology of Ohio (Roadside Geology Series) (Roadside Geology Series)
National Wildlife Federation Field Guide to Insects and Spiders & Related Species of North America
Archaeology and the Old Testament

What motivates you?  I like hearing what causes others to change direction.  Send me your comments. 

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