Tag Archives: Literature

I’m Not Called to Write

16 May

Are you called to write?

That question has come up many times during the past fifteen months as I’ve worked on my first novel. At writing conferences, in blog posts, in emails on the ACFW loops-I’ve lost count of the number of times people have referred to being “called” to write, with not much discussion about what that means.

I’ve struggled with the concept, partly because I dislike undefined religious jargon. I’ve pondered-what does it mean to be “called” to write? Am I “called” to write? And if I’m not, does that mean I shouldn’t do it? Isn’t it okay to write just because you enjoy it? Does being “called” to write somehow elevate your writing in some way?

I thought about this for months. When I searched the Bible for verses about being called, I didn’t find anything that persuaded me that I’m “called” to write.

* I am (we are) “a chosen people … a people belonging to God, that [I] may declare the praises of him who called [me] out of darkness into his wonderful light.” (1 Pet. 2:9).
* I was called “to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth.” (2 Thess. 2:13–14)
* I was called to hope (oh, thank God). (Eph. 1:18, 4:4)
* I have been called (chosen and appointed) “to go and bear … fruit that will last.” (John 15:16)
* I’ve been called to fulfill the Great Commission: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” (Matt. 28:19–20)
* I have been “called according to his purpose … predestined to be confirmed to the likeness of his Son… .” (Rom. 8:28)

I have come to believe that I am called to one thing, and one thing only: to follow God.

I am not called to write. Writing is merely an expression of my calling. It is, I believe, a gift God has given me, and we are told to use our gifts to serve others. (1 Pet. 4:10)

Maybe I’m misunderstanding the concept, but I think a calling is something indispensable, undeniable, necessary, irrefutable. Something required of us.

And I don’t find anything in God’s word that convinces me that we are required to write. Instead, I find this…

Read the rest of the article here: I’m Not Called to Write.

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Nature and Writing

12 Apr

Writers! Are you looking for a unique opportunity to further your skills and meet some new writing friends?D.R. Leo

Check out this new endeavor by my friend, Darren Rome Leo:  Nature and Writing. From the website, “Whether you’re a serious writer, a dabbler, just curious, or devoted to another medium, our workshops offer inspiration, motivation, and real tools to pursue your goals.  Expand your creativity, see the world with a new lens, and apply it to your craft.”

Also, please feel free to share any writing workshops, groups, or programs that you have found helpful.

Happy writing! – JLB

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Slow Death of the American Writer? Not So Fast…

10 Apr

Here’s an interesting blog post I came across today, and had to share. It’s a rebuttal of Scott Turow’s NYT article titled, The Slow Death of the American Author.

A List of Things Scott Turow Doesn't Care About

Scott Turow woke up from his slumber recently to bark nonsense about Amazon’s acquisition of Goodreads on the Authors Guild blog, before being thoroughly eviscerated in the comments.

Undeterred, Turow sought out the considerably larger platform of the New York Times’ Op-Ed pages on Monday to decry The Slow Death of the American Writer.

On reading the latter, my first thought was: if Scott Turow didn’t spend so much time hating Amazon and pretending self-publishing didn’t exist, maybe he wouldn’t be so depressed.

It’s easy to poke fun at Scott Turow’s views. A child could de-construct his arguments, while laughing at how a practicing lawyer is unable to grasp the definition of the word “monopoly.” If you want a proper debunking of his Op-Ed, Techdirt do a good job, but I think there’s no real point attempting to engage Turow on this issue. His hatred of Amazon and fear of change is completely clouding his logic.

What bothers me about Turow’s obsession with Amazon and his opposition to change is not his blatant disregard for the facts (or the definition of words), it’s that he allows this Luddism to become all-consuming, blinding him to the issues that really matter to writers.

Even if we granted Turow his brain-dead thesis, we still have time before Amazon becomes The Great Evil and exclusively powers its website with the tears of exploited writers.

But there’s a bunch of really awful stuff happening right now that Turow ignores, and has been ignoring, since his term as Authors Guild President began.

Continue reading: A List of Things Scott Turow Doesn’t Care About.

The Block Party No #Writer Wants To Go To

25 Feb

lolcat of blocked user

We’ve all been to this neighborhood: Writer’s Block. It’s not even close to being a party. Check out this interesting article for ways to move forward with your writing, regardless of how you are feeling. Please share which tricks and tips have worked for you!

Stuck or blocked? How to keep writing anyway.

 

Don’t forget to check out these related articles:

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A definition of ‘hobbit’ for the OED | OxfordWords blog

22 Feb

A completely random post for this Friday:

A definition of ‘hobbit’ for the OED | OxfordWords blog.

 

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Matamata, La Comarca en la película de El Seño...

 

 

Staring Out the Window: Editing: Nothing to Cry About

20 Feb

Today, I’m featuring a great post from my friend Kelly’s blog. If you’re a writer or an editor, you’ll love it! Be sure to leave a note to let her know you stopped by. :)

Staring Out the Window: Editing: Nothing to Cry About.

~ JLBEnglish: Hands collaborating in co-writing or ...

A Random Poetry Experience

19 Feb

My Impressions of Three Poets Writing Three Different Styles While Relating To My Life Experiences.

Poems are like members of the opposite sex, often complicated, yet
Relatable, when you think carefully
How we’re really all the same inside our covers
Different environments and varying lifestyles and societal norms based
On gender
Yet the same human feelings, of
Love and jealousy, hope and despair
Too many to count all, at one sitting

Thinking of that makes me happy; I appreciate these strange works
Of art, which are transient and livingMimosa
Unlike journalism,
Cold and indifferent to the human condition.

Sipping a mimosa reading Husband by Miller Williams, I thought
How it helps to have a prop, drinking with the character, although it was
Sunny then and not at all the
Nighttime rejection and deception described.
The poem is my comfort zone, all the breaks
At the end of the line.
I am branching out, trying new things by
Suggestions of others more experienced than I.
This is my third favorite, not least favorite, I say, because it is still a good poem
Easily relatable, yet a little too easy — a challenge would be welcomed.

Picking up Recuerdo by Edna St. Vincent Millay, I think of Christmas, perhapsPortrait of Edna St. Vincent Millay (1933-01-14)
Because there is mention of a stable and also a fire
Not to mention the spirit of giving at the end,
But maybe also because of the Christmas music playing in the
Background
A hint of what’s to come.
The end-rhyme is familiar and comforting
Like the tree in the corner with all its lights winking
And the cat, warm and soft in my lap.
I’m not sure why anyone would ride the ferry all night
Back and forth like a loom shuttle, a seemingly pointless affair.
Perhaps they had more mimosas than I.
I deem this poem my second choice, it’s
Young and adventurous
Full of fun and memories of youth.

Flight.
Oh to soar among the clouds.
Or so I thought at first, now pleasantly surprised at the
Nostalgia I feel at the knowledge
Summer is long-gone and winter isG-190. The Swimming Hole (1884-85). Wallace is...
Peeking in through my windows.
I love the fact Greg Pape makes no mention of anticipating sex
Only seeming as well to be pleasantly surprised at his female companion’s
Abandonment
And enjoyment of nature in its simplest form
Seeking to contain
Only the memory, never the girl.

I’ve found my favorite, it’s abundant of treasures
Words pregnant with importance and delectable descriptions
Like a film you watch over and over, yet always
Finding something new.

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