Words Tangled Up in God

For me, faith, writing, and recovery are intrinsically connected. These three very different things are intertwined, tangled threads of a beautiful tapestry.

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I wrote my first stories as a young boy. Growing up an only child left me ample time to employ my imagination. Through the years, my writing benefited from excellent teachers and mentors, many of whom I did not realize were influencing my creative prose at the time. In those years, Marshall High had a stable of phenomenal teachers. Most of us, me especially, did not recognize how good they were at teaching us.

Attending Marshall High School, my writing profited from the solid teaching of Mrs. Douglas and Mrs. Muchmore. Although dramatically different in their style and approach, both were adept instructors molding my skills even before I fully recognized writing as my calling. A dear family friend recently remarked that she could see Mrs. Douglas’ DNA on the way I write, particularly in the manner that I craft sentences and in the very deliberate, intentional organization of my story. Mrs. Muchmore served as one of my earliest encouragers, lauding the words I put on paper.

My Great American Novel should already be complete by now. But, it isn’t. Life threw me some unanticipated curve balls. That really irks me because I pride myself on my ability to anticipate. However, life takes detours in between here and now. All is not lost, albeit that it is different. Over the years I have managed to write a batch of stories, poems and even a couple of plays. My publishing success has been limited. I chalk that up to being my own fault.

The past three years, as a member of our local writers group, the Writers Guild of Texas, and through creating content for this blog, I have been able to rekindle my craft. It has not be easy. At times, it has been really rough. Telling a story isn’t simply a matter of putting a bunch of words on paper. Writing is a craft. Writing is a calling.

Like me, my writing has changed. I’m not the same writer that I was a quarter century ago. I’m not the same person. What I cared about writing about then isn’t what I care to write about now. But I still have stories to tell. Getting to know Jesus has affected my writing. For me, writing has very much become a form of worship. It has even become a means of ministry.

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Similar to my journey of faith and recovery, my writing remains a work in progress. Words can change the world. I believe that God uses the stories we tell for the good of His kingdom. At least, I believe He can. I don’t write in a vacuum. God has a plan for my writing. Sometimes, I am fortunate that He lets me in on it. But as is true with ministry most of the time, I simply need to be obedient and remain faithful in this creative calling.

Recovery impacts my storytelling too. The stories I care about clean and sober are not the same that appealed to me when I wrote drunk and high. Thankfully, sobriety has permanently altered my perspective. For me, I write with a greater purpose.

Faith, writing, and recovery. These 3 things remain intricately linked.

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Photos courtesy of Pixabay.

So This Happened Last Night…

On a hot Summer evening, a small crowd of faithful writers braved the sweltering July heat and gathered in the Basement at the Richardson Public Library  for the debut of “Separating Your Blog from the Herd“. “Separating Your Blog from the Herd” is a presentation put together by my fellow blogging cohort Kathryn McClatchy and myself in an effort to share our blogging experiences and insights with fellow bloggers. The Writers Guild of Texas was gracious enough to host our debut event.

Some of the folks in our audience were considering starting a blog for the first time, while others had a considerable amount of experience in blogging but were interested in learning new ways to improve their content, increase traffic, and improve reader engagement.

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Blogging is a legitimate and viable 21st century form of writing. If you like to create and communicate, blogging is an endeavor you can begin right now with very little, if any, financial investment (you’ll need a computer of course).  You can express your ideas, share your favorite recipes, tell people about a great book your read or movie that kept you pinned to the edge of your seat. Honestly, you can blog about anything you want. Your content is totally up to you.

Humans love to create and communicate.

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Having blogged for nearly a decade now, I have learned a lot since my first blog post. Most of it the hard way, through trial and error. So has my friend Kathryn. In putting our presentation together, we sought to communicate the relevancy of blogging as a writing medium and share our blogging journey with others so that they might benefit from our experience.

All in all, we had a great time and even a few laughs. The crowd was highly engaged, asked superb questions, and interested in learning more about blogging. We are grateful to our friends at the WGT for inviting us. Personally, I’m also grateful for my cohort, Kathryn, who put in a lot of time and effort to ensure we had great content to present. Thanks to the advancements of technology, we were able to collaborate virtually and work together as a virtual team in preparing for this fun event.

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Some images courtesy of Pixabay.