Wednesday, January 14, 2009

More Thoughts about Writing in 2009

Inspirational Thoughts on Focusing Your Work

I haven’t written a thing for three whole days. That’s not because I’m lazy, but because I’m enjoying a short break away with my husband. It’s midsummer in New Zealand and we’ve spent the last few days cruising the fjords, riding cable cars, paddling in lakes and driving through a dozen mountain villages.

I find it’s good to have a break from writing every so often. It often allows fresh creativity to arise and new purpose to surface. I found both of these in a most unexpected place.

While visiting a little town called Wanaka, we stopped in at a place called Puzzling World. This is a fun centre where children and adults can play with all kinds of puzzles, brain teasers and 3D games. It also includes rooms full of pictures and models that create the most amazing illusions. My first thoughts came to me while in the Tilted House.

A new Perspective
The Tilted House is a series of rooms whose floors have been sloped at a fairly steep angle. Steps, running water and furniture have been arranged to match the true horizontal level and the effect is downright weird. My head was spinning and people were hanging onto walls as they moved around. Have a look at the picture of Kevin and you’ll get a glimpse of what I mean. The painted man behind him is holding a plumb line showing the true level.

While I was moving through those rooms, my whole perspective was altered. I imagined what it would be like to live in a house that had floors like that. It was a new, unexplored world and while I would not recommend it as a life style, it reminded me that we tend to live in such a narrow field of experience. My prayer is that God will stretch me this year. That I will venture into new territories in my writing and be willing to experiment and try new things.

Finding our Way
The next thing that caught my attention was the maze that is attached to Puzzling World. This photo shows about a quarter of it. The goal was to find our way through the passages until we reached the blue tower in the corner. A big sign informed us to allow at least an hour to do this.

As we set off, I was reminded of what I shared in last week’s column: that God gives us a compass, not a map. Kevin and I were amazed (sorry) at how difficult it was to find our way through the passages. Dead ends, loops and no entries blocked us all over the place. Even so, we kept progressing towards the blue tower. Isn’t our writing often like that? We may find an opportunity and embrace it, only for it to fade away after a few months. Maybe we try our hand at a certain type of writing to find it doesn’t really suit us. However, the blue tower of our hopes and dreams is still sitting there, challenging us to reach it.

God will Help us
Have another look at the maze and note the bridges dotted here and there. When we climbed these, we got a view of the maze from the top and were able to plan which way to go next. I believe that God has given all of us a blue tower to work towards. The bridges are the time we spend with Him, when He shows us what to do next and inspires us to press on.

Define Your Dreams
I want to encourage you to define what your blue tower is. Do you want to double your output this year? Is there a specific website or publication that you would like to be published in? Do you want to complete a writing course that you started months ago? Once you have pinpointed your goal, set off towards it. You will encounter problems, dead ends and difficulties, but keep the tower in sight and keep heading in the right direction. You’ll be amazed when you look back and see the progress you’ve made.

Next week I’ll be sharing some thoughts on the different types of travel writing. Make a note to pop over for a look next Wednesday.

Debbie Roome works as a freelance writer from her home in New Zealand. Read some of her work at Suite 101 and Faithwriters.

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1 comment:

Tracy Ruckman said...

What a fun article, and a fun getaway!

You touched on several things I'm doing this very week - great inspiration, and there's a ton of wisdom here, too. Thank you!