ACW

ACW

Monday, 7 March 2016

Inspiration and Discipline by Mandy Baker Johnson

It's so easy to fall out of the habit of writing. A year ago, inspiration and discipline were on me and I wrote a couple of blog posts every week. It felt good.

But then my church did a 40-day fast and I chose to give up social media. At the end of that period, I struggled to write any blog posts as fear struck. Inspiration soon died with the thought: what will people think of me if I write this post? It was deadly.

I have Rethink Church and our own Amy Robinson to thank for getting me back into blogging. Rethink Church have a photo-a-day challenge (see picture) through Lent.

I took one look at it and decided to use the word prompts to write a daily blog post. If that didn't get me back into blogging, nothing would!

So far I've managed every day. For some of the word prompts, inspiration has been strong with me. For others, it has been a challenge and I've had to be disciplined to write.

I often go to bed pondering the word for the next day. Occasionally inspiration has come in the night and I creep into my study to jot down my thoughts. Mostly they make sense when I re-read them in the morning!

Bible verses, stories from my life, and using whatever images come to mind from the word prompt have all been useful in helping me write.

We are half-way through now and I will miss this challenge when it's finished. But I have re-learned a valuable lesson - just start writing and trust inspiration to follow.



Mandy Baker Johnson is a self-employed medical secretary who enjoys blogging and is working on an autobiographical book about deliverance from darkness and being healed from cerebellar ataxia and ME/chronic fatigue. She enjoys volunteering with a Christian charity working with women in the sex industry.

13 comments:

  1. Good advice Mandy. I found myself without inspiration for the biblical fiction book I am writing. So I decided to update my first two autobiographical books instead of that felt more accessible. Now I have done that I am beginning to feel ready to start on the biblical fiction again. I pray your inspiration continues

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  2. Absolutely. I guess if we can work 'who' we are writing for, it helps. I've been enjoying your posts as I've started writing again too! xx

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    1. Thanks for your encouragement Keren - and good to know you're back to writing too :) x

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  3. Well done for keeping going, Mandy. I guess this shows how valuable it is to get into a rhythm of writing - something I don't always find easy.

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    1. Thanks Fiona. I'm chuffed as I don't think I've ever really had a rhythm before this. Now I've found it, I'm going to try to keep it even when the Lent challenge is over.

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  4. I'm so glad you've been honest about the fear thing, Mandy. I am often sweating like a pig, in real turmoil, just before I hit that "Publish" button. Fear of what people will think can cripple us,and as writers, we cannot allow it to steal our calling. Great post...

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  5. The idea of a regular rhythm is what all the great writers say and yet the hardest thing to do. You are so right, though, in terms of just starting to write and trusting that something will happen! I tell myself 'you have to write some drivel for a few minutes before it all kicks in' and just hope it IS only a few minutes ...!

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    1. True Fran! The end result is usually worth it, even if you go to Aberdeen from Carlisle via Cornwall! x

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  6. I'm so glad this has helped! It's been great for me too, even though I'm not doing nearly so well as you at coming up with finished products - generally I have some notes or at least some thoughts by the end of a day. I want to carry on afterwards too, I wonder what we could use next?!

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  7. I'd love to carry on Amy, this has come at such a perfect time for me. I have done Five Minute Friday in the past but that's only one day.... We'll have to put on our thinking caps!

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  8. Thanks for your encouragement.
    I notice that you work with sex workers. I have a m/s for new adults about grooming and sexual exploitation. Would you know any beta readers up to helping wityh editing this project and keeping it real?

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