Sunday, August 15, 2010

Writing from the Heart: Hearing God's Voice

So many people ask writers "Where do you get your ideas, your inspiration, the desire to put words on paper -- or into cyberspace?" Often it's from a child. Maybe it begins with the request for a bedtime story. Maybe it stems from something funny a child says or does. Maybe it comes from God's voice -- that still, small voice hidden deeply in the writer's soul.

Way back in the dark ages (or so my grandchildren think). when I was in high school, I took Jr. English Composition from a teacher we referrred to as "Carrot Top." She was quite a character. I may have to put her in one of my books. Anyway, every day, five days a week, when we arrived in her classroom we found a title on the chalkboard. "My Bedroom" or "If an Ancient Greek Came to Anderson." Our job was to produce an outline, then write an essay on the topic of the day, proofread and complete it neatly.

We'd get those essays back with many notes in red -- "watch those passive verbs, where's your outline? write in complete sentences "-- and the notes went on. My friends and fellow students complained on a regular basis (among ourselves, that is). We only had 50 minutes to get the job done. Did she think we were speed writers?

I look back on that class now and consider it one of the best courses I ever took. Was God's quiet voice in this? Absolutely. It helped prepare me for deadlines -- especially daily newspaper deadlines.

Before I could declare English and jorunalism majors at Ball State University, I had to pass the dreaded English Qualifying Test.I'd been warned about how tough it was. I automatically started the essay portion with an outline. Later I learned that anyone who didn't, didn't pass the test and had to take it over and over and over until they got it right.

Thank you "Miss Carrot Top." No problem. My outline finished for the essay part of the test, I could write the essay. Sailed right through it. Thanks, "Miss Carrot Top."

When I took the grammar section of the test I needed to diagram some sentences. Since I was an older student, I outlined the sentences quickly using the "old fashioned" method of diagramming. The students who learned a more modern method in high school failed the test.
"Thank You Lord for seeing to it I got the education I needed." I believe I heard a "Well done" from that still, small voice.

I had a hard time coming up with a topic this time, and it probably shows. But I believe that my inspiration comes from God, so I prayed before I started writing. I want to write for His glory, because He has called me to write. Because He has given the desire and the ability to do so.

I wonder, where do you find inspiration? Great ideas? I'd like to read your answers to those questions. Please take a minute to reply.

Pat Radaker


  1. Pat, definitely hurting women who share their stories. Then the Holy Spirit whispers how to "novelize" them best.

    Just recently a house asked me for a second idea (we'd just contracted on the first) and it was hard to wait for God's idea. How glorious when He shared it!!

    Blessings, dear one.

  2. Your post reminded me of how uniquely God deals with each of us so we are prepared do to what he wants.

    One place I find inspiration is from being outside. Ideas come "out of the blue" at me when I am outdoors. I've outlined entire stories and "see" many of the scenes play out in my mind in a matter of a few hours spent in a nearby park.