What's writing inspiration anyway?
Does a Christian writer's inspiration come from God? Is it holy? Or is it maybe just another way of saying, "Sit down and write and the words will come!"
I'm someone who's always believed in inspiration. When essays and research papers were assigned in school, I couldn't write the assignment until I felt inspired, sometimes not until the night before it was due. Know what I mean?
And I have always believed the Bible was the inspired Word of God. To me, the writers seemed like God's holy secretaries. Know what I mean?
But then one year in grad school, I took a class on teaching writing from a prof who, to my surprise, did not believe in inspiration of any kind, especially in inspiration by God. Next he declared he was an atheist. So for him, writing was a skill that anyone could achieve. According to him, anyone could write a bestseller if he or she just followed the rules. (He planned to do that someday, but I've yet to see his name on any list.)
The class wasn't large, maybe twenty or so of us, and discussion was a significant part of our grade. Not being the introvert writers are stereotyped to be, I was quick to share my beliefs with the class. I expected support from at least a few others. But no one else said anything, including two nuns in traditional garb who didn't even blink or nod.
After class that first day, I was sitting on the campus lawn eating my sandwich and apple lunch when the nuns joined me. They told me they agreed with me and appreciated my boldness, but they had a caution for me. Didn't I know about this prof? No, I didn't, but they did. And I guess the others in the class did, too. He had a reputation for never giving A grades to students who disagreed with him. And not believing in inspiration was one of his "things."
For the remainder of the class, I continued to be the only one who ever disagreed with him. And the inspiration issue came up again, even on the last of class when the prof pointedly asked me if I still believed in inspiration. "Of course," I said. "Would you like to hear my reasons one more time?" He declined.
I never saw him again. Universities are big places, full of tens of thousands of people. I'd like to say God intervened for me and I got an A. But I got a B+, my only grade in grad school not an A. But hey, you know what? I just now thought (inspiration?) – maybe God did intervene. That prof could have given me a C.
YEP! I'm a forever believer in inspiration, and have enjoyed many writing experiences that prove it to me. What about you?
PS – Next Friday I'll join hundreds of other writers at a great place for writing inspiration – the American Christian Fiction Writers Conference in Indianapolis. Hope to meet you there!