Permission Granted!

Whenever I meet another writer, I’m always curious about is or her personal writing process. For example, I have one friend who writes always writes to music, which I find fascinating since I prefer to write in silence (or as close as I can get to it in my house!). Each writing process is so personal and suited to the individual, yet I am always encouraged and enlightened after someone shares their process with me. Every one of us does it differently but each way is effective.

Today I implemented something new into my writing process. Today I gave myself permission to write whatever I want to write. This may sound funny, it does to me, but nevertheless I needed to give myself permission or I’d stay stuck where I’ve been for so long. And it started because of a somber short story idea that came to me. It’s been rolling around in my brain for about a week or so, but because it didn’t fit in with my rigid, self-imposed guidelines, I didn’t give myself permission to write it or to see where the story would take me.

You see, somewhere along the way I got it into my head that if it wasn’t perfect, if it wasn’t upbeat, if it didn’t have x number of scriptures, if I didn’t say God or Jesus at least once in every line, then it wasn’t ministry. It’s not from anything that anyone told me. I didn’t hear it or read it anywhere. It was just a restriction I put on myself and on my writing. I came up with a concept of what I thought a Christian writer was supposed to be and I got stuck there. As a result, writing wasn’t as fun to me. It was becoming more like a chore or an obligation. I’m not sure when or how, but I forgot that life in Christ is about freedom and writing is about creatively expressing that freedom.

Today, however, I came to understand that writing is no different than any other aspect of life. When we share Christ with others, it’s not about spouting scriptures or saying God or Jesus in every other sentence. It’s about getting involved in the lives of the people around us and modeling Christ in the details of life – which are not always perfect or upbeat; about getting our hands dirty with the messiness of life. Every one of us does it differently but each way is effective.

With this new understanding, I feel so free. Free from the self-imposed limits I put on my writing. It’s not so much about writing what I think people want to hear anymore, although I do want people to read it. It’s about what it’s always been about really – being a blessing to those who read it through whatever story I’m given to tell and giving God glory through using the gift He’s given me. What a relief! I imagine this is something like what Paul felt when the scales came off his eyes! I am so excited to see where 2009 will take me through my writing!!!

Is there something you need to give yourself permission to do today? What better time than the beginning of a new year to let those scales fall off and step into the freedom that is yours in Christ! HAPPY NEW YEAR!