When is the Best Time to Write? – Proverbs 14:23

It’s like asking a painter when he should choose the colors for his palette, or a chef when she should start working on a menu plan. When is the best time to start?

A better question might be, How can I predict when my super genius will show up – so minimal effort will give birth to amazing creations?

girl w watch. free.PublicDomainPictures. pixabay

Now is a good time

I parked under the Jerry’s Home Improvement sign last week, waiting for a man to show up with the car we were interested in buying. The window of opportunity for getting it to our mechanic was narrowing by the minute, but there I sat, tapping my finger on the steering wheel.

I was also concerned about my husband’s arrival. He felt the pressure of the ticking clock, as well. And I was uneasy about meeting a stranger alone.

A perfect opportunity, nearly

Instead of fussing about the inconvenience of it all, I chose to work on something I had more control over. I pulled my notebook out of my purse and found a blank page. It wasn’t easy corralling my thoughts at first, but I was determined to put some words on paper that might eventually morph into a blog post or a devotional for my publisher.

I found the unlikely location and out-of-the-ordinary scenery refreshed my thinking, and sure enough, ideas flowed. Now I have an inspirational message I can share.

Perfect situation or not, I can keep working. I can find some way to be productive. Like poking seeds into rich soil and tending the plants as they grow, my continued efforts will bring a profitable result.

“All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty” (Proverbs 14:23 NIV).

Now is a perfect time to write, and now I have another environment to write in – our newer car.

Kathy Davis

How I Won My First Writing Contest – Luke 13:18-19

I won my first writing contest at the age of eight. Here’s how I did it.

WhyILikeChristmas 1963

Eugene Register-Guard, November 1963

In 1963 my second grade teacher prodded her students toward entering the Register Guard’s “Why I Like Christmas” contest. I couldn’t resist.

Listening carefully to the contest rules about originality and not letting an adult help too much, I asked myself,

What can I say that has not been said?

I heard my classmates talk about all things Christmas, with anticipated gifts being the top of everyone’s list. Then there was the excitement of Christmas vacation, Christmas treats, and Christmas TV specials. What wasn’t to like about Christmas?

But since adults would be judging the contest, I needed to enlarge my perspective.

What do the judges want to see?

I searched my brain for clues to what the grown-ups in my life appreciated. Then I remembered my teacher’s enthusiastic response when I brought my baby sister’s hospital photo to Show and Tell. This was Lisa’s first Christmas – a perfect element to include in my story.

Then I visualized my grandmother, and her reminders to be thankful. There wasn’t much talk about gratitude during my peer’s Christmas discussions, so I knew it might be good to include it.

The tiny seed

Jesus said, “What is the kingdom of God like? And to what shall I compare it? It is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his garden, and it grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air made nests in its branches” (Luke 13:18-19 ESV).

It is part of the nature of God’s kingdom that something he created as small and seemingly inconsequential should contain the ability to grow into something larger than we are.

The award for my “Why I Like Christmas” essay was five dollars, but that small beginning led me to more writing and studying and learning and reasoning and growing. The value of writing is tremendous to me personally, and I have the added reward of seeing others encouraged by my efforts.

Recap

To come up with a winning entry, I suggest you

  1. Carefully read the rules.
  2. Try to know your judges and what they expect.
  3. Find a new angle, something from a different perspective that energizes or excites you.
  4. Encourage small beginnings. The gardener in the scripture took the tiny seed and cultivated it before it grew into something great. Keep writing.

by Kathy Sheldon Davis