‘Why the Words Come’ with Deborah Hining

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Today it is my pleasure to host Deborah Hining in the Storage Room. Deborah and I met several years ago through our editor, and I am continually impressed by Deborah’s talent as an author and her generosity as a human being. The thing I like best about her novels is the way she seamlessly incorporates faith into the story and leaves the reader feeling enriched by the experience. Without further ado, here is Deborah Hining with some thoughts about why the words come…..

People sometimes tell me that they would like to be a writer, but they can’t get it together enough to sit down and write: they have ideas but lack the discipline to put them down. Or they know what they want to say, but they can’t find the words to say it. I know exactly what they mean. I, too, lack discipline. I have few ideas and my thoughts are fuzzy. I am a dullard of the first order.

Most of my writer friends are disciplined and smart. Their thoughts are clear. They can express an idea lucidly, easily, without having to write and rewrite dozens of times. They find a story, and they go to the trouble to outline it, paying attention to plot and structure before they even begin the real writing. They consistently sit down every day and do not get up again until at least a thousand words have graced the page. I admire these writers and envy their clarity, talent, and discipline.

Yet, somehow, I do manage to get a book written now and then, and in the end, I am always pleased with what I have written. My secret? It’s the same, simple secret of everyone who  “somehow” makes it happen. I pay attention to my muse. I let it have its way with me. I let it take over and tell the story it wants to tell, and despite my lack of discipline, my fuzzy thoughts, my laziness, I am a writer because I give in to the impulse to write.

According to Elizabeth Gilbert in her book, Big Magic, a genius is not a person who is  especially gifted, but rather it is a (non-human) being, a muse, if you will, that literally brings a gift of vision. When people have a creative idea, they have been gifted that idea by a muse. If a person cooperates and allows his or her muse to bring the idea to fruition, then that person becomes an artist. That means that an artist is really nothing special, but merely a cooperative facilitator of the creative process. No matter how talented, educated, or disciplined a writer is, in reality, she might be little more than a secretary, taking notes dictated by her muse. Continue reading

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