What can you see through paper? Grab a book or magazine and give it a try. Even the thinnest paper obscures the view to the point of bringing futility to the exercise. However, if we turn the dial of our attention to focus on the words on the paper, suddenly new worlds explode into view. Most of us experience this as we read the words others have published. We get an intimate look into the soul of the writer as we observe their passions, their fears, their dreams and more through the words on the paper.
Honest people will admit that they do not know themselves as well as they would like. They suspect their motives. They know that they aren’t what they want to be, but they can’t put their finger on why. They don’t understand their own passions, fears and dreams. Yet these same people can talk insightfully about their favourite writers.
I’m definitely not a math guy, but I can put one and one together and get two. I made this little equation. If I take the fact that writing gives me insight into the writer and add the material I write myself, I get insight into my own psyche. It’s true! I’ve discovered that when I look at my own writing, I can see myself more clearly reflected off a piece of paper than off a piece of silvered glass. As a man of faith this is important, because insight is useful in working up the soil of my life in preparation for spiritual seed.
I look for specific things:
• themes to which I return repeatedly
• themes on which I always tend to waffle a bit
• points of view
• attitude – balance of negative and positive
• tone – balance of imperative and indicative
• and a lot of other things we don’t need to worry about for this exercise.
As a Christian writer, I seek to have a positive influence on all of my readers. One of the ways I keep track of that is by monitoring my own writing. I have to confess that sometimes I’m challenged by the words that flow from the deepest part of me. That doesn’t surprise me too much because that’s where God’s Spirit has taken up residence. God’s work in the life of authors, is reflected in their creative output. Since we’re all in this big boat of humanity together, that means we can all learn from each other. Sometimes, we can even learn from ourselves!
To read more of Ron’s writing, visit http://www.talkontheway.org
(Ron’s blog is also located as a link in my blog roll.)