Thursday, October 13, 2011

Writing in reality

My apologies! This is my first post and I have to admit to having read too little of other people's posts, but I want to support what this blog is trying to do.
I have another confession...
I'm a writer. I've been writing now for nearly 20 years. I've been published for about 4 years. Am I an author? I'm still struggling to come out of the closet with that one.
I have a day job as a Minister in a church. This job sees me write a lot, and have a captive audience! But it gives me little chance to be an author. That is, to spend the time I want on my writing. To nuance and perfect and polish my writing. That is why blogging here is so hard!
I suspect everyone has these issues. Very few Aussie Christian writers make a living from their craft. I salute those who do, or those who risk it all to try! That's faith in a God given gift.
The reality is, it is my day job that makes my writing powerful. If I were to disengage with the daily struggles of people in parish life [real life] I think my prose might be poetic, but less poignant.
So I'm happy to be a writer - one who words are here today and tomorrow thrown into the distant memory of all except a few - but I do hope to slowly become more of an author.
I had a wonderful book/DVD launch last weekend in Brisbane and am a keynote speaker at a children's ministry conference in Townsville this weekend [this blog came at a bad time!] - I am perhaps more of an author than I give myself credit, and to share in the limelight of others who write here is a privilege.
This is my first post - I hope it is not my last! May you all be too busy authoring to write.
Cheers.

20 comments:

  1. Should be busy, Paul, but am procrastinating on the current projects. Still be encouraged to keep at it. Always good to get into the heads and hearts of other writers. And it's great also that you keep in touch with the 'real' world through your ministry.

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  2. Thanks Paul.
    I'm involved in the children's ministry at my local church and sometimes struggle with the balance of time, ideas and energy required to be mother, writer, chn's min worker etc. Thanks for the reminder of the importance of face to face ministry and that we can be writers without worrying about the author bit all the time.

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  3. The comment about the importance of the 'day job' for writing is significant. Without experience and exposure to issues, wouldn't we all struggle to write things that engage others? Of course, that experience needn't come literally from a day job, but we can't be disconnected from the world.

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  4. I think your day job is essential Paul. I know my day job as a counsellor keeps me in touch with real people dealing with real issues and helps me understand human nature so much better. Without that I don't think our writing would touch the hearts of real readers, and that's what it's all about.

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  5. Hi Paul,
    Thanks for your post. I think most of us are like you. Very busy with LIFE but also very passionate about our writing. As the others have said, our day jobs (whatever they look like) are good fuel for our writing. I am very involved in our church and volunteer weekly and am very passionate about that too. That doesn't take away from my writing. It adds to it.
    Thanks for sharing,
    Cheers,
    Anusha

    PS Keep ministering and keep writing!

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  6. I honour you, Paul! I have been in full-time local church ministry in the past and there was no way I would have had time to write then. But those years certainly inform my writing now. And somehow I don't think local church ministry really is a 'day job' either. I seem to remember many, many nights when my husband or I - or both - were out ministering or at meetings or whatever. And I'm sure it's the same for you. God bless.

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  7. I think you put your finger on the pulse, Paul. There is a tension that writers share between their 'creative' work and the other things that make up their time. But balance is important and, as you said, we need lots of experiences to feed our writing. My other 'thing' is small group ministry, which I love. When I'm not engaged in that, I feel something is missing. When I'm not writing, I feel something is missing. So I try to keep both going in my life.

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  8. Great words Paul. Congrats on the successful launch. I love your books... I must get hold of a DVD. Happy Writing

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  9. Paul, great first post! Congrats on your book & DVD release! My day job has briefly become more time consuming (I'm looking forward to taking some leave soon) and it definitely provides inspiration for my fiction writing :)

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  10. A thought-provoking post, Paul. I also struggle with what's more important: investing in people's lives through personal day to day engagement, or (hopefully) reaching many more through our books. The jury is still out on that one, although writing is slowly gaining favour with me, especially with today's communication explosion via the Internet. You can reach so many more people than in your local endeavours. Thanks for your input (look forward to the next one) and congragulations on your book launch! May our Lord use your work abundantly for His glory!

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  11. Great first post, Paul. I love your books. Your day job fills your creativity well for future projects, although sometimes it can feel like it's getting in the way of where you want your writing to go. Sometimes it's difficult to balance all the hats we have to wear.

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  12. Thanks for sharing so openly, Paul. I love reading these posts and comments. And with all that daily experience with real people just write when you can. As Christian writers it seems as if we're all struggling with and through the same issues! It also gives a sense of "togetherness" knowing the problems we face are not ours alone. I've often found that after working through personal conflicts I can write them into the "lives" of my characters. Especially Faith struggles, which we all face.

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  13. I know how organised you have to be in your ‘day job’ in order to spend time on your passion. It’s a delicate balance isn’t it? – needing one to support the other. Great first post, Paul.

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  14. I would seriously love to ditch the day job and just "do" Footprints, and all that would involve, fulltime. A combination of writing, editing, admin, layout, bloggin, marketing, selling ad space, speaking gigs, hosting stalls at events etc ... it's my dream anyway. Don't know if it will ever happen though!

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  15. Hi Paul. I love that you say your day job gives your writing its power. That's awesome. If our lives didn't reflect the gospel we write about, our words would indeed be powerless. Great reminder! Thanks. :)

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  16. Glad I posted! You're all a great encouragement.

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  17. It's fun posting isn't it Paul, reading everyone's encouragements!
    I brought a few of your books last year at the book fair in Brisbane and the children I gave them too just loved them! Looking forward to seeing you at the book fair again this year! :)

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  18. It's amazing that we are all able to keep producing and fueling our passions with just 24/7 at our disposal. I think we all need a great cheer. Here it is. HOORAY! We're all doing great, dividing our time in a very tough market.
    Thanks for the thought, Paul.

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  19. I think this reminder was great Paul. I feel bad sometimes when I don't find time to write, but with everything else... But I think God uses all of our talents, interests, work and hobbies especially when we let Him!

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  20. It is hard to even admit I am a writer. Now that I have a few small things published. But we should be proud as God has given us these gifts, not everyone can write.
    Great post for your first one

    MEL

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