Thursday, October 20, 2016

5 Reason Why I Write

In January 2011, South East Queensland was the scene of devastating floods.  A mother and her son drowned in floodwaters in Toowoomba, and a further 22 people met their end  in the Grantham area. There were horrific accounts of drowning deaths, and vivid descriptions of what survivors endured.  I was not personally affected by the flooding, and knew no-one who was, but the devastation and loss of life really  played on my mind and upset me.  I was shocked at what had occurred, and felt deeply for the many people who were so terribly affected by this unexpected disaster.  The morning of the flood, I had planned to go out with my children, but changed my mind when a friend rang, wanting to visit.  Had we ventured out, we were headed for the area that was severely and quickly  flooded. What if we had have been there when the wall of water hit? I thanked God for His protection, but the thought of what if…..made me sick to the stomach. The flood and it’s effects made me think of the enormity of loss and destruction that we often hear about overseas…..tsunamis, floods, earthquakes in which hundreds or even thousands of lives are lost.  The devastation is unimaginable.   Here I was,  struggling to come to terms with the loss of 24 lives in our area, whereas people in or near these overseas tragedies have so much more to contend with, in so many ways. What happened here made me more aware of the reality (to a small degree) that our overseas brothers and sisters have to live with. And that distressed me.

 I struggled for a few months with the effect that the flooding had on so many lives and communities.  Then I decided to write about it.  I penned a poem, trying to convey the devastation, horror, grief, heartache, sorrow, etc.  I could hardly believe that after expressing my thoughts and feelings through writing, the burden lifted.  I still felt for the victims, their families and friends,  but not with the same intensity.  I still empathized, but wasn’t distressed like I had been.  I hadn’t realised the strength of the cathartic effect of writing until that day.

 So, why write? For me, there are a number of reasons.

 One being the healing effect mentioned above. As I record my thoughts, feelings, heart, etc. my emotions are being released and expressed. And that is a necessary and healthy thing.

Another is to record what God is doing in my life.  I love to journal and enjoy being able to refer back to what I have written. I find this a great way to encourage myself in the Lord. It is a permanent testament to His goodness and faithfulness, and at times I need to remind myself of this.  

Writing also helps me to remember things. I am a visual person, not an auditory person.  While studying at  university, I made copious notes. This helped me to retain knowledge and information.  To this day, I take notes when I listen to a sermon, otherwise it literally goes in one ear and out the other. ( And, sadly, this is becoming more of a problem as I grow older…...)

I also write as an expression of my creativity.  If we have been gifted with creativity, we need to find outlets for this.  Mine come in varied form. As well as writing, I love to mosaic, and over the years have enjoyed patchwork, hand stitcheries, scrapbooking.  A feeling of great satisfaction accompanies these activities, especially upon their completion.

And last but certainly not least,  I write to glorify God.  My desire is to spread His message of love and hope, and to touch the hearts and lives of others for Him. The written word is a great vehicle by which we can spread the gospel.
I leave you with a question. Why do you write?



Janelle Moore lives in Toowoomba, Queensland with her husband and their two teenagers.  She enjoys writing devotions and short non-fiction works, often using her children and their antics as her inspiration.

9 comments:

  1. Thanks Janelle for a beautiful, moving post. I am so thankful that you changed plans that morning in 2011. Wow! Those floods were horrific weren't they? I can see you have a wonderful, caring, empathetic heart. I fully agree with all the reasons why you write. I too am more of a visual person and I too copy sermon notes because it helps me remember afterwards. :) As for why I write, I think the number 1 reason is that God has called me to it. As you say, we are image bearers to our Creator God - and so we glorify Him in our writing. I write to glorify Him and to serve Him. I write because I believe that was what I was created to do. I am fulfilled when I write and feel God's smile on me.

    I write to touch lives with the love and grace of God. Like you, I too find writing very healing. Many years ago, I went through a tough season of grief. One morning I woke up and realised there was a book in it! So the next morning I started writing it. And wow! The blessings that flowed from it - and yes, the healing that came was a beautiful thing.

    It was lovely to hear of your patchwork, stitcheries and and scrapbooking. You are a gifted girl aren't you? I love music and song and lately I've been doing a lot of composing - I find it a good way of offering my praises to our Creator who has blessed us lavishly.

    Like you, I journal constantly - mostly during my time with God each day. I think we writers are a blessed bunch, don't you? :) Thanks so much for your beautiful message which made me reflect on my writing. God bless you Janelle and all the best with your creativity.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Anusha, you are ever the encourager. I enjoy your writing, as I am sure many others do. You touch people for God through it and through being you, with your beautiful loving disposition. Enjoy the conference!

      Delete
  2. I think you have already put my reasons for writing very well in your own blog, Janelle! But perhaps I could add that a further reason for my writing is that, as more of my books are published, I can find more opportunities to speak at various places and thus share about God and writing and creativity and becoming the person you were created to be and all sorts of things! I love writing but also love speaking and, for me, the two work in well together.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Jo-Anne. I enjoyed the session you presented at conference last year and I also enjoy your writing. No doubt God touches many others through your writing and speaking, as well.

      Delete
  3. Thanks Janelle - some great reasons to write. I have often found writing poetry cathartic as it gives words to the inexpressible. I also was moved by the devastation of 2011 floods. I knew people personally affected. In the end I wrote about it http://jennysthread.com/flooding-rains/ and http://jennysthread.com/building-on-bedrock/ - some of my first blogs (probably do it a bit different these days). Love your other reasons too :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Jenny. I don't usually write poetry, and could count the number of times I have on one hand, but yes in this case it certainly did give expression to the inexpressible. Thanks for sharing your blogs with me, Jenny.

      Delete
  4. Thanks for that, Janelle. I wrote a devotion about that flood which was published. I also wrote a one-act play loosely based on those events that I submitted for one of my creative writing courses. Writing certainly does have a cathartic effect, as well as being a vehicle to show God's love to others.

    I write in a number of different styles and genres. Sometimes it's just for the fun of having a creative outlet. Other times it's because God has laid something on my heart that He wants me to share with others. As we develop those creative gifts He's given us, we can't imagine the ways He might use our writing to bring healing into our own lives and those of others. Good on you for answering his call to write. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Nola. You write the different styles and genres very well. You can switch between such beautiful deep and meaningful writing to the ridiculous (that's a compliment 😄), and I love both! Such a talented, creative woman of God.

      Delete