The Writer’s Heart: Watching

The Writer’s Heart: Watching

silhouette of spruce trees under starry night
Photo by Sindre Stru00f8m on

Last evening after church my husband found some Bill & Gloria Gaither video-clips featuring the singer/comedian, Mark Lowery. One of Mark’s more famous songs, is , “Mary, Did You Know.” During one of his acts Mark made a statement to the effect, that Mary’s silence at the foot of Jesus’s cross was one undeniable proof of the virgin birth. Mark then stated a few questions, not in his famous song, he wanted to ask Mary.

Mark’s comments prompted my husband to turn and say, “I see a story here, but don’t plagiarize.” At that moment, Tom was more awake than I, for I hadn’t thought story!

Do understand after 8:30 I can fall asleep almost anywhere. This is where I empathize with Jesus’s inner circle of disciples—Peter, James, and John—wrestling to stay awake when Jesus prayed in the garden. He found them sleeping and told them,

“Watch and pray …”

Matthew 26:41a, KJV

Jesus, also admonished his followers concerning the end time with these words,

“Watch ye therefore:

for ye know not when the master of the house cometh,

at even, or at midnight,

or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning:”

Mark 13:35.

Jesus’s words concerning his return carry a much greater weight than the lesson we, as writers, can take away from the Lord’s exhortation, but it is good for our application.

In order to keep our writing fresh and inspiring we need to be on the alert at all times for that next story, article, chapter, or word. In fact, Keith Drury, author of the book, BRIEF GUIDE FOR WRITERS, wrote, “The mind of a writer should never go off duty.”

How should we watch?

The obvious answer is with our eyes.

  • Writing prompts provide ideas—my writing prompt for my debut novel, The Nazarene’s Price, came from the simple line in scripture that said, “Jesus … loved him …”
  • The patterns and beauty of nature stir creativity.
  • Observing people’s characteristics, actions, and reactions help us make our characters real.

Second—watch with our ears.

  • Listen to what people say and how they voice their concerns, their questions.
  • Listen to the sounds around you, natural and manmade.
  • Listen for God’s answers after you have prayed, remembering to pray for one another.

Third—Include taste, touch, and smell as you watch. Then write what you have observed. In other words, practice.

To help you get started here are two quick prompts. Choose one:

  • The picture at the beginning of this blog, or
  • “My best friend stared out the window.”
  • Use it as fiction/nonfiction
  • and write in any style-poem, essay, prose.
  • Try to make it no more than fifty words.
  • and please share it with us.

At least, let us know if you enjoyed the exercise. Keep watching with your eyes, ears, touch, taste, and smell. Thanks and happy writing.

13 thoughts on “The Writer’s Heart: Watching

  1. No more than 50 words is quite a challenge and I must admit, I failed to meet it! Will 51 words suffice?

    My best friend stared out the window, as her mind retreated to happier times. The holidays wouldn’t be the same without their only child. Her husband’s gentle brush drew her back to the present. She reached to meet his touch and felt instead the smooth, soft skin of her daughter’s hand.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Writing short stories is one of the things that gave birth to my novel, The Nazarene’s Price. I saw a novel as a series of short stories connected by a common theme, purpose, and characters.

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s