Make God Your Writing Partner

PartnershipWithGodYou are not in this alone.

Oh sure, you have your own brains, your own intellect, your own ideas and inspirations. But at some point, not to be a Negative Nelly, those will come to an end. And not even a permanent end necessarily, but a temporary end, a seasonal end.

And you know what? That’s okay.

God’s Word says that His strength is made perfect in our weakness (II Corinthians 12:9). Therefore, that means that weakness is required for that perfect strength to make an appearance in our lives.

Lucky thing we have loads of weakness for Him to play with.

Sometimes, people ask me, “What do you do when you get writer’s block?” And much to their surprise, I tell them, “I don’t get writer’s block.” Seriously! I haven’t gotten it in years! Granted, I’m not in school or anything, but I am constantly writing. I’m never short on things to say, lol. But more importantly, when I do feel short on things to say, God isn’t. (Where do you think I get my long-windedness from? *smile*)

So when you’re lost and struggling, when you feel like you’re up against a brick wall or trapped beneath a glass ceiling, make God your Writing Partner.

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Some will encourage you to let your spirit guides lead you or let some ancestor, animal, or other otherworldly being give you inspiration. I say heeeeeeeeeeeeeck naw!!! I’m not about to sit here and lie to you and worse, encourage you to come into bondage to a demonic entity pretending to be your furry little familiar. We ain’t about that life, excuse the slang but not the sentiment.

Whether you believe in God, His Son, and His Holy Spirit is entirely up to you.

But if you’re looking for an AMAZING Writing Partner, One who will give you all the words and let you take all the credit (or at least 90% of the paycheck), then pick God. He’s the best possible choice you could make!

Check out the Bethel Media Film Workshop!

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Authors as Sub-Creators

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Most of us are aware of J.R.R. Tolkien’s great literary works most recently embodied in Peter Jackson’s silver screen adaptations of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy as well as The Hobbit (Trilogy). I am personally a huge fanatic and I presume that many of you are as well. Yet as many of us may be aware of his literary works, I gather that a much smaller remnant are aware of—and actually implement—his theory of sub-creation.

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Created to Create

Tolkien’s theory of sub-creation involves the ability of the human being to create within our own realms of influence much in the same way that we ourselves were created. Now if you don’t actually believe that you yourself were created then, hopefully, as a writer, you can at least imagine that you were.

Think of it: an entire people created in the likeness (characteristics) and image (appearance) of their Creator; endowed with His abilities and powers, one of those powers being the ability to create. Well my friend, if you consider yourself a writer in any capacity, then you have this ability! So how are you implementing it?

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What Are You Creating??

The concept of sub-creation should be of particular importance to those who write stories. When you are a storyteller, you create your own world, your own rules, your own inhabitants and other creatures, etc. I have a little saying that I like to employ that states:

The story is true within the context of the writer.

In my book Faith and the Imagination, I open up addressing the issue that many parents—Christian or otherwise—are concerned with: are fairytales evil? In short, the answer is yes and no. Why? Because what is written reflects the character and nature of the writer. Look at the works of C.S. Lewis and his friend Tolkien: they’re works were good because the authors themselves were good men. Similarly, if you find yourself reading something by a deranged author, the work itself is likely to show hints (at the very least) of that deranged-ness.

As the author, you have the power to create whatever you want and allow your heart, your intellect, your morals, and your particular giftings to shine through. It is an amazing power! So what are you creating? What are you pouring yourself into?

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My Business is to Create

In one of my favourite movies P.S. I Love You, Hilary Swank’s character “Holly” is in Ireland, at her dead husband’s (Gerry) parents’ home. She is reading one of Gerry’s letters and through it, she reminisces on how they first met. The movie then takes you to that to the endearing encounter wherein Holly is convincing her new friend Gerry that she knows poetry. She does not. She then, sadly, yet hilariously, butchers William Blake’s quote. The actual quote is as follows:

Again I ask: what are you creating? Too many of us are busy being “enslaved by another man’s will.” Others still are lost in reasoning and comparing themselves to others and it is not beneficial. When your business is to create, you compare yourself with where you were to where you are now, and more importantly, where you are now, to where you desire to be. You spend your time creating something beneficial, good, and relevant that helps to meet the need of another as well as to “have a little part of you outside of yourself so you know a little more about yourself.”

I will not ask you again what you are creating. Yet I will charge you to go out and create. Do it today! And if you are already creating, don’t stop there! Become better! Improve yourself in every way! You have the opportunity to make this year your own, to wipe the slate clean from last year’s mistakes, and to do better and more importantly be better than you ever were before. If you make this your purpose, what you do create will be just that much more amazing. Sub-create today!

We the Sub-Creators

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The following is an excerpt from my book, Faith and the Imagination! Be sure to get your own copy if you haven’t already!

My favourite author of all time (tied with his long-time friend, C.S. Lewis), Jonathan Ronald Reuel (J.R.R.) Tolkien, developed a theory that was true at the world’s inception and will remain so until its appointed end. That theory is Sub-Creation. Tolkien’s theory, simply put, is the ability of humanity to sub-create in the image and likeness of their Creator. I believe in the truth of this theory and if embraced, the many possibilities and potentialities that can come from it.

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Sub-Creators by Nature

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness”…. So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. (Genesis 1:26, 27)

This is the original purpose of man: to look and act like God on earth. Therefore, by nature, we are gods. Please hear me out before you burn me for a heretic! When the physician-apostle Luke listed the genealogy of Christ for Theophilus, he listed Christ’s bloodline all the way up to Adam, then God.

Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God. (Luke 3:38)

This is not the “Son of God” in the sense that Jesus is, rather the “son of God” as the angels are: glorious created beings with the breath of God in us. We are the sons of God and thus, little gods just as the early Christians were called “little Christs”; not Christ themselves, but presumably, the image and likeness of Christ in the earth.

Furthermore, the Psalmist backs this claim up.

I said, “You are gods, and all of you are children of the Most High.” (Psalm 82:6)

He, prophetically, equates the children of the Most High (humans) with gods themselves. We do not reside on Olympus, neither are we demi-gods (half-gods), but again, we are the offspring of God. Therefore, as the “children of the Most High,” “son(s) of God,” are we not then expected and required to reflect our Source of life in our own spheres of influence? The answer is absolutely yes.

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Sub-Creators by Mandate

When King David described humans as “gods” he goes on to say this:

I said, “You are gods, and all of you are children of the Most High.  But you shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes.” (Psalm 82:6-7)

He declares man’s divinely royal heritage and in the same breath, their eternal doom.  But why does he do this? Excellent question.

Just the other “sons of God,” the angels, left their “former estate” in Jude 1:6, we too forget and leave our former estates (mandates, positions) when we fail to -create in the world.

When God created us, it was a sovereign act of His unfathomable dominion. He created the universe and beyond to rule, yet as the Ultimate Father, gifted us with the rule of Earth.

The heaven, even the heavens, are the Lord’s; but the earth He has given to the children of men. (Psalm 115:16)

In His first and eternal mandate to humanity, God entrusted us with the dominion and authority to rule over the earth and thus, sub-create.

Then God said…”Let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”  ….Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” (Genesis 1:26-28)

In our spheres of influence, we are to look and act like God: we are to have dominion over everything on the earth accept human beings themselves. And we are to not only have dominion over it, but to “be fruitful and multiply” it. Enter sub-creation.

Sub-Creators by Gift & Ability

Sub-creation, fruitfulness, multiplication—whatever term you like—is not merely procreation. It certainly includes that, yet it is so much more! God created us with the seed(s) of creativity already inside of us to beget not only biological children, but to conceive and beget spiritual children, dynamic inventions, ways to deal with and manage the psyche and emotions, business models, and much, much more (Genesis 1:29-30).

It’s like a Maple Tree: when the seed germinates and grows in the earth it doesn’t just produce roots; it produces the bark to cover the tree trunk, that grows limbs from the trunk, that grows leaves from the limbs, that has sap flowing through it’s veins that winds up as the nectar we smother our waffles and flapjacks with and all of it has the seed to produce millions upon millions of Maple Trees inside itself. Like Maple Trees, we too must flourish and reproduce in the arenas God has planted us in.

A more contemporary example is that of Tolkien himself. The arena God planted this particular man in was language and literature. He flourished and sub-created numerous books, namely The Hobbit and its sequel The Lord of the Rings (LOTR) along with several other accessory novels. Those “accessory novels” encompass The History of Middle-Earth which he also sub-created (Middle-Earth) in the LOTR series. He then sub-created five bona fide languages as a product of those books. And, years later, Peter Jackson, sub-created from Tolkien’s sub-creation the wildly popular LOTR movies series as well as the much-anticipated Hobbit movies in theaters. Movie guides and analyses have been further sub-created by many to serve as accessories and explanations of the movie series.

Sub-creation is something we are not only encouraged to do in life, but made and meant to do. And although it is best executed and appreciated when done from a Christian perspective, the abilities and imagination of God is still very evident in those who may not yet know Him because it is in their nature and because they have managed to connect with their mandate as a human being. So now I ask you: What has God created you to sub-create in the earth? You will never be fulfilled without the completion of that godly mandate.

Divine Inspiration

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I once partook in a discussion in a LinkedIn writers’ group that referenced that statement of a man who refused to let God tell him what to write. The absolute arrogance! The utter ignorance!  *breathe Desiree* As I am sure you can tell, this declaration angers me to my core. As an author and entrepreneur, I have learned the immeasurable value of allowing God to inspire and direct my decisions.

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Godly Literary Inspiration

The first and foremost example of divine—godly—literary inspiration and also the most trustworthy inspiration is The Holy Bible. This book which has been around for thousands of years and was translated into English most popularly in 1611 (thanks King James), is the most solid example we have of the legendary and proven inspiration of the Most High throughout the ages. Regardless of what some nay-sayers and learned individuals who are “always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of truth” (II Timothy 3:7) may say, the Word was, is, and ever will be true. And not only true, but relevant.

The Bible told us that the world was round before the “church” and many scientists accepted it as truth. Isaiah prophesied that God “sits on the circle of the earth” (Isaiah 40:22). Empires that would rule the Ancient World and even Alexander the Great were prophesied in the Book of Daniel. Both the Gospels and Revelation speak of events that we see in our daily local and global news. These are just a few examples that prove the validity of the Bible. You cannot tell me that the Bible was not inspired by God (II Timothy 3:16).

Many other books besides the Bible have been written by inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Whether by ministers, businessmen, historians, or others, books are written every day by inspiration of the Holy Spirit and we know this because not only do they line up with the Word of God, but God speaks to us through them as we read them. The result is confirmation, affirmation, encouragement, and growth for the readers in the arenas that the books cover. My Kingdom Mandates is one such book. The over 300 pages that form its contents were composed in two days shy of one month. How’s that for divine inspiration?

Theory of Sub-Creation     

If you know anything about me personally, you know that I am absolutely obsessed with The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings Trilogy author, J.R.R. Tolkien. I am also equally obsessed with his theory of sub-creation and as such often see its effect in the world. It most certainly adds a different, equally wonderful aspect to our discussion of Godly inspiration. Tolkien’s theory summed up simply states that “[Tolkien] could view sub-creation as a form of worship, a way for creatures to express the divine image in them by becoming creators” (“Sub-Creation or Smuggled Theory”).

Tolkien was a Christian, as am I, and saw sub-creation as an opportunity to exercise our God-like characteristics endowed in Genesis 1:26, “Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness.” God created, therefore, we in His image, have the ability to create as well. This is especially true for [fiction] authors who have the ability to create a world of their own with its own laws and beings in their literature. Yet we can also adopt this theory as entrepreneurs.

Your ability to create a business of your own should come from the inspiration above and allow you to sub-create in your own right. And although it is not the same as creating a story or movie, you can most certainly create a new niche in the world or re-create/re-define one that is already created.

What can you create this is uniquely your own? For DA Weddings, not only do I create fresh wedding-related content, but I revel in creating fantastically-fabulous wedding themes and inspirations and for this blog I seek to create equally fresh content that will motivate and inspire you to do what you were meant to. For my business, I assist others in their own sub-created literary pieces.

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How Does Inspiration Come?

In my experience, the best inspiration comes directly from God. Whether He “downloads” or “drops” it directly in my spirit such as in a picture or word image across my mind, or a direction to a particular item or subject. Oftentimes, I will sit in front of a blank piece of paper, ask God to speak, and start writing. He always comes through.

You can also be inspired by something you read, see, or hear. Oftentimes when you are inspired by God via literature, it can be described as illumination (light shed upon a thing) or revelation (a direct message or “lesson” from God). You are also able to see or hear something—whatever the source of it may be—and it can be harnessed as an inspiration for an idea.

The last way you can be inspired to write or build a business is to observe and be burdened by a need. Plato said “necessity is the mother of invention.” What needs in the world do you see that you believe you are meant to fill? What problems or dilemmas—whether they affect the quality or convenience of life—are you drawn to fulfill? Many of the greatest inventors were those who invented by inspiration of God.

The word tells us that “every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning,” (James 1:17). This tells us that God, who changes not, can inspire us to create just as easily as He inspired the prophets and apostles of old to write the Bible; every good idea, no matter what it is, is absolutely from God.

The word also tells us that “…you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth…” (Deuteronomy 8:18). This verse shows us that not only does God care about our financial stability, but that He gave us—past tense—the power or ability to get the wealth that we desire. The ideas, inventions, and concepts He longs to give us are oftentimes the vehicles He uses to bless us financially. What an awesome encouragement and promise to us!

You were created in the image of God, and whether or not you serve Him—which I pray you do—you were endowed from before the foundations of time with the abilities of your Creator to sub-create in your own right. Allow God to inspire and direct your creations and you will be sure to build unique, relevant, and long-lasting businesses, literary empires, and the like if you simply trust God to guide you.

See also: “Sub-Creation or Smuggled Theology: Tolkien Contra Lewis on Christian Fantasy

Plagiarise for Jesus!

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Yes you heard me correctly and yes I spelled it with an “s” instead of a “z”. [As a rule, I generally lean towards British spelling when I have the liberty.] I was wondering what I should write about today and then it hit me—plagiarising for Jesus! This may sound irresponsible and potentially illegal, but hear me out. When I think of literature such as the Bible as well as other books with sound doctrine written by other men and women of God, I think of literature that is not “come up with” but rather, “downloaded” from another source.

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Permission Granted

The word plagiarise means to steal and pass off the ideas or words of another as one’s own; to use another’s production without crediting the source (Merriam-Webster). As Christians and thus, as sub-creators, we possess the ability to receive divine downloads from heaven to be recorded for the inspiration, encouragement, and edification of mankind (see “Sub-Creation or Smuggled Theology”). The Apostle Paul said this to his spiritual son Timothy:

“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work,” (II Timothy 3:16-17).

Those of us with the ability to write were created to do so with the blessing of God as well as the ability to receive recognition and monetary compensation for it; His only request is that we give Him the glory for the ability to write it. He is the Creator of everything after all.

The Best Inspiration

The leading of God is the best and surest way to write, or for that matter create, anything worth writing or creating. If one attempts to write on their own—which is not wrong in any way—if innate ability is there, great work can indeed be done. But with the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, which is possible with or without being a Christian although it is much easier to come by as well as much more frequent, is the best way to avoid mediocre work and especially writer’s block. In fact, every single time I have written under the leading of the Holy Spirit, I have never suffered a bought of writer’s block; not once.

Writing with God’s leading is a gift. It is not like plagiarising a paper of someone else’s with or without their knowledge. Instead, it would be as if I wrote a song and gave you the full permission to copyright and record it. It is a privilege to be considered worthy of such a gift from such a God. If you want to write that popular blog, winning article, or New York Times’ Bestseller, then trust God to give you the divine download you need to achieve what you must.