As creators of words, products and opportunities, we are always looking for sources of inspiration. Writer’s block is really a thing and can keep us stuck for days, weeks or even months. It’s a scary feeling …. we wonder if the words will ever flow freely again.
Perhaps spending some time in God’s Word can break the block.
I recently asked some of my writer friends how studying the Bible as research for a blog, book or speech might be different from studying for personal growth. Because, see, I’m so results oriented and compartmentalized, I thought those might be two distinctly different things. I often have an idea for a blog post then go study the Bible to find God’s perspective on it.
What I learned was surprising. For these successful writers, inspiration flows out of their time spent in Bible, not the other way around.
So with many thanks to Amy Carroll, author of Breaking Up with Perfect and speaker coach at Next Step Speaker Services, Glynnis Whitwer, author of the upcoming book Doing Busy Better: Enjoying God’s Gifts of Work and Rest, and Melissa Taylor, Director of Online Bible Studies at Proverbs 31 Ministries, try these tips to overcome your creative block with Bible study.
Set aside specific and regular time for personal Bible study and make it a priority
We can fool ourselves into looking up a few verses to throw in a blog post and substituting that for personal time to draw closer to God. That kind of “study” may help us meet a deadline, but it doesn’t usually do anything meaningful for our soul.
Have a plan for personal study and do it first.
Whether it is a devotional, a reading plan or a formal Bible study, having something planned for study takes away the excuse that you don’t know what to do when you sit down. One of Amy’s values is to be a learner first. so she uses the same foundations for personal study as study for her messages.
Stay focused and eliminate distractions.
There are a ton of fantastic resources available online to supplement your Bible study, but if you are prone to make a swing by Facebook on your way to BibleGateway, then leave the computer off during your study time. Make a note of anything you want to go explore later, or near the end of your study time.
Journal from your heart, not for your readers.
Melissa found that she was freshly inspired when she returned to journaling during her quiet time. Sometimes writers get stuck in “writer-mode” when recording their thoughts, trying to find just the right phrase or turn of words that will be inspiring for others. But when journaling during your quiet time, let the words flow from your heart to your paper with no filter in between. Highlight anything that you may want to develop later for your readers, but don’t try to wordsmith it as you journal.
Schedule time to write after you quiet time.
Even if the topic if different, your writing time may be more effective after you’ve spent time studying God’s Word. Melissa shared that filling up with Jesus first before trying to write makes her more in tune with God. When she then sits down to write for Bible study, her heart and mind are awake to what He wants to say through her.
Use Bible study resources to take your writing deeper.
We all feel the responsibility of being a teacher and rightly handling the word of God as we share it with others. Glynnis uses Logos Bible Software or free online software like Studylight.org for her writing and editing research. “I am able to look at a variety of commentaries, plus I often use the Bible dictionaries to make sure I’m accurate in my understanding of specific things.”
I’m always amazed at how relevant the Bible is to every situation I face in life, ministry and online business. God left nothing out. When we spend time absorbing His Word into our hearts, they will flow out of our pens freely to reach others.