I love to exercise the right to write. For me, the process of writing is freeing and life producing. I write to set words and thoughts (my speech) free from self and to allow them to soar in the Spirit.
Far too often my words and my thoughts are formed by my feelings, forced by my fears, dictated by my desires, herded by my habits, and/or conformed to my culture. But I want to write to life not to self. I want the words and thoughts to freely flow from God and His goodness; not from my opinions, anger, hurt, pride, need, or greed. Writing helps release God’s life-giving flow.
Writing-to-life begins with listening. A different kind of word or phrase comes to mind. It’s not focused on self; in fact, it is often contrary to self-opinion and self-interest and my first inclination is to quickly reject it as controversial, too outside the norm, too revealing. However, instead, I exercise my right to write that non-traditional word or phrase and as I write it, it births babies according to its kind and generations of words begin to flow that override my feelings, fears, desires, habits, and culture.
Write-to-life writing comes from the write brain — the part of the mind that flows freely and spontaneously from a holy place deep within. Like fresh water flowing though a polluted field, it picks up impurities as it flows through me; so write brain writing is not 100% pure; but it is far more pure than self brain writing.
Writing-to-life is transformational and accumulational. The flowing words are change agents that heal hurts, right wrongs, and release renewal, both in the writer and in the reader. Write-to-life writing stirs something sitting stagnant within you and brings it to life — if only for a transformational moment. With continued write-to-life writing and/or reading, these moments accumulate into deep inner strength, wisdom, and joy.
Writing-to-life is rare. But you recognize it when you read it. It jumps out at you and grabs your heart with a spark of life.
I’ve been blessed to read hundreds of write-to-life books. Most of them were written by people now dead, but their lives sparked life in me. Over the years I have written down the life from those write-to-life books, in the form of quotations, and collected them in 35 hard back journals. When I feel lifeless, I pick up one of the journals, begin to read the write-to-life words, and soon I’m inspired!
Many mornings I wake up with fresh, new write-to-life words running through my mind. I get up (often against my self-desire) and begin to type those words. Soon more words flow and before long I have a new blog post. I’m doing that at this very moment and soon it will be online.
Will these very words be write-to-life words? They are releasing life in me right now. I pray they do in you. However, if these words don’t produce vibrant life in you, other words will. The most life-giving words that I have ever found are in a collection of 66 books known as the Bible. Those words have given me such a high, I’m never coming down. And I continue to read them almost every day! The second most life-giving words for me are in a collection of writings known as the Philokalia, by various Orthodox monks between 400 AD and 1800 AD. And there are so many other books of life-giving words that have radically impacted me.
However, don’t just read other people’s write-to-life words. Write your own. Be still and listen to the inner voice. Tune out the noise and confusion. Reject all thoughts that are not pure and holy. When a life-giving word or phrase comes to your mind, write it (and don’t worry about grammar rules because you can proof read later). As you write stay attentive and another pure word or phrase will follow. Keep going. Soon you will have a proverb or an article or a poem or a song, and eventually even a book. But don’t wait for a book. Go ahead and post the words on social media or a blog (or both) so that others can experience the life in those words.