Many thoughts in my head… very few of them actually mine

The Festival of Faith and Writing just ended, and I’m trying to catch my breath before driving home in the morning. It will take some time to see what comes out of all that I took in. And, honestly, there’s no guarantee that I will every again have another profound thought (especially given how tired I am right now). So I think I’ll just share some tidbits from my notes. This is far from an exhaustive summary of all I heard, saw and learned, but a few that really stuck out. I tried to be accurate in my quotes, but it’s perfectly probable that I missed some words or summarized or got distracted by another tidbit of wisdom along the way.

You have to wait ’til tomorrow for the Anne Lamott quotes :-). Each one of these deserves at least a day to let it fully sink in. But, alas, I’m too impatient. Spreading it out over two days is about all I can handle.

Scott Cairns:
“Writers don’t have things to say. They’ve come upon a way to find things to say.”
“Artists pursue a longing for truth… trusting that the gift, duly pursued, yields more than you intended to say.”
“Writing is coming to terms — provisionally.”

Bret Lott:
“We must be writers who are Christians rather than Christians who are writers…. ‘Christian’ was never meant to be a modifier but a noun.”
[Writing is] “letting yourself trip over that which is right in the path before you.”
[about the idea of showing, not telling] “There’s plenty you can tell. But you can’t tell emotion. You have to show it.”
“Just because you weren’t popular in high school doesn’t mean you have to be a writer.”
“The noun is a noun. It’s always the most important word. You can’t just pile the adjectives on. To over-abjectify degrades the noun.”

Luci Shaw:
“I’m a seeker, but not always a finder.”
“Writing is a doorway leading me closer to a spiritual certainty.”
“How may we — pilgrims, thousands of years later, know Jesus real?”
“My job as a writer is to listen to the messages of heaven in the words that they’ve been given.”
“Listening upwards, receiving.”
“The mystery of words that come unbidden in prayer.”
“The catching of a word or phrase mid-flight.”
“In writing, I’m given repeated entry into the unseen.”

Tania Runyan:
“There’s faith shown by being able to discuss our doubts with the One we are doubting.”

Rachel Held Evans:
“A lot of people are afraid of grace getting out of hand.”
“My insufficiency is kind of the point, right?”
“Get rid of all the stuff we pile on the top of it. It’s already all it ever needed to be. It’s not for us to repackage God.”
“I’m trying to practice the discipline of not having the last word.”
“The joy of writing — or perhaps more accurately — the joy of having written.”
Post-it over her desk: “The next sentence is not in the refrigerator.”
“As writers of faith, we don’t have to worry about the scarcity principle because we write for a generous God, with whom there is always and ever enough.”
“What makes the gospel offensive isn’t who it keeps out but who it lets in.”
“There’s not a language in which God’s voice cannot be heard.”
“I remember just sitting in the sanctuary of those words.”
“Listen to what makes you laugh, weep, be angry. Don’t write for the critics, but for the people you want to feel less alone. Write into what scares you, excites you.”

2 Responses to “Many thoughts in my head… very few of them actually mine”

  1. Char loveland says:

    I’ve always so admired writers, for me it was always what comes out of my mouth, not what came from my written hand! I look forward always to your written words…

    • Char, you don’t know how much your written words above mean to me :-). It’s easy to be intimidated by all the successful writers I saw this week. Thank you for taking time to tell me this!

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