I have come to the realization that the writing I do is not so much about the product as it is the process – what I can learn about myself and my relationship with God from it.
The works I write can roughly be categorized into three genres. Each of these are based on of the persons of the trinity – the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
The works based on the Father are the fantasy works. The Father of the trinity is the Creator God. I let my imagination enter into the fantasy realm which for me is full of creation – nature, landscapes, forests. I invite God to talk to me though this imagined creation and invite. Often these works are about discovering or healing parts of myself within this fantasy world. Some things that have stimulated my imagination for these types of work are psychology exercises for healing my inner child, art therapy exercises and contemplating my nocturnal dreams. I also have found various parts of scripture that are more poetic, such as the Psalms or Isaiah, rather than testimonial, such as the gospels, helpful in writing these works.
The biblical fiction pieces are about Jesus. I learn more about Jesus and those people who lived and personally encountered him through my experience of writing these. With my biblical historical fiction I use a mixture of imaginative prayer and historical and theological research. I read the part of the scripture that I want to write about and wait for my imagination to let me into the scene. I write what I can see, hear, touch, smell, and taste in the experience. Sometimes if the story passes through a series of different scenes this can take a while. It can be over the course of a number of months that my imagination allows me to sense everything that happens. Often during this process my analytical mind raises several questions about the historical context and I research the answers to these as best I can so I can complete the work. I have found it difficult at times to easily find answers to my questions.
I aspire to be inspired by the Holy Spirit in all the other work I write – my thoughts, reflections or musings on various topics or works that describe events that have taken place in my real life. Of course I am not a perfect person so not all my written work is from the Holy Spirit. However, I do ask and hope the Holy Spirit guides this work. There is no particular methodology I use for this work. However, sometimes if I am writing a piece about how the Holy Spirit worked through a certain situation I find praying the examen about the situation to be a useful tool.