by Andrea Renee Cox
I'm excited to host Vannetta Chapman today. Recently I enjoyed one of her books (see my review of Murder Freshly Baked) so much I invited her to write a little something for you today. Hope you find inspiration in these tips she shares!
4 Tips to Find Inspiration
by Vannetta Chapman
I’m so happy to visit Writing to Inspire today and talk about what inspires me to write. My upcoming release is Joshua’s Mission. There were a lot of different things that inspired me to write this book, but I’m going to focus on the big one, the reason that I write—to spread hope and confidence in God’s grace. Stephen King said that “Art should be a place of hope.” I love that, and I think it’s particularly true in our modern world. So what inspires me to sit down in front of my Mac every day and hammer out another 10 pages?
1. The news. I’ll admit to being a news junkie. I scan the news several times a day, and I’ll click over and research anything that grabs my attention. As I’m sure you know, most of the news is bad! Good news doesn’t make headlines very often. Certainly there is much to be concerned about, but I also think there are reasons to celebrate. I love taking one of these headlines and weaving it into a story of hope and faith. A great example of that is Joshua’s Mission. Natural disasters are terrible things, but the way that people minister to one another after such disasters is miraculous.
2. Reader reviews. This is a controversial subject. To read or not read reviews? I do. I have a very thick skin, and it helps me to know what is and what isn’t resonating with my readers. One of the things I’ve noticed is that readers comment about how much my stories lift them up, encourage them, make them cry and then smile. Yeah! That’s enough to inspire me to go back to work on my work-in-progress. I want to give readers those moments of hope and grace.
|Courtesy of Vannetta Chapman|
3. Friends. Often people will tell me ways that I can pray for them. On my Facebook page we have a Wednesday morning prayer time. At church, we call out the names of those in need. All of these things touch my heart. They remind me that people are hurting and that they’re in need of a kind word. This inspires me to write to “real people,” – to teachers and factory workers and housewives. It inspires me to keep it real and keep writing.
4. God’s Holy Spirit. I try to be sensitive to God’s Spirit as I pray, worship, and go about my daily life. Sometimes I will feel deeply impressed to write a certain story, or to write a story a particular way. There have been many times when I was in the middle of a worship service and suddenly understood what I needed “to say” in my story. I love those moments! I want to run home and turn on the computer, but I don’t. I let those moments of conviction sink in, I let them stew awhile, and then I weave them into my story.
Those are my 4 tips for inspiration! I think we still owe it to our publishers (if we’re traditionally published) and our readers to deliver what we have said we’ll deliver. If I’ve signed a contract to write a book on a hurricane in Texas, I can’t change that to an earthquake in California because I feel led by the Spirit. Perhaps that California book is for another time. The important thing, regardless of our plot and characters, is that we’re able to share with our readers that seed of truth that has been placed on our hearts. If we do that, I think we’ll be inspired to open up a new document and begin again.
So what about you? Do you have a tip for finding inspiration? I’d love to hear from you.
Vannetta Chapman writes inspirational fiction full of grace. She discovered her love for the Amish while researching her grandfather’s birthplace of Albion, Pennsylvania. Her novel, Falling to Pieces, was a 2012 ACFW Carol Award winner for best mystery. Chapman was a teacher for 15 years and currently writes full time. She lives in the Texas hill country with her husband.
How to connect with Vannetta:
Joshua Kline travels from his farm in Oklahoma to offer aid to an Englisch town on the gulf coast of Texas after a category 4 hurricane has ravaged the area. What will Joshua find when he arrives in Texas? A budding romance? A call from God? A possible healing of his relationship with his brother? Joshua’s Mission is a story of love, forgiveness, and the grace of God that carries us through even the worst situations.
Thank you, Vannetta! What a lovely article about inspiration. I particularly like how you soak in those whisperings from God before applying them to your stories. Glad to have you here on Writing to Inspire today.
Looking forward to hearing your response to Vannetta's questions in the comment section. Make sure to visit again next Monday for a new article!