My heart is stirred by a noble theme as I recite my verses for the king; my tongue is the pen of a skillful writer. Psalm 45:1 (NIV)
This is a familiar verse of scripture for writers, one that I can quote off the top of my head. But recently I saw a few new things in this verse that I’d like to share.
My heart is stirred. Writing begins in the heart. It isn’t simply an exercise of the mind. Certainly, it can be all head and no real heart. For example, a lot of my assignments in school were written from a “have to” rather than “want to” perspective. But really great writing, the kind that stirs the soul and changes people, always starts in the heart.
For the king. God is the real audience for our words. Yes, published writers need to write with a particular human audience in mind, but the ultimate goal is to please the King. If He is not pleased, if the words don’t stem from Him, they are simply resounding gongs and clanging cymbals.
As I recite/ my tongue. Do you see the speaking—writing connection? The thought that occurred to me as I read this verse is that we need to listen carefully to what we say, the topics of our conversation. This can be a clear indicator of what we should be writing.
The other thing I see here is that speaking and writing go hand in hand. I know most writers don’t like to hear that, but it’s true. In this verse, it sounds as though the verses were already written by a skillful writer and now they are being recited before the king.
While this verse isn’t written only to writers, it’s rich with wisdom for us. Do you see anything else in this passage that would help writers?
July 28, 2011
Labels: Encouragement for Writers