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Where does our writing come from? It’s one of the most important questions a writer can ask as writers.
One of my earliest memories with my father was seeing him reading his big black Bible. Every morning he was sitting in the same place, with his Bible opened and a cup of coffee. He never told me to read the Bible or drink coffee, but as I grew up, I unknowingly imitated my father. Today I wake up early in the morning and I open my (black) Bible and drink my coffee. The power of example cannot be overrated. However, my mother was the person who influenced me the most in my writing. From an early age, I saw her reading books and writing letters to her sisters in Australia. Whenever I saw my parents read books, I could feel something special was going on within their souls—I could almost feel a palpable quietness and peace upon them.
Where does our writing come from? I looked at my childhood
My parents received the impressive library of our neighbours—the Martin’s—before they moved to America to their son. All the books in our small house made me wonder what’s inside of them. I believe curiosity and boredom were my guides to developing the habit of reading because I can remember so well the day when I started reading my first book.
It was a summer day in the afternoon, and my mother was making marmalade. I was on the only couch in our small livingroom watching her and feeling bored at the same time. I don’t know how I changed my focus from my mum and her marmalade to the Martin’s family library in our house. It was like a still small voice telling to pick up a book—any book—and read. The voice made me feel I was going on an adventure, on a beautiful, unknown journey.
And that’s how I started my adventure. My guides were Jules Verne, Alexander Dumas, Daniel Defoe, Karl May, Walter Scott, Balzac, and many others. I traveled the world with them; I endured hardships under their leadership; and I saved beautiful princesses from evil men and became a hero.
Soon, I’ve read all the interesting books in our library (or Martin family’s library), so my mother told me to try the city’s library for the students of my age. I remember my first visit to the library. I had the same feeling a country boy has when going into a big modern city for the first time—I felt lost and found at the same time. The librarian lady was gracious to me. I will never forget the smell of dusty books and the quietness inside the place—a quietness similar to the one I felt in my parents.
I became so captivated with reading books that my parents (my father in particular) got concerned with me. On the other hand, my school teachers regarded me as a rare species of student—one who reads books. They often used my example to shame the older students for not reading the required books. Who would have guessed that a young boy who reads books can influence others to read. I even challenged my friends at Church to read the Bible.
Where does our writing come from?
Summer is my favorite season of the year. And most of the key changes in my life happened in the summers. I’ve read my first book on a summer day. And many years later, I developed the habit of writing on another summer day, after I became a born-again Christian. I will never forget Pastor Joseph Tson’s speech at Betel’s Church Youth Conference in the summer of 2010. He shared how he developed the habit of waking up every morning to pray and read his Bible. And as he reads his Bible, he asks God to speak to him. Pastor Tson said that when he sensed a verse made a click in his heart he stopped and took a white piece of paper and simply began writing his thoughts about that specific verse.
I learned to have daily fellowship with God, through the Bible, and through writing. I keep the practice of writing short (or long) devotionals from the Bible to this day—no matter the season of the year. Not long after that conference, I started a journal. Writing regularly pushed me to improve my writing and to gain a love for writing as well, not just for reading. It is a special feeling when my pencil touches the white paper—it feels different from writing on my laptop. Often I find it easier for me to speak to God in writing than using words. Sometimes, I feel like an Old Testament psalmist who pours out his heart before God in written prayers.
Where does our writing come from? I looked at God
God led me on my journey as a writer in the summer of 2010. Then, in another summer—the summer of 2016—I was asked by God if I would like to take my writing to the next level. One of my best friends from the UK invited me to attend a Christian conference in Budapest, Hungary—a three hours drive from my city. I will never forget how a man from Holland that I’ve met that day at the conference told me during the worship service I should start a web blog. His words were like a fiery arrow that aimed at the center of my heart.
Little did he know that before attending the conference, a friend of mine from Bucharest wrote me a message on Facebook telling me about her dream with me and that she believes I need to start a web blog. I knew it was God guiding me to write more.
In a nutshell, the Lord provided all the aid I needed to pursue His will. Often I feel like the Apostle John to whom God told to write what he sees (Revelation 1:11). Now I know God is a Writer Himself—and He often calls His children to write as well.
Where does our writing come from? I looked at my city
My country and city influenced my writing as well. I am a Romanian who was born and raised in the city of Timisoara. Growing up, I always knew I wanted to pursue a higher education and enroll one day at our biggest local University. I’ve never thought of not going to University. I grew in a city that values education and, to my knowledge, all my childhood friends own a University degree—maybe except one or two. Looking back, I see that my friends and my friend’s families all guided my steps to education. And with the fall of Communism, education became more accessible and affordable for the average people.
No one is an isolated island—we are all part of a community who shaped our thinking and our ways. Sometimes, our community shaped us for the better; sometimes, for the bad. I believe my family, my Church, friends, and my city influenced me the most as a writer. I look at God as a Writer and I look at Him for inspiration. Interestingly how God used different situations and different people that I know and that I don’t know to guide me to writing—He even uses summers!
Knowing how I was influenced by others and by my urban upbringing, I now think about my son and how he will be influenced by myself and my wife and by the city where he is growing up. I look forward to the summer in which my son will get influenced to read and write. If one does not read, one cannot write—the two of them are intrinsically connected.
How would you answer to the question ‘where does our writing come from?’
Do you agree?
Let me know if there is anything special going on in your life or if you want prayer! Share this post with your friends and don’t forget to leave a comment.
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I am a blogger, writer, minister, husband to Olguta, and most importantly, a child of God. I am also a certified Coach, Speaker, Trainer, and Teacher with The John Maxwell Team, and I am helping people reach their full potential.