ACW

ACW

Tuesday, 5 June 2018

Standing Out by Jane Clamp


I fear I am being misunderstood on the horticultural front. I blog for a county-wide church news bulletin and my latest one (read here) was introduced by the editor as me taking a break from gardening to share some thoughts. He clearly doesn’t know me well at all – as several of my friends subsequently pointed out! My garden exists by the grace of God alone but, however non-green-fingered I am, I frequently take inspiration from plants and how they grow. So I’m pleased to be taking another break from gardening to write today…



The flower in the photo is a rhododendron, one of many in the stunning National Trust gardens of Sheringham Park in Norfolk. When Mr C and I visited a couple of weeks ago, the place was in full bloom, an amazing spectacle. Why did I take a photo of this blossom and not any others? Well, if you look carefully, you will see that one petal in each flower cluster is different to the others. Every flower had this feature: one stand-out petal.



As writers, we know we are surrounded by acres of books. Libraries, book shops, our personal spaces (or what used to be spaces): they’re all filled with books. I’m sure I’m not alone when I wonder how my work can possible compete with or complement all these masterpieces. How on earth will mine stand out?



To try to achieve it, we work on coming up with a ground-breaking plot, played out by the most interesting and intriguing set of characters. We strive to make the past come alive, to ignite our readers’ imaginations over fact or fiction. We spend hours and hours perfecting our craft, honing our skill and, along the way, developing sublime procrastination tactics; but our fear – and not an unrealistic one – is that our manuscript will end up in a bottom drawer or a slush pile somewhere, unread, unnoticed.



Perhaps a different perspective is needed before we all give up! Working on our craft is undeniably vital but, deeper than that, is the fact our writing comes from who we are and what we are becoming. With the finger of God touching our hearts and our efforts, we can create and reflect truest beauty. You see, that one petal isn’t trying to be different to the others. It’s in its DNA that it is different.



As we write today (because you will find a spare ten minutes for something so important, won’t you?!) lift your gaze higher. Turn the spotlight away from yourself and let it become all about Him. Be the writer He created you to be: and you’ll stand out for all the right reasons.





 




Jane Clamp is ACW Groups' Coordinator and leads the Brecks, Fens and Pens writers' group. She writes regularly for radio and her first book, Too Soon, is to be published in August by SPCK. 

10 comments:

  1. A good word of encouragement, we are all unique!

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    1. Thanks, Angie. I'm so glad we're unique - I don't think the world could cope with another me!

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  2. Love this encouragement! Thanks Jane!

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    1. Glad to hear it, thanks, Lucy. For the record, I'm enjoying your writing, too!

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  3. Thank you so much for writing this Jane. It is very timely. I am about to start writing my third book and I’m feeling a little unsure. This is a great reminder that I need to start and continue throughout by looking to Father God in heaven for his inspiration. I believe this book is from him and I will refer to him first and foremost throughout the time I write it. Thank you.

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    1. I'm very glad that you're writing again, Lynda! I'm convinced more and more that we are his mouthpieces to this poorly world of ours. Whatever we write comes from hearts yielded to him and all for his glory.
      Enjoy your book - and I'm sure we all will when we see it!

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  4. Thanks Jane, I'm working on this!

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  5. Great post Jane. No need to worry about standing out for the wrong reasons then 😉 You are always so encouraging 😘

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