Thoughts on Imitation

a posting from Adam:

Hey Folks,

I wanted to encourage you today in your pursuit of a life after the Lord’s heart.

As someone who aspires to write well, I am constantly searching for advice from successful writers on how to perfect the craft. Today, I stumbled across the following quote from Donald Hall’s book Writing Well. Hall is one of my favorite poets.

When we are writing, our ears are perhaps our most delicate, and valuable, piece of equipment. We acquire a good ear by reading and rereading the great masters until their cadences become part of our minds. The stored memory of a hundred thousand sentences becomes the standard of our own ear, just as all the sentences we have ever heard pattern all the sentences we will speak. Craftsmanship comes from studying the accomplishments of the past and then practicing to equal it.

I was challenged by what Hall wrote as a writer, but I was also challenged as a Christian. As a writer, the cadences of the great masters make themselves available only to the students who commit time and energy to their patterns. As a Christian, the fruits of the Spirit will only bear on a branch that is connected to the vine of Jesus.

We are called to follow the cadences of Jesus’ words, to harness our lives to His heartbeat.

Psalm 119
147 I rise before dawn and cry for help;
I have put my hope in your word.
148 My eyes stay open through the watches of the night,
that I may meditate on your promises.

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One response to “Thoughts on Imitation

  • Bobby

    “As a writer, the cadences of the great masters make themselves available only to the students who commit time and energy to their patterns. As a Christian, the fruits of the Spirit will only bear on a branch that is connected to the vine of Jesus.”

    The kind of line that needs to be cut-and-pasted into your first book one day. Seriously good thought and writing all put together.

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