Tips for novelists with writer’s block:
- Re-read and edit what you’ve already written.
- Look for changes that need to be made so that your writing is headed in a climactic direction
- Ask yourself whether you need to eliminate a character, add a character or simply spice up the characters you already have and be sure to keep a character profile written down and easily accessible to you
- Be your characters. Get inside their heads. Make them as humanly authentic as possible. Think about the stories behind your characters. Maybe you need to add some more information about them into your novel
- Take a break from writing, outdoors, in a place that reminds you of one of the settings in your story. Take your notebook or journal and write if you feel lead
- Engage your five senses and ask yourself whether the story lacks any important down-to-earth elements
- Ask yourself what questions the story raises and how you are going to answer them
- Read and watch movies! Other stories can act as your inspiration
- Exercise! Go for a walk, swim, do Yoga or Pilates etc. This will get your endorphins pumping which is good for your brain
- If necessary, put your writing on hold and go do something else that you love. Play music, paint a picture, do something creative and come back to your book when you are ready
So what’s the point of going to heaven?
I once had a very close friend whom I regularly met up with for coffee. She became like a spiritual mother to me. We went to the movies together, visited the beach, she cooked for me, I cooked for her, we laughed and cried together, shared secrets with one another, swapped books, gossiped, shopped etc. I thought we would be friends for life.
I also thought that I could tell her when I was angry with her. So one day, I expressed my anger in a frustrated text message, I was trying to be honest and I wanted to talk it through. She was so hurt and upset that within 3 months she stopped talking to me altogether. We lost our friendship.
The loss of this relationship has grieved my heart for three years. I’ve apologised, sent text messages, letters and postcards, but to not avail. I struggle in the month of May because it’s the month I lost my mum (RIP) and a year later my spiritual mum who had become one of my closest ever friends.
However, I believe my relationship with this friend will be reconciled in heaven. I believe that she will understand why I was angry, what I was thinking and feeling, and that I never meant to hurt her to the extreme that I apparently did. She will understand the feelings of rejection I have experience since losing her; my regret and sadness.
And I will understand why she did what she did, how she felt, how deeply I wounded her or triggered past wounds from other people. I’ll experience her perspective of the situation and she’ll experience mine. Then we will embrace and cry and let it all go. We will mutually forgive all the hurt, loss and misunderstanding. We will love each other in ways we were not capable of on earth with our limited, selfish minds.
When God says he will wipe all the tears from our eyes, it’s because there WILL be a lot of crying when we get to heaven. We will have conversations with every person we ever came into contact with or influenced to the minutest degree. And even the people we never met who were alive before or after us – we will see the ripple effect of our lives on every other life. We will reconcile every hurt and failing. We will fully understand why our parents seemed distant, why our friends seemed to reject us, why our children seemed to grow up and leave us… We will understand the “other sides” of every story. We will know each other completely, and be experienced fully for who we truly are.
There will be a lot of forgiving in heaven, and all the pain of life will be reviewed through the lens of redemption. All the friends we’ve lost will be gained back – broken relationships healed and restored. Every person who deleted us off facebook and every person we deleted – all together again, like a reunited family.
Heaven is not really about streets of gold and castles in the sky. It’s about relationships. Heaven isn’t blissful because we’re suddenly all wealthy and immortal. Heaven is blissful because there is so much love there. No room for hate. No miscommunication. Pure acceptance of one another. Complete understanding of our pasts.
I want to go to heaven because there will be no more heartache there. No more relational suffering. And now that I understand that that’s what heaven is all about, I live my life knowing that whatever rejections I think I’m experiencing on earth are only temporary.
The division in my family because an Uncle comes out as gay and his brother doesn’t want to communicate with him – that will inevitably come to an end. The facebook friends who have called me a heretic or pressed the block button and pretended they never new me – we will laugh about it in heaven. The experience of separation in relationships, emotionally, spiritually, physically – it will all be done away with in heaven and there will be NO SEPARATION.
Knowing this, frees me to be myself. I can be more honest about my emotions, my sexuality, my theology – because even if I’m hated for these things in this life, everything will be okay on the other side.
Rejection isn’t real.
Love is real.
Hatred can only ever be temporary.
Reconciliation will last forever.
Accusations are weak.
True understanding will only breed acceptance.
“Love always protects
Love always trusts
Love always hopes
Love always perseveres
Love never fails
But where there are prophecies
They will cease…
Where there is knowledge
It will pass away
For we know in part
And we prophecy in part
But when completeness comes
What is in part disappears
For now we see only a poor reflection
As in a mirror
Then we shall see face to face
Now I know in part
Then I shall know fully
Even as I am fully known
And now these three remain:
Faith, hope and love
But the greatest of these is
1 Corinthians 13:7-13
The Sovereign Lord says “I will search for my sheep and look after them. As a good shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so will I look after my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on a day of clouds and darkness. I will bring them out from the nations and gather them from the countries and I will bring them into their own land.
I will pasture them on the mountains of Israel, in the ravines and in all the settlements in the land … There they will lie down in good grazing land and there they will feed in a rick pasture on the mountains of Israel.
I myself will tend my sheep and have them lie down … I will search for the lost and bring back the strays. I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak …
I will make a covenant of peace with them and rid the land of savage beasts so that they may live in the wilderness and sleep in forests in safety … I will send down showers in season; showers of blessing. The trees will yield their fruit and the ground will yield its crops; the people will be secure in the land.
They will know that I am the Lord when I break the bars of their yoke and rescue them from the hands of those who enslaved them … They will live in safety and no one will make them afraid …
You are my sheep, the sheep of my pasture and I am your God.”
“I am the gate for the sheep … Whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out and find pasture.
The thief comes only to steal and to kill and to destroy. I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.
I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep … I know my sheep and my sheep know me – just as the father knows me and I know the father.
I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I MUST BRING THEM ALSO. They too will listen to my voice and there will be one flock and one shepherd …
My sheep listen to my voice ; I know them and they follow me. I give them eternal life and they shall never perish; NO ONE WILL SNATCH THEM OUT OF MY HAND. My father who has given them to me is greater than all; NO ON CAN SNATCH THEM OUT OF HIS HAND! I and the father are one.”
“Suppose one of you has 100 sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the 99 in the open country and go after the lost sheep UNTIL HE FINDS IT? And when he finds it he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and TAKES IT HOME!”
I read something in my Greek textbook today about how Jesus is the “αρχηγός” and perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). This word αρχηγός/archegos can be translated: path-breaker, pioneer, author, guide, hero, captain etc.
And I had this realisation that faith begins and ends with Jesus.
Faith is a gift: “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God–not by works, so that no one can boast!” Ephesians 2:8-9.
God promises to perfect our faith:
“Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion, until the day of Christ Jesus,” Philippians 1:6.
As Christians we tend to put so much emphasis on our need for faith to be saved. I agree that the Bible is clear that faith is a necessity: “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to all who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile,” Romans 1:18.
So faith is necessary but it’s also a gift given and pioneered by Jesus in our lives. If we don’t yet believe in God and his salvation, it would seem that God has not yet opened our eyes to the gift of faith.
But this verse in Romans which mentions Jews and Gentiles is part of a letter in which Jews and Gentiles are mentioned repeatedly and the author illustrates that they all come to faith:
“Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the FULL NUMBER of the Gentiles has come in, and in this way ALL Israel will be SAVED … For God has bound everyone over to disobedience that he may have mercy on them all!” Romans 11:25-26 & 32.
God gives us all a portion of faith and he can be trusted to activate that faith within us. What he begins in us he will not faith to bring to completion. Everyone will come to faith, because it is his responsibility and promise. He is the αρχηγός/archegos of our faith! The Captain, Hero, Alpha and Omega of our belief in Him and His saving acts!
Thank you Jesus, Amen