Thursday, July 16, 2015

Writing While Walking - Sue Badeau

As a writer, many times I have a multitude of ideas percolating in my head, brewing, brewing, brewing until they are just right for pouring out onto paper, rich and full-bodied and ready to share with the world. But then there are those other times when the idea-well has gone dry and my brain feels parched and empty.

Where will I get inspired? How will I write something meaningful on days like that? For me, the best way to find the nuggets of inspiration that can be cultivated into stories, devotions or blog posts is to take a walk in my own neighborhood.

In the spring and summer, my neighborhood is vibrant with the explosion of big, bold flowering trees like azaleas that grab hold of your attention and don't let go so sometimes it is easy to miss the hidden gems in quiet places like tiny Lily's-of-the-Valley. Some days, when I talk my morning walk, I specifically seek out these miniscule pockets of beauty. It’s an exercise akin to listening to the still small voice of the Spirit within us - shhhhh - can you hear it? These walks provide peaceful and quiet moments of reflection, giving me the breath and space to tune in and listen to that still small voice - where do you go to tune in and listen?

God tells us, “Behold, I am making all things new.” (Revelation 21:5) Sometimes when we are in familiar territory, we get into ruts and see only the same old, same old. When I begin my walk each day, I ask God to surprise me with something new. And just when I think I've seen everything there is to see on my walking route, He answers my prayer - something new captures my eye and surprises me. I see a new flower or color, a glittering rock, the play of light and shadow on a thicket of leaves. These surprises captivate me and challenge my thinking in ways that renew and refresh my idea-well and soon, I feel it percolating with new ideas. I almost can’t wait to get back home to begin writing. In that same passage in Revelation, God’s very next words areWrite this down.”

One day, I noticed an almost barren corner, a vacant lot next to the last house on the block. No color, even the dirt was so faded it barely had any brown left in it. Pebbles were dull, broken beer-bottle glass wasn’t reflecting any light from the sun. And then, I spotted a yellow flower all alone bringing beauty to its little corner of the world. I stopped and spent a quiet moment with this little flower, captivated by the richness of its yellow petals. It was small, and alone, but it stood tall and strong. This moment of beauty, this tiny surprise gave me the beginnings of a story, a story with this message: “never be afraid to be yourself even if you are totally different from everyone around you!”

What will surprise you today? Will you keep your eyes open and head up expecting to be delighted and surprised? I do my best creative thinking when I am willing to tune-in, listen and wait patiently for the surprise that is waiting around the next corner. And then, I write it down.

Love children (mom to 22, grand mom to 35, great grandmom to 7!) chocolate, camping, road-trips, writing, reading mysteries and more, standing up and speaking up for those without a voice. I have worked in children's services, policy and advocacy for 35 years. Married to my best friend, I divide my time between my home and kids in Philadelphia and traveling to speak and teach on the topics I am passionate about - healing and hope for children who have experienced trauma, foster care, adoption, permanent families for all kids, and more. My faith is my rock. After the 3rd of our 3 terminally ill children passed away in 2012 we decided the time had come to write our story and so we are proud and excited to share "Are We There Yet? The Ultimate Road Trip Adopting & Raising 22 Kids" with you all!

Drop by Sue's Amazon Author Page and find out more about her and her many titles:

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