What If Writers Think? by Brenda J. Wood

Have you ever been in that kind of situation where the person you are talking to has no idea what you’re saying? Or perhaps, someone is explaining something to you, and you just don’t understand? That creates a terrible mess, doesn’t it?

Think children. You say, “Time for bed,” and they hear, “Five more minutes.”

Think weatherman. He says, “Sunny,” you plan a picnic, and it pours rain. He meant possibly sunny, and you heard the promise of delightful weather.

Think husband. You spend all afternoon making the best meal. He burps and says, “Not half bad.” In his language, that means you made a great meal. In yours, it means ingratitude.

Do we listen? I mean—really listen. Did you hear—really hear—what I just said?

Just this past week, I didn’t clearly hear what was said. I had some tests and the radiologist said, “If there is a problem, we will call you within the week. If all is well, we will send you a letter within the month.”

I got a phone call in six days. The woman’s voice was not very clear. All I could hear was that it was a doctor, whose name I couldn’t make out. I was sure I was doomed. I spent the next 24 hours planning my demise and my will. I promised God that, no matter what, I would to be faithful to Him.

The doctor called again the next day. It was about an entirely different matter, and all she wanted was a list of my current medications. Silly me! I just didn’t hear the message correctly and thus, spent 24 hours in panic mode. (Then I cancelled my promise to become a missionary to Africa!)

Do we think, really think? A writer friend has a successful launch on Amazon. And we hear, “That’s how to get your book out there.” But you haven’t a clue about Amazon, and as one friend told me, “Face it, Brenda. This just isn’t your forte!”

Do we use common sense? Will we take the chance to be different? How will we stand out in a crowd? Will we copy ourselves or each other forever or try for a new thought, a new plan?

Murder She Wrote is a successful TV series, and almost 60 books are in print. There is a commonality to the series, a general plan and murder reveal. Yet A Question of Murder added a quiz question at the beginning of each chapter. The answers were revealed at the end. We were warned not to peek. (I confess that I did.) The writers stepped out of their safe zone and made a change.

Do we listen, really listen, for new ideas? Do we improvise? Or do we follow our same old tortuous path to the completion of our next book?

I dare you to think outside the traditional box of your current life. Take a few minutes and create your best life on a page. Are you living it? Or are you hanging on by a thread—or grabbing at someone else’s new best idea? What if we got our own best idea and created a new trend?

What if we actually thought big thoughts and acted on them?

Brenda J. Wood is a motivational speaker and author of more than 50 books who shares with faith, commonsense wisdom, a sense of humour, and quirky comments. Read her daily devotionals at everydaychristian.com Her favourite things include guest speaking, writing a good book, (and reading one!), a warm fire, and walking on snow-free pavement. Brenda is now a great grandmother, which is amazing since she is only 29!

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