Thursday, August 20, 2015

Do you need inspiration to finish writing your memoir?

Have you heard of George MacDonald, the prolific and beloved Scottish author in the late 1800s? He can play a big role in inspiring you to write and finish your memoir.

Originally a church pastor, he was driven out of the pulpit because congregations disliked his beliefs.

Desperate to provide for his family, he turned to writing—and in doing so, his spiritual teachings have reached millions more people than if he had served in one small church, and they have lasted more than 100 years beyond MacDonald’s death.

MacDonald possessed “the ability to include insightful principles and profound spiritual wisdom in a top-flight, well-written, compelling story,” writes Michael Phillips in the Preface to The Fisherman’s Lady.

His many books included a number of genres (my favorites are his novels). Michael Phillips writes this about all of MacDonald’s works, “And in whatever he did I sensed the same wisdom coming forth, the same penetrating spiritual perception concerning intensely practical concerns.” 

My Scottish ancestors lived in this valley in the Highlands.  :)
MacDonald “firmly held that the deepest insights about life were not to be found in distant obscurities but in everyday relationships and ordinary contacts with the world. Therefore, his books are filled with commonplace lives. We see an agrarian world of thatched cottages with their peat fires, porridge and milk…. This was the Scotland he loved, and his truths, like his people, were simple yet subtle.” (Michael Phillips, from the Introduction to The Baronet’s Song)

What MacDonald accomplished, you and I can accomplish in and through our memoirs!

By writing vignettes about our everyday lives, we can tell stories that teach spiritual truths, convey practical wisdom, and introduce readers to God’s love and His ways.

And it’s so important to write (to reiterate what Michael says above) a top-flight, well-written, compelling story.” 

We need to hone our writing skills and be sure our finished memoir is well edited and compelling. We want our readers to enjoy our stories!

And, like MacDonald’s writings,
yours and mine can outlive us.
If we get our stories into the hands of our kids
and grandkids and great-grands,
who knows how many future generations
will receive the blessings of our efforts?

(In the 1990s, because MacDonald's use of Scottish Gaelic dialect from the 1800s was nearly impossible for readers to understand, and because few of his books were in print, American author Michael Phillips edited a number of MacDonald's novels, rewrote them in modern-day English, and published them. I highly recommend them to you. And I highly recommend that you get acquainted with Michael, too.)

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