Mr. Paul Phillips, as a active member of the Christian Poets and Writers Facebook Group, you bring a unique and refreshing presence and style of writing to peruse. Today, I'm most delighted to have this opportunity to interview you in regards to your "Write Life".
Let me start off by asking.....
Who or what inspires your writing?
Of course, the overriding impetus to write comes from my faith in God, but I often think of both my parents when I’m considering the reason I do it. My mother wanted a preacher in the family, but being called to minister in other ways, I’ve used my writing to teach God’s truths in a way that she would have loved. Mom never really knew I was writing, since I started after she began to succumb to Alzheimer’s a few years before she passed away.
In the same way my father, who is a pastor, helps to keep me motivated and thinking about the life lessons God is teaching each day I serve Him. Dad’s preaching style is much like my way of writing, using stories to illustrate Biblical truths. You might say, I learned at his feet.
What do you hope to accomplish in your writing?
I began to write for one reason, but in the process, realized that I had to accomplish more. The understanding that we as a people are losing our stories in the noise and overwhelming confusion of professional entertainment (television, radio, Internet, social media, etc.) drove me to begin setting down personal experiences. But then, the preacher’s kid in me couldn’t leave the stories alone without including a little bit of a moral being added.
Nowadays, I still tell the stories, but the lessons are even more important. The stories will become outdated and die over time, but God’s truth will never get old.
Does anything ever discourage you from writing?
Often. There are evenings (I always write late at night) when I sit at my keyboard for hours and nothing comes. Nothing is more discouraging to me than sitting down with the intent to write and getting up again, hours later, with not a single word on the page.
There are also times when I do write that no response comes from my readers, and I wonder if I’ve missed the mark. I can’t recall the number of times I’ve told the Lovely Lady (my beautiful wife, Paula) that I think I’m done with writing. It feels like that sometimes, but the Lord always refreshes and opens the tap again.
Does the Bible influence your work as a writer?
Absolutely! It is impossible to separate the spiritual and the physical. From my earliest memories, I have read the Bible, and its truths have impacted my life direction fundamentally. When I write, even though I may not include references every time, there is a thread of the Word woven in with my words. I hope readers are able to keep His truths and toss out my fallacies.
In what ways do you hope your writing will help to unify or strengthen the Church Body of Christ?
Initially, I hoped only to relate history—stories of the past—in my writing. As I’ve changed and, hopefully, grown as a writer, so have my goals.
The realization, although it won’t be news to most, that we share common joys and trials, gives impetus to be transparent and consistent in sharing His message. To know that others are going through the same things encourages and strengthens our resolve. At least, I know it does mine.
Do you use social networks to interact online with other Christian poets, writers, editors, or publishers?
Facebook has played a big part. To be able to interact with folks from miles away, and from all walks of life, has been a great advantage.
The Christian Poets and Writers group is wonderful, encouraging and uplifting—praying for each other when tough times have come. I haven’t yet mastered the other media, but I’m learning (from mistakes, often) and expanding. Old dogs can learn new tricks; it just takes us a lot longer to catch up!
What helpful suggestions or encouragement would you like to offer other Christian poets or writers?
Write. Don’t give up!
It’s easy to become discouraged and stagnant. Keep writing. Don’t give up! Hard times come and the words won’t. Wait on God. Don’t give up! He has plans for you.
Even though they may not apply directly, since they were directed to John, I love the words in Revelation 1: “Write down the things that you have seen, and the things that are, and the things that will happen after this.” It’s a great model for me as a writer.
And what an excellent model to glean and replicate from as a writer!
Paul you have certainly given us readers a sincere and meritorious insight of your write life.
Your writings have certainly been an inspiration to me, pushing me to reach a higher plateau in literary demand and I'm confident, many others have been blessed as well. Your mother would be so very proud!
May the Lord continue to bless the works of your hands.
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Social Sites: https://www.facebook.com/HesTakenLeave/