Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Writing Rhythms


I'm a bit of a musician. I've played the piano for as long as I remember, played clarinet for a number of years in high school, I sing, and I’ve written songs. I like to think I'm one of those people with a fairly good sense of timing - you know, someone who can clap in church to encourage the musicians out the front, and not put them off with faulty counting :)

In music, rhythm is regarded as the pattern of sounds and silence; how the beats are structured decides the rhythm. Tempo is slightly different, in that it refers to the speed of the music, whether it is fast, medium or slow. This has to do with the number of beats per minute: allegro (which means fast, bright or quickly) is played at 120-168 beats per minute (bpm), whereas adagio (which means to be played at a leisurely pace) is around 54-56 bpm.  It’s often the tempo that can determine the mood of a piece of music – you don’t tend to hear too many fast-paced sad songs.

Lately, I've been learning in my writing journey about writing rhythms: the ebbs and flow of creativity and marketing and how that relates to productivity and just plain life.

Sometimes we have seasons of creativity, where the words are begging to get onto the page (or into the computer). Other times it's more of a challenge, like when we feel stuck in a box with no whisper of inspiration to be heard, when every sentence written feels like it deserves some form of chocolate reward. Sometimes we might move into a period of promotion, when selling ourselves is considered necessary (even if we find it painful – hello, fellow introverts). At other times, life—by way of family, health, work—can feel like it’s hijacking our writing journey, and we may feel like we stutter to a stop, or at least to an uncertain pause.

I’m learning that whatever the season I’m in, whether it be the very, very fast pace of ‘prestissimo’ when words are pouring forth furiously and deadlines and marketing demand an accelerated pace (hello: where I feel like I've spent most of my year!), or the quieter times of ‘calando’ when circumstances slow and it feels like one can breathe again, the most important thing is to keep listening to the rhythm orchestrated by God. God is always constant, like a metronome that sets the tempo and regulates our rhythms. This means we need not panic when life feels like it’s getting out of control, nor despair when it seems like nothing is working out.

God’s character never falters, His promises remain steady, and as we read His word and listen to His leading, we can be assured by the fact that He knows the various rhythms of our life. God is right there with us, a steadying heartbeat, in the ‘presto’ and the ‘tardo’ and all the other tempos of our writing journey, and our lives.

Carolyn Miller lives in the beautiful Southern Highlands of New South Wales, Australia, with her husband and four children. Together with her husband she has pastored a church for ten years, and worked part-time as a public high school English and Learning and Support teacher.A longtime lover of romance, especially that of Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer’s Regency era, Carolyn holds a BA in English Literature, and loves drawing readers into fictional worlds that show the truth of God’s grace in our lives. Her Regency novels include The Elusive Miss Ellison, The Captivating Lady Charlotte, and the upcoming release The Dishonorable Miss DeLancey, published by Kregel, and available from Koorong, Amazon, Book Depository etc

Connect with her:        www.carolynmillerauthor.com                                      www.pinterest.com/camillering  www.facebook.com/CarolynMillerAuthor/  twitter.com/CarolynMAuthor



10 comments:

  1. I hear you on the pressures of a fast tempo! I play brass (tenor horn), and my fingers have trouble keeping up in the fast parts. I have the same problem in life. It feels like the last two years have been presto, with a little prestissimo thrown in for variety, when what I need is some adagio or andante.

    But, yes, it's about God. Thank you for the reminder that He knows what He's doing, even if I don't!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How fascinating to discover fellow musicians! And how good to remember God is in control. Good thing, else our lives would play a very different tune :)

      Delete
  2. Thank you for the reminder that God is present through all seasons, no matter how quick or slow they are!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have to remind myself of this often. Thanks for your comment'

      Delete
  3. Thanks, Carolyn. Loved all those music analogies, as I have played the piano for years too, since I was about nine. I'm sure you do feel in a 'prestissimo' time of your life right now, with your lovely books being published in quick succession and with all the promotional tasks that go with that. But I hope you can enjoy it too and just be 'in the moment' with it all--and with God.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jo-Anne! Yes, it is a challenge to be 'present' and appreciate those moments in the midst of busyness. I remember advice given me before my wedding day (over 20 years ago!) to pause and just 'be' and allow myself to enjoy the moment. I think finding space to do so is really important in many areas of life :)

      Delete
  4. I love your perspective! It's so great to read a fresh approach. I'm not musical, but loved the analogies.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much Elaine - I appreciate your encouraging comment :)

      Delete
  5. From one introvert to another, thank you for an insightful post, Carolyn. 😊

    ReplyDelete
  6. This is such a good reminder... I often have the temptation to keep the 'rhythm' going too fast, and need to remember that God works in slower times as well :)

    ReplyDelete