Guest Post – Jennie Pollock

Tuesdays and Thursdays throughout May I have dedicated to guest writers. Today’s guest post comes to you all the way from England! I was introduced to Jennie through her brother Peter, someone I knew through Twitter. As I read her post, I was amazed at how similar we are. Perhaps you will see yourself here as well, as you think about the passions God has given you.

Just Write

“I wish Christians who say they want to write would just write,” my neighbour at last week’s dinner party berated me.

Yes, I had foolishly admitted that I want to write.

In my defence, I do commit words to page almost constantly these days. When I’m not composing e-mails or business letters at work, I’m making notes for the next essay in my Masters’ degree. When I’m not doing that, I’m commenting on my friends’ Facebook statuses, writing movie reviews on my church website or reposting articles I’ve seen around on other websites.

When I can find the time, I also blog.

So it’s not that I’m not practising the art of forming coherent sentences, or tasting the fear of committing my thoughts to print and sending them unprotected into the world. I’m just not writing what I want to write, what I think matters.

I can scribble out brilliant treatises on how wrong it is that chartreuse should be a shade of blue (that rich, fruity, vibrant word can only possibly describe a shade of pink, surely – the pink of overblown roses and sunsets over the sea and the taste of warm raspberries. If onomatopoeia is the term for words which sound like what they are – squish, thud etc – what is the term for words that sound just completely opposite to what they describe?), or compose business letters from the formal to the chatty to the forbidding. When it comes to writing creative pieces which will touch hearts and challenge minds, though, I’m stuck.

What’s holding me back?

Time, of course, is a big one. Once I’ve finished my Masters’ degree, I want my evenings back, but if I want to write, I’m going to have to sacrifice at least a couple a week (and preferably a little time each day) to writing. Do I care enough to be willing to do that?

Content is the second one. How do I narrow all I want to say into one topic at a time? How do I frame it in a compelling story peopled with believable, sympathetic characters who an audience will actually care about? Am I making time to listen to God and allow him to direct my thoughts and my fingers?

The third, and possibly most significant, barrier is intimidation. I am surrounded by words. My bed is piled high with books I’m in various stages of reading – Bibles, study guides, biographies, novels, philosophy text books, note books, puzzle books. There’s even a couple of maps and, for some reason, a cookery book at the moment (I’m not sure how much cooking I was planning to do in bed, when I brought that one through!). Then there are letters, postcards, prayer letters and bank statements.

Thousands and thousands of words surround me every day. Some of them were written 6,000 years ago, others were committed to print for the first time in the last week. Some of them are engaging and inspiring, others dry and dispiriting.

How can I compete with all this? What can I add? Who would ever want to read it?

Then the words echo in my head again: just write.

If this is what God has put on my heart the best – the only possible – response is to just do it. I have to trust that he has given me this passion for a reason and will use it for his purposes in his time.

That will take patience and action, but I’m going to keep practising.

Watch this space…

What has God put on your heart to do?

What’s holding you back from just doing it?

What is the opposite of onomatopoeia?

Jennie Pollock is a ‘proper’ English administrator with ideas and dreams WAY above her station! She lives in the very heart of London, works at a think tank, and is studying for an MA in Philosophical Studies. She loves London above almost anything else. Yes, even more than books. Books about London are pretty much heaven on earth. For years she has longed to use her words to glorify God and shine His light into the dark places. She’s thrilled and awestruck that it’s finally started to happen.

Jennie’s Blog:  New Song 40 – Jennie’s Twitter: @MissJennieP

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19 thoughts on “Guest Post – Jennie Pollock

  1. Great post! I think for me, fear is the number one thing that holds me back…well, sometimes laziness ranks up there too, lol! I know I shouldn’t let fear get the better of me, and I know it’s definitely not from God…but, I do. It’s something I really need to work on.

  2. Jennie…so nice to meet you! I looooove London, too! What’s not to love? :)

    >>>Am I making time to listen to God and allow him to direct my thoughts and my fingers?
    I find that when my quiet time is most consistent and I am dilligently studying His Word, my writing flows so much freely and naturally. So, if anything, maybe that’s what holding me back sometimes-not enough time with Him.

    I have to tell you I love the color chartruese. I was telling a friend just the other day that chartruese is one of my favorite colors of all time. I have to disagree with you about the pink part though. I love it so much as a blue/green. :)

    I think the opposite of onomatopeia might be something like anionomatopeia. If I could make that a Scrabble word, I would win every single time.

    1. Nice to meet you, too, Keri!

      Anionomatopoeia, I like that! (yes, in British English it really does end with ‘oeia’!) Must remember that one.

      :o) Do you know what I mean about chartreuse, though? Another one is ‘vermillion’ – how can that be yellow, surely it must be green! Are there any other anionomatopoeic words you can think of?

      Thanks fro the thought re: quiet times, yes, my deepest desire is to write HIS words, and how can I unless I first know HIM?
      Will hop over to your blog and see where he’s been guiding your fingers.


    2. I have that same problem, Keri. The most important preparation and research I can do is to saturate myself in the word, and His presence. :)

  3. I thought a chartruese was some weird implement that ladies used to have in their dressing rooms.

    Next time I go looking around a country manor and someone comments on the chartruese, I’ll look at the walls instead of the furniture!

    I would like to ask, Miss English Teacher, is it legitimate to use brackets around a section which is actually longer than the rest of the paragraph? (see paragraph 6)

    I think you ARE writing. You’re honing your skills, sharing things which make people think and honoring God in text. You may have something else that you want to write in the future but don’t underestimate what you’re doing now!

    1. Thanks ‘ppbottle’ (don’t think I don’t know who you are!!!)
      Yes, I was a bit concerned about those brackets – hopefully you managed to figure out what I was trying to say, though!

      Thank you for the encouragement. It’s a weird tension, isn’t it, between wanting to live in the present and fully appreciate it, but always yearning for what could be. I guess like the truth that ‘God loves you just the way you are, but he loves you too much to let you stay that way.’ How do you find the balance between basking in his amazing love and allowing him to change you and mature you?

      Your big sis x

      1. I have bottles of water that I refill after drinking and to make sure everyone knows they’re mine, I put my initials on them:


        So they therefore become my PPBottles and I’m often heard to ask “Has anyone seen any of my PP Bottles?”

        1. I’m glad Melissa broke down and asked – I was sure I must know if I thought about it – I would never have come up with that!

          Sometimes when I get taken to one of your website, the stumbleupon icon at the top says ‘Click here to discover ppbottle’s favourite sites’.
          Plus, who else reading this blog knows than in a former life I was an English teacher…?

    1. Wow, thanks Duane! Just hopped over to your site and read ‘I’m a killer too’ – also brilliantly written and so powerful!
      Would love to guest post for you some day – will start following you now.
      Really appreciate the encouragement!


    2. Quit trying to steal my guest posters…Duane! :) Just kidding. I am proud to have Jennie here. She’s got talent…there’s not denying that.

    3. That’s my big sister’s post you’re talking about.

      I’d have been proud to have it at my site, too!

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