While this quarantine is difficult for people all over the world, it is not quite as hard on writers. I do not simply mean that people need our reading material to fill the time. Writers need solitude to write. While many of us have had to learn to write in the midst of the hubbub, it always helps to be alone. This doesn't mean that we are not going stir crazy like everyone else. But this is an opportunity of which we must take advantage. Since most writers support ourselves with day jobs, you may find that you have more time to write than ever before. That is true even if you're having trouble paying the rent.

This is also an important time for a Christian to develop the character and the depth of your soul as a writer. I actually began this nearly a year before the pandemic broke out. The quarantine is a good opportunity to continue what I have begun. I am memorizing the Bible like never before. I do not memorize to have important things to quote in my writing or to impress my friends at church. I memorize Scripture so that God will plant His mind, His insights, His character in me. The mind of Christ is essential for growing as a writer.

I am going through the New Testament taking an entire week with each chapter. I read the whole chapter every day for a week. Each day I memorize a portion of that chapter, usually getting the entire chapter memorized in a week. I start by reading over the first verse of the chapter until I can say it. Next, I read over the second verse until I can say it. Then I go back and read both verses together and go on to the third verse. If I am working on 1 John, two or maybe three verses will be all I need to memorize each day. If I am trying to memorize a chapter, say early in Luke, with over 60 verses, I need to memorize more each day, and I often take a little more than a week to memorize it. After I have memorized a chapter, I review it every day for two weeks. This way I am working on three chapters of Scripture all the time. To review the passages, I use the same process as my memorization. I read the first verse in the passage over until I can say it. Usually the second day I have to memorize it all over again. I go on from there to the next and then the next. I often stumble over verses I have been reviewing for weeks. If I think I am in some kind of competition, I will be discouraged. But this is between me and God, and I trust Him to be working in my life as I spend the time with Him.

I do not have a photographic memory. I could not begin to quote verses that I memorized 6 months ago without reviewing them again. But in the process of memorizing and especially reviewing, God's Spirit works on my heart. He uses His word to plant Himself in me. Although I am writing something that tends to consume my time and thoughts, I am convinced that Scripture memory is my most crucial task in these days.



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