"The single greatest lesson that I learned is rather simple: Love is costly. My prayer is that someday the body of Christ will be color-blind, that we will stop talking about loving people and simply demonstrate it."
Every writer has a unique style and method. Recently I had the chance to ask my friend, Tedd Galloway, a few questions about his approach to writing.
Every writer has a method they tend to follow. What is your routine like?
I guess I have two methods that I try to use. I have two fiction works that I try to spend time on three or four times per week. With our current living circumstances it is difficult at times. The second method is how most of my short works originate. That process is what I refer to as; Receptive, Ready and Responsive. I will go into a little more detail later. Many of my poetic pieces came as I prepared my heart for worship. Another soul feeding place is when I have the opportunity to sit quietly outdoors. My short piece that is close to my heart was given to me as I listened to, Amy's Lullaby. The Dance of the Innocents, represents one of the first impress given pieces.
Your book, A Mother's Heart Moved the Hand of God, is a memoir of your time spent in Africa. When you were writing it did you rely on journals, memories or both?
When I wrote, A Mother's heart Moved the Hand of God, I relied on two very trustworthy sources. I wrote in my journal the events surrounding the actual adoption process involving Ana. The other events and information in the book came from events and impressions pressed so deeply in my mind that their recall was never difficult. When I started the actual writing pages poured forth with little effort.
At what point did you realize a book would come from your experience?
I never intended the writing to become a book for the public. In all honesty, I began the writing as a form of therapy. I was in such conflict over the events that transpired that I doubted the very foundation stones of my life, my faith in God. It was later when friends asked about my writing that I allowed some to read it. The comments that came were encouraging and moved me in the direction of a completed manuscript and the final book.
Have you considered writing something for those considering overseas mission work, perhaps 'Lessons Learned' or 'A Missionaries Survival Guide'?
I have not considered writing for those anticipating or wanting to place themselves in mission work. It is something that could happen.
What advice would you give to anyone considering mission work, whether abroad or in their homeland?
If God has placed mission work upon your soul then you must respond. You know it because it never leaves you alone. Never enter the mission field because it might be exciting or look good on your resume. Also, be prepared to have questions in your heart that do not have easy answers, or for that matter, any answers. Do not attempt to change people, be prepared to have people change you. If the life of Christ is being lived out in you, He will bring about transformation.
The back cover of your book states- Due to a spinal cord injury he spends his time writing and speaking at various churches'. It seems that art is often born from pain. Had it not been for the injury, do you think you would writing today?
I might not be writing the materials I am today if not for pain. The initial pain of my spirit and soul brought about my manuscript. My spinal cord injury brought about the need to leave full-time pastoral ministry. My divine charge from God was to communicate the message of the gospel. As my pulpit ministry has diminished it seems my writing ministry is increasing. For me, the knowledge that my writing might be used by God beyond my years and space is very rewarding.
Your poetry is always a visual experience for me. What sparked your interest in poetry and were any of your teachers influential?
I am not really sure what sparked my interest in poetry. I think it started with thoughts that seemed to want to be written down. That might sound dumb. Many times, short pieces came rather quickly. My piece on Easter took about ten minutes. I think a few things are very important in how I view my writing. I am receptive. I am open to new ideas, such as poetry. I want my mind and heart to be receptive to words and images. I am ready. When I go anywhere I want to be sure to have a pen and at least a scrap of paper. Many pieces have been composed on the back of a church program, on a bank envelope or receipt. Now I have a tablet in each vehicle. I am responsive. When a word comes into mind, I write it down right away. I have lost a few words and ideas because I didn't write them down right away. Just jotting down the main idea or couple of words is all it takes to implant the thought in my brain. I think I flunked English Comp. All of the rules and hard to pronounce guides didn't make sense to me. When I got serious about writing the manuscript an English Teacher and and Creative Writing instructor gave me a lot of suggestions and guidance. He taught on the college level and helped me far beyond the selection of words.
Who are your favorite authors?
My favorite authors are C.S. Lewis. I read his Chronicles of Narnia to the kids growing up. His other writings seem to feed a different part of me. J.R.R. Tolkien is another favorite, as his ability to bring us into his fantasy world is wonderful. Francis Schaffer is another writer who continues to feed a part of me. I don't like to admit this, but I seldom read for pleasure or entertainment anymore. There is a lot I want to do, and much more that doesn't get done.
What are you currently reading?
I read my Bible, not everyday, like I should. I am reading some books on writing skills. I just reread works by Swindoll and Schaffer.
I know you writing will continue to encourage and influence others. What advice would you give to a young person considering writing as a career?
Thank you, Tedd.
Tedd Galloway has pastored six churches. After serving three years in Zambia as a missionary, Tedd and his family bought a farm in Michigan. You can follow Tedd's blog at http://aservantsheartministry.blogspot.com/