My wife is reading a nifty book about who God made you to be. One of the things it talks about in the book is “Strengths vs. Skills.” Basically, it says that strengths are things that you’re gifted to be good at. A skill is how you’re applying that strength at a particular time.
For instance: Perhaps you have a strength in crafts. You used to sew all sorts of nifty stuff for friends and even sold some. Pretty cool!
And then, you went and had kids. And suddenly you’re not sewing anymore. Does that mean you’re not using your skill? Well, probably. But your strength is still there! You’re being crafty with your children. You’re making things with them. Though you might not be using the skill of sewing, you’re still using the strength of being good with crafts.
What does that have to do with writing genre fiction?
I believe I have a strength for creative writing. I have often applied this strength by writing genre fiction. You can click on the fiction tab over there if you’d like to sample it.
I just got back from vacation. It had been my intention that over vacation to write at least one short story aimed at publication and wrapping up Doc Passion and the Floating City. I did neither. And I felt like a major failure. I hadn’t used the skill of writing genre fiction at all, despite plenty of time to do it.
Yet the strength wasn’t lying fallow. Instead, I applied it in a different way. I started work on a major new Bible study for my day job as a pastor. (If you ever want to read about that side of my life, check out the other blog I write for, Ordained for Growth.) I started working on another project with my wife on a different Bible study. See, I was using my strength for creative writing, but not the skill of genre writing. Instead, I was using the skill of Bible study writing. And it took this book pointing out the differences between strengths and skills for me to realize I wasn’t wasting “free time.” I was simply using my strength in a different way.
Which goes a long way to say: I don’t have the next part of Doc Passion and the Floating City ready. I’ll aim to have it up next week, but there’s a possibility I can post it Thursday.
Until then… what are your strengths, and what skills do they appear in?