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Writing With Eternity In Mind

By Expert Author: Dennis Russell

Your beliefs about eternity will influence not only why you write, but also what you write.
If you believe heaven will be a wonderful place and you want and expect to go there, you are likely to write very differently than if you believe that this world is all there is to life, whether just in your present life, or recycled through reincarnation.
A positive belief about eternity will engender a sense of purpose and thus a positive belief about this life, which will show in what you write.
Eternity themes can probably be found in all forms of writing, in some way.
I believe this is because of the hope that these themes engender within our hearts.
Hope:
Hope is said (in the Bible) to be one of the most powerful forces in the world, right at the top with love and faith.
Mankind can live some days without food and water; but a lack of hope can be immediately mortifying.
Hope in an eternal heaven may seem out of fashion to many readers of my articles, but when you face death at close range, you will most probably be reminded of it, as eternal hope is a very common funeral theme.
My mother died when I was 21 years old, and my strongest memory of her funeral is the stark difference in attitude between those who believed and hoped in heaven (for Mum and for themselves) and those who did not.
Books, and other writings (including song lyrics) that give eternal hope tend to keep selling for a long time; and some of them (such as Pilgrim's Progress) have endured for centuries. Well-loved book series like Narnia and The Fellowship of the Rings trilogy were written by men who had a belief that there is more to our lives than what we are experiencing now.
Jesus Christ proved Himself to be The Authority on the after-life, as He told us more about heaven (and hell) than anyone else ever did. and gave hope for a wonderful and remarkable eternal future. (I don't apologise for capitalising the pronouns referring to Jesus, by the way, even though this has currently lost favour, as I believe it is the best way to avoid confusion).
The opposite is also true.
Personally, I find John Lennon's song 'Imagine' (Imagine there's no heaven... ) one of the saddest and most hopeless songs I know. He imagined world peace happening on earth as a result of people turning away from belief in eternity. Not only is this peace proving completely elusive, but hopelessness is growing as people move further away from faith in an afterlife. His beliefs about eternity have influenced many thousands of people through his well-known song.
When I ask new writers what they would like to write, many of them say they would like to write about what they have been through. Why? Because they want to give hope to readers that they can get through their problems too. Life is not easy, and we need all the hope we can get.
Writing with eternity in mind can add 'shelf life' to your work.

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