I like the opportunity to make some sense of my life experiences from a broader perspective. It gives me not happiness or pleasure, but joy to organize life experiences in ways that express meaning, purpose and hope.
I appreciate simplicity, but often I have found my life isn't simple. The more involved I get with trying to look good, the sillier I look. I think God has a better sense of humor than I have, and as I write I try to learn to laugh at myself with him. Despite my wish for simplicity, I am actually drawn to complexity, so I enjoy writing about my friend Rich Mullins.
I don't rely too much on chronology to dictate the sequence of my topics when writing. There are themes I hope to pick out for the reader, and I prefer to rely on sequence to develop them. Symbolism and metaphor are also important elements of writing for me. I attempt to use them to retell anecdotes in a sequence which I hope maintains balance, tension, and cohesion for the reader.
I spend a lot of time--maybe too much!--thinking about the sequence of my anecdotes. But this is one of the parts of writing I like best. Changing the sequence of just one story alters the entire framework, and the "conversation between" the parts of the story. To juxtapose one story against a different one suggests a new way of looking at the same events and compels the writer to find a way to open interplay between the expected and the unexpected in storytelling.
This is where I believe life is breathed into writing--in the conversation that arises between the mundane in our lives, and the unexpected truth.