“I began a love affair with words before I left the crib!” Linda, only half-joking, recalled. “As a baby my mom put books in with me. I loved to flip through them even then.” And it wasn’t long before her love of flipping through books evolved into a passion for reading and writing.
Linda Binley, now a gifted writer and editor, has seen her identity powerfully shaped by this childhood love of hers.
“My identity as a writer is perhaps the truest thing about me. The whole process is as close to flying as I think I will ever experience. Distilling my thoughts, beginning, editing…editing some more…then sharing a finished product that takes on its own life. I feel most alive when I’m writing, so that keeps me going, keeps me flying.”
And flying is certainly something Linda has spent plenty of time doing. In her career, she has written everything from high-end realtor brochures to poetry, web articles to one-act plays. She has penned a screenplay, crafted a book proposal, ghostwritten a book, and edited on many projects for others. But all of this pales in comparison to her latest project.
“I’m especially excited to say that I recently published my first book!” Linda says of her memoir Beach Glass: Finding New Beauty in What Survives the Storm. “It is the story of three decades of hunting beach glass up and down the west coast of North America as I learned the lessons that this glass has to teach us, lessons of beauty revealed through adversity.”
This incredible achievement is something that Linda knows was only made possible because of the community around her. She is especially thankful for the support of her fellow artists that were a part of the Cultivated Artist Experience (CAE), Journey One, at the Grove.
“What a great adventure this has been. Without the love, encouragement and community of my fellow Grove Artists, my book would have stayed just a dream. It’s hard to put into words what the CAE has done for my art. For a writer that is saying a lot!”
Linda used the CAE Artist Showcase as an opportunity to launch her book, a huge milestone in her writing career and life. In her words “it has opened up a whole new chapter of life for me, and will always mark a distinct ‘before’ and an ‘after’ point.”
With Beach Glass now in its 3rd third printing, Linda truly feels like the book has taken on a life of its own. “I’m starting to get beautiful notes and comments back from readers about how the stories have touched them. This little book is starting to have a life beyond me, and sometimes I feel like I am not so much driving this train, as being a passenger on it!”
Linda is incredibly thankful not just for her community, but also for the pivotal role God plays in her creativity as well. “As I mature as a writer, I have learned how much I am a conduit for the message, really. God gifted me with a certain set of aptitudes, and gives me the information to share. What comes through me comes from God.
“I also realize that the timing of my writing is also His. That both humbles and edifies me in my walk as both a writer and daughter of God. As the expression that comes through me touches other people, in His timing, I know God is speaking to them through my words. That is an absolute honor!”
As I am a writer myself, Linda’s journey is an inspiration to me. Her perseverance and trust in God motivates me in my creativity and surely has motivated many more. To us she offers this encouragement:
“Show up. Do the work. The “get to it later” opportunities will become fewer and fewer, so get at it now. Do not allow perfectionism, procrastination, or busyness to kill your art. Discipline and order are actually an artist’s friends. If God built you as an artist, honor Him by creating art!”
We’d love to hear your thoughts and comments.
What about Linda’s wisdom stood out to you? How can you “show up” and “honor God” with your creativity this week?
Learn more about Linda and Beach Glass: Finding New Beauty in What Survives the Storm on her website.
Drew Tilton is an experienced writer, creator, leader, editor, pastor, spiritual director, and project manager, who is passionate about Jesus, His Kingdom, and His Church.