Where stories come from

Where do stories come from? Does the writer invent them? Or discover them?

I’m certain it’s the latter. As least if they are living stories, true stories. (True–whether or not they are factual.)

It was that blog from a couple of weeks ago that got me thinking about the promise that God will supply all we need–and that the word “supply” means basically: God is leading us in a dance. Swing Time
In a dance someone has to lead or you’ll tread on each other’s toes. Or fall over. It won’t look good. And it certainly won’t be a dance–and it won’t look anything like Fred Astaire or Ginger Rogers.

Picasso said,

“You don’t make art, you find it.”

In writing too. The story already existed and you were available–it came through you. It may look like you were very clever and had this master plan. But you know that you wrote following clues.

When I was writing The Jesus Storybook Bible I had no idea until I wrote it that the book was going to “end” with “To Be Continued.” I stood back and thought, that’s clever. Because I knew it was something I walked into, as if led.

I realize more and more that is my job. To get out of the way and let the story through. To get out of the way. To follow.

Just like in a dance.


I wonder what does that look like in your world, your work? to get out of the way? to follow?

Step By Step

Tags: ,

Notice: This site has milk in its tea and affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

11 Responses to “Where stories come from”

  1. Gayla

    Thank you. You have expressed truth here in a way that I have never considered before. I will be thinking about this and internalizing it, hopefully applying it in my life. Many blessings to you as you allow The One to lead you!

    PS. We found the Jesus Storybook Bible two years ago through a “random” internet or FB post, and immediately ordered the deluxe edition for our beloved 1st grandchild. His sister has a birthday coming up this winter, and she will be receiving her own Jesus Storybook Bible.

  2. Ronda Spaulding

    Sally, we LOVE the Jesus Storybook Bible. We still read a portion everynight with our 11 year old daughter. The ending is perfect…because it isn’t an end. Thank you for sharing truth so beautifully. And I do think the best stories do lead the writer down paths they hadn’t planned.

    • Sally Lloyd-Jones

      Ronda–thank you for writing to tell me that. I love hearing how much you and your daughter love the book. And. Thank you. Yes the ending totally caught me by surprise!–which is the best way!

  3. Mary

    one of my favorite parts of the JSB is when something BIG happens, you literally have to turn the page sideways to read, because the art is going in that direction….eventually even wee ones realize…the picture changed! it’s something big! perhaps another ‘clever’ thing you stood back to let happen, but… very effective If I have a child (or parent) reluctant to ‘get into it’ I read a few lines from either the shepherds (running down some step, step, steps) or Zaccheus (…who is so short he has to get a running start to get into his chair) just a line from either section and I see them melt, grab the book, and say: wait, what?! 🙂
    LOVED your insight about being led in a Dance
    reminded me instantly of this…being ‘carried along’
    2 Peter 1:21 For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

    • Sally Lloyd-Jones

      Thank you so much. Love hearing how the children react–particularly reluctant readers! so thanks for the encouragement! (The book turn is fun isn’t it? We actually did that in a previous book–Handbag Friends–and it was so much fun I thought why not here? Wherever I can surprise a little reader–particularly in a Bible Story that they may think they know–I try to! Same with making them laugh too!)

      Thanks for the verse too!

  4. Grace Aspinwall

    Beautiful post! Just comment to tell you we love your storybook bible… Reading it to our 2.5 year old for the SECOND time now and we are all enjoying it. As I read, I am reminded of truths that, as a church kid, I became very used to. Seeing it anew through the eyes of my Little, I remember Jesus is indeed the Hero, the rescuer, the center of the Story. It’s a fairy tale of redemption. Thank you for your beautiful book and for the joy it brings to our little family. Our copy is about to literally fall apart because my daughter sleeps with it in her arms. I’m going to have to buy a new one. 🙂

  5. Jincy Nye

    My daughter and I found your book at a
    Goodwill on Hilton Head island, SC. I love how you make everything so clear to understand. I was hoping when you wrote about
    Creation that you would elaborate about the very first Sabbath. I was disappointed to see that you skipped over it. God resting after all his work creating the world is one of the most important parts of creation.


Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)