Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Reality of Writing for God

My image.
I’ve semi-recently made a huge mess of my Forest of Lies rewriting. The chapters that I expected to be a breeze I’ve accidentally destroyed and I’m left scrambling trying to put them back together.

Recently, I whined about this to my good (poor) friend Penny. In the course of the conversation, I said this:

"It is very much a huge mess.

I've been praying about it a lot.

It's still a huge mess."

Penny said: "Praying doesn't necessarily make the mess go away, just makes you more able to handle the mess. :P"

I replied “yeah, I know,” but what I had said and what she said stuck in my mind. And it’s made me think.

I still remember the events that made me give, give, and re-give my writing to God with something like awe. It really is an amazing thing, especially my first realization of: “I couldn’t have written that on my own.”

As I often say, “I couldn’t write something that beautiful, because I’m not that beautiful.” The idea is a freeing one, at first. You think of phrases like God’s words through my fingertips and if this only makes You happy, it’s still worth it. The real-life application of the latter of those phrases took me a long time to learn.

But there’s another component.

As I’ve worked on this draft of Forest of Lies, I have felt especially blessed in finally being allowed to work on it. I tried unsuccessfully for two and a half years, and I wonder if during those years God purposefully held me back, letting me grow as a person and as a Christian before I tackled the final story edit.

But as I work on it, I feel a huge responsibility. God has show me time and time again how Draft III has glorified Him in spite of its faults. As I work on correcting those faults, I’m terrified of somehow snuffing out the heart of this story, that somehow it won’t touch people like it has anymore.

As I also wrestle more thoroughly with its tangled and messy themes of Truth, Love, true Christianity, and awe-inspiring Forgiveness, I am more worried about getting something wrong. This has been especially evident as I struggle with two crucial scenes: the showdown and the denouement. They bring these themes voice in a way that has to carry the weight of the entire story. I want these scenes to have no unnecessary elements, no preachy lines--all realness and rawness of the human condition and sacrificial Love.

Because of that, I have been writing in my prayer journal over and over again: “God, I give this to You. This is Yours.”

And it is His.

But He’s not necessarily going to come down, point a finger at my screen, and write it for me. I got a snippet of who He is when writing Forest of Lies’s showdown--one snippet out of 45,000 words.

My point?

I need to write. Without fear.

I will pray, and I will search, and I will try to make this story as true as it can possibly be in a fallen world coming from a fallen but redeemed human. But writing for God doesn’t mean plot problems with supernaturally unsnarl or I will always know where to go with the themes He puts in my heart.

Mostly, it means that whatever good comes out of my fumbling attempts--I give the glory to Him.

Does anyone else struggled with real-life application of Soli Deo Gloria?


LadyPenWarrior said...

Wow, free advertising!


Okay, no, that's not the first thing that entered my mind. :P The first thing I thought was "aw, you're so sweet." I finished reading the post nodding in agreement. It's definitely not easy to write for His glory, but it's even more so a fight worth fighting. So I fight it. And I'm glad to have you fighting it alongside me. ^.^

God bless you, my friend.


Cait said...

Loved this post so much! It's all so true! Especially that worry that you might accidently "edit" something and do it wrong and lose the heart of your book. I think about that a lot. Such an inspiring post.

PS I get very excited when my blogroll says you've posted. I find your posts really encouraging!! :D

Olivia said...

You have a very smart friend. ;) Seriously, though...thanks for posting, Nai. Need to think about this.

Sarah Faulkner said...

Hey Nairam. I know I just gave you an award, but I received another one, and because your blogs is one of my favorites, I'm awarding you the Kreativ Blogger award. Check out the details over at my blog.


Nairam said...

@Penny: <3. :)

@Cait: I got super paranoid about that when I was about halfway through the book (editing out the heart). I _think_ it's going to be okay. I still worry sometimes. :P (Even if I don't edit out the heart, will people still like it? Scary...)

I'm glad they're encouraging! That's generally what I aim for. Writers need lots of encouragement, I think. I know I do.

@Olivia: I do indeed. You're welcome.

@Sarah: I've basically decided not to "do" blog awards, but I really appreciate both you've given me. :) I will hop over to have a look!

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