So, recently, I’ve been having some inner conflicts about my writing. I love to write, possibly more than doing anything else, and yet I don’t seem to ever have the creative and emotional energy anymore to delve into it. Every time I sit down to write, I end up writing some driveling practice thing that I know will never make it into an actual story. Fifty or so unfinished books are sitting on the dusty virtual shelves of my laptop, and countless more handwritten ones are gathering literal dust on my bookshelf, or sitting in the recesses of my closet, probably growing mold. But I love to write. It used to be so effortless; pure inspiration, pure creativity.
And I got a bit fed up the other night, and in an exasperated tone, I burst out, “Whatever, God – what do YOU want me to do with this writing thing?” (I live alone, so I can talk to myself without being self-conscious about it). Whether or not I felt or sounded exasperated, it was a sincere handing over of my deepest, most precious passion. I don’t know what to do anymore, so I asked God to show me. He is, after all, the one who gives us our talents, and He gifts them for a reason.
I think I’ve known all along what to write, but I haven’t been ready, and I haven’t been doing it the right way. I still wanted to compromise and mix Martha Stewart paint with cheap metallic spray paint, so to speak. Because that’s easier. Because that’s what people do.
So here it is. I’m tired of seeing bookstores peppered with mass-produced, basically-porn, fake, horrible, cheap romance novels that, to quote Miss Ouiser from Steel Magnolias, “have nothin’ but naked people in ’em,” and that totally trash and walk all over what real love is. I’m tired of hearing that women read these cheap substitutes to fill an emotional gap and settling for so much less than what is real, even just in a book. And I’m equally tired of seeing Christian bookstores with mostly sappy, fake, airy-fairy love stories that often tend to stay so far away from the secular romance novels that they go to a cotton candy extreme. (Seriously, if I have to read the sentence “She didn’t understand this feeling” one more time, I may have an aneurysm. I don’t know about you, but I know when I’m attracted to someone.)
I want to write a real, true, beautiful, breathtaking, fiery, wholesome, passionate, pure, lovely, epic love story. I want to write one that people can relate to, that doesn’t hide behind pretense, but that is also good and pure and glorifying to God. I know it can be done, and that’s what I want to do. The world doesn’t need more watered-down half-truth, and it doesn’t need more trashy paperbacks. This is the vision for my writing. And I want it to expand, so that it’s not only love stories, but adventures, and history, and poetry, and songs, and whatever else bubbles up from this.
God has a vision for the world and every detail of it, and the talents He’s given us serve a real, tangible purpose. Ask Him what to do with them – if you’re at the end of your rope, it’s because He has a better one for you to grab onto.