On Monday Patti revealed that even she, a multi-published author with a gift for writing straight to the heart, even she worries that no publisher will buy her next novel or the one after that. Even she is out there looking for a day job.
Even she finds it hard to write sometimes.
Then on Wednesday, Latayne detailed for you just how long it takes to get a novel published - if it gets published - and just how many obstacles there are along the way.
And then you checked your bank account, paid what bills you could. And asked yourself, perhaps, if it wasn't high time you got real about your chances of ever being a published author.
No. It's not.
It's never time to get real until you understand that "real" is not the materialist, worldly ethos that places a dollar sign at the bottom line of everything. You've got to remember that any God who would be born in a feed trough and die on a cross for us is capable of anything. He's certainly capbable of asking you to lavish your creativity - if only for a time - with no promise of reward beyond the satisfying click you feel when you place the right word in a good sentence.
Will you indulge me? May I share something I wrote five years ago, titled, "What I Really Think"?
Because it still is what I think.
There’s a message hid inside of you.
In fact, the world’s jam-packed with meaning. It’s no accident that butterflies and eggs and seeds make such fine metaphors for rebirth; that wind and fire, water and wine are apt images of the Holy Spirit; that the ocean brings to mind the depths of our own souls. Even the giant water bug Annie Dillard writes of in Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, the predatory insect that poisons its prey and then leisurely sucks it void – well, you’ve already thought up a connection or two for that one, haven’t you?
God is the original artist. He hides terror in a beetle, and crystalline beauty in an invisible jellyfish. The more you look at anything, the more you see–any child or scientist knows that.
And this artist God, who saturates creation with metaphor and meaning, this God made you in his image. Certainly you’re not the lone exception in all creation. There is meaning, too, in your soul.
Grasp this. If you don’t, no matter how many words you put on paper, how much paint on canvas, no matter what you do, your message will die with you. You will borrow the message of another and make a dime store copy. You will discount the images, words and phrases that burn in your gut day after day, because they don’t form themselves into something you understand, they don’t fit any outline you can explain.
You will above all suppress the struggle raging inside you, because – well, who knows where that will go, if allowed to run rampant?
“Nothing important is completely explicable,” says Madeleine L’Engle in A Circle of Quiet. That’s because, frankly, you and I only understand small things, like the recipe for green bean casserole.
Big things, like messages in our souls? We don’t comprehend those any more than we know how the bumblebee flies. To excavate that message and expect it to fly–that takes faith.
In The Elements of Style, E.B. White says, “Writing is an act of faith, not a trick of grammar… Let (an author) start sniffing the air, or glancing at the Trend Machine, and he is as good as dead, although he may make a nice living.”
Or he may not.
In your comments, why not share a line or two where you felt that click, that right word in a good sentence. Then read your lines to yourself again. The secret no one says out loud is that those are the moments that make you a writer.