[It’s day 5 out of 7, so I’m guessing that most writers our there are losing their inspiration. So I figured I’d write about why I write.]
For my 7th birthday, my Aunt gave me my first journal; hardback, red and gold cover.
And so I started to write.
At age 7 I wrote different things than I do now.
I wrote wild conspiracy theories. (I wrote my Last Will and Testament in my journal cause I was paranoid I was going to die because of a ‘case’ I was working on).
I made deals with God. (If you make me a professional tennis player I will follow you).
I use my journals from those early years to tell me what really happened, because my weird mind has a tendency to re-write history.
My journal tells me that my parents fought a lot and that I didn’t like it. My journal tells me that I was always a dreamer and always a little bit of a hopeless romantic. My journal tells me that God was working on me long before I ever knew.
In junior high, my writing shifted a little bit. I started to write poetry. I liked the way poetry made solid words become liquid, and you could pour them over one another to stir the senses. I wrote fiction too, (probably best tagged as ‘trashy romance’).
My writing was for no one but myself. I would never have let anyone read those poems or those stories. They were mine.
I wrote because I didn’t know how to escape without words. I tried just sitting still and losing myself in my head, but I needed language. So I would sit at my desk and I would use lines on the page to build worlds that would be tangible enough to hold my weight as I climbed inside.
And then, in college I met Jesus.
And so I felt like I had to stop: writing poetry or fiction. Because those things had been false saviors for me, offering me refuge from the wild world, and now that there was Jesus I knew I wanted to find my safety in Him.
So I only wrote true things: true things about me and true things about Him.
Then, a year ago, after losing my dad, I started writing fiction again; cautiously and tentatively.
I’m going really slowly with it because honestly, I don’t know how to write stories and love Jesus. I don’t know how to open my mind to the worlds locked inside without falling more in love with them than the world He wants me to dream about.
I’m scared of my mind. I’m scared of my imagination.
But I know it’s possible. Because my God is a great story-teller. And He made my mind an my imagination for His glory and my good.
I would love to share some of that stuff with you, but I can’t. It’s too personal.
Yes, I see how ridiculous that sounds. I know that I write stuff all the time about my grief, and my sin, and my heart and it seems ridiculous to say that a story that has nothing to do with me might be too personal to share.
But the worlds I write were never meant to be shared. They are my places. And by God’s grace, they will become mine and His; places where He and I can meet and speak a language that only we know.