January 18, 2019 at 6:27 pm #72475Thomas (CrØss_Bl₳de)@thewirelessblade
This is a question I’ve been asking myself lately. I’ve started to dig deep into who I am as a writer and as far as I can tell, I’m probably not.
(Hold on tight, I’m about to share some of my writing history) My spark for writing started back when I was 12. I was inspired by Christopher Paolini, who, like me, was homeschooled. That produced an idea, which I wrote roughly the first 2-3 chapters of before I got bored of. That story now lives in the trash, never to be read again. Mwa-ha-ha-ha.
Jump forward 3-4 years and a second story idea flies into my funnel (Thomas the Tank Engine puns… That’s pretty much the only one). A Minecraft story idea. I’ve been “working” on it for almost three years now. But that’s besides the point.
Something in November/December of 2017, I picked up a book titled Wings of Fire, some of you may know about it already. But because of this book series, I was inspired to create a form of writing known as Fan Fiction.
And boy, did I have a blast writing it! By the time I decided I’d wrote too much, I already had a trilogy. The total word count was 32,137. This happened in roughly seven months. Let’s jump forward to a more depressing time. Which is now.
I’m still working on that Minecraft idea and I’m pretty much splat. I’m barely interested in my own writing anymore. It’s pretty depressing. I almost want to give up. Which is probably why I find myself wondering if I’m not even ready for this task or not. I’ve read plenty about how I’m supposed to use my writing to glorify God and stuff like that, but I don’t feel up to the task. I feel too weak, unprepared and just plain not ready.
I feel like I’m missing the joy of writing. The feeling you have even while you’re writing the middle part of the story, the feeling of enjoyment. The same feeling that got me through a large 32,000+ word Fan Fiction and several other story ideas I had at the time.
So my question is: How do you combine the joy of writing with God? I feel like there’s a piece to being a good Christian writer that, when I finally find it, my writing will finally be worth something to me. I’ll know that I’m doing something that glorifies God. I’ll be writing something that I enjoy.
What is it? What’s the secret? What am I missing that makes writing what it was to me when I wrote Fan Fiction? Does anyone know?
*Forum Signature here*January 18, 2019 at 6:29 pm #72477Thomas (CrØss_Bl₳de)@thewirelessbladeJanuary 18, 2019 at 6:48 pm #72483R.M. Archer@r-m-archer
Was there something you loved writing about in your fanfiction that’s missing in your Minecraft story? A big-picture thing, like if your characters were better developed in the fanfiction or the plot just fell into place or you liked the world better? It could also be a smaller thing, but generally the big-picture things make more of a difference.
It could also be that you’ve lost interest in the Minecraft story. There have been stories that I’ve forced myself to keep writing because I had such a strong interest in them when I started, or they’re old enough that they hold a lot of nostalgia, but I lost interest in and really needed to let go or take a break from, and something similar could be happening here.
Another possibility is that your writing has improved enough since you started it that there’s now a disconnect and it doesn’t live up to your current standards. A rewrite might be in order, in that case, or going back and revising the beginning before you move forward.
It could also be none of these things, but hopefully these give you a starting point to figuring out what’s the problem.
Also, praying about it could definitely help. Taking your concerns and feelings of inadequacy to God, expressing your desire to serve Him with your writing, and asking for strength and confidence to do so.
- This reply was modified 1 year, 4 months ago by R.M. Archer.
Fantasy/dystopian/sci-fi author. Mythology nerd. ENFP. Singer.January 18, 2019 at 9:06 pm #72525Jane Maree@jane-maree
So you didn’t actually ask the question outright, but you touched on it and I’m going to note that now. You said you felt weak, unprepared, and just plain not ready to do this writing thing.
So your question: “Am I ready?” Of course you’re not! Am I ready either? Absolutely no! Writing is a journey of growing and getting better, but when you’re in one stage of the journey, are you ready for the next? No, because if you were, you’d be in the next. You learn and move as you are equipped, so you are ready for what you’re in right now. When the time comes for the next step…you’ll grow into that too.
Something that it’s important to remember: who are you writing for? Are you writing for God? For yourself? For other people? Make sure you’re writing for the good reasons, not the bad reasons.
If you’re not enjoying writing, don’t forget that there’s a freedom to what you write. Don’t write to meet someone’s expectations. Write because God gave you the gift and you love him and want to use it. Maybe you don’t have to keep writing this one story — you could move onto something else. Experiment. Take it easy. Do something you’ve never done before.
And definitely pray about it. And definitely don’t give up. Everyone goes through tough times. Everyone goes through times where they hate their writing, no matter what they try. They just kept going despite that and are still going today. 😉
Writing Heroes ♦ Writing Hope // janemareeauthor.com.auJanuary 18, 2019 at 9:06 pm #72526Taylor Clogston@taylorclogston
@thewirelessblade Before and above anything else, you sound like you are experiencing burnout. This happens to people of all sorts in all sorts of crafts, and it’s a common thing to experience. You won’t necessarily feel like this forever.
Inspiration or motivation is awesome. It’s the high most writers chase. It’s glorious and beautiful and some people only ever create when they feel the joy of the act itself moving them.
Motivation isn’t purely reliable. Motivation asks you to think of the now-Thomas, and not the future-Thomas. Motivation sometimes says “let’s write!” And when it does, now-Thomas gets to do something fun while future-Thomas gets to enjoy having written something and having improved.
When Motivation is distracted or bored or on vacation or whatever painfully-extended metaphor you want to use, it says “hey now-Thomas, writing isn’t super fun right now.” And so now-Thomas does something else, and future-Thomas wishes he had written something.
When you write something without Motivation encouraging you, now-Thomas gets better at writing (even if it isn’t enjoyable) and future-Thomas gets the joy of having written something and having improved.
And I know how difficult it can be to just grind through writing when you don’t feel like it. There are certain aspects of it I can do much better when I’m depressed or unmotivated (editing, copywork, line editing) than others (drafting and other content creation). I’m not giving an easy answer, but to an extent it really is just so simple as “do you want, in five days or five years or whatever, to be a writer, knowing that in the big picture you will almost certainly love writing again some day? Then you need to be a writer today when you don’t feel like it.”
That said, I think I understand your specific anxiety, because I think I feel something very similar, and I know from personal conversations with other young, Christian creators that we are not alone. Everyone feels this way. Moses famously felt something similar.
Exodus 4:10-13 Christian Standard Bible (CSB)
10 But Moses replied to the Lord, “Please, Lord, I have never been eloquent—either in the past or recently or since you have been speaking to your servant—because my mouth and my tongue are sluggish.”
11 The Lord said to him, “Who placed a mouth on humans? Who makes a person mute or deaf, seeing or blind? Is it not I, the Lord? 12 Now go! I will help you speak and I will teach you what to say.”
13 Moses said, “Please, Lord, send someone else.”
I’m not telling you God’s specifically called you to write some specific story (maybe He has, IDK) but, like, see this standard you’re trying to reach! One of the most famous speakers in the Old Testament didn’t feel he was capable of using his gift to glorify God, but God still made it work. Maybe you aren’t up to the task today, but you never will be unless you point yourself in the right direction and just take little steps.
Read From Where You Dream by Robert Olen Butler, a craft book about discovering the burning center in your heart that you desperately want to tell. Maybe you’re like me and you don’t necessarily know what that is yet. That’s okay. We’re still young.
And I think a good way to make sure the burning centers of our hearts are things that glorify God is (I mean, aside from praying for this thing here) studying and meditating on the Word. There are about a million verses on this but I think this one’s particularly apt:
Psalm 37:30-31 Christian Standard Bible (CSB)
30 The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom;
his tongue speaks what is just.
31 The instruction of his God is in his heart;
his steps do not falter.
Isn’t that our goal, to speak words of wisdom and justice, and for our steps not to falter? Then the instruction of God must be in our hearts.
A final note, since I don’t think I really addressed the “getting back to love writing” terribly well–I used to write stuff like fanfiction that was basically just junk food. I’m not going to claim that’s what yours was. I’m just sharing experience.
The stuff I have the most consistent fun writing is easy, fluffy stuff where I’m not worrying terribly about quality or theme. I just write characters interacting and doing fun stuff. That’s all well and good (and I think it’s important to have a fun day every once in a while) but at the end of the day I want to be growing as a writer and receiving satisfaction from improvement.
Sometimes it is fun (a lot of the time, actually) but it’s also a ton of work. I think we (like, me specifically and maybe you specifically) need to realize that there probably isn’t going to be a time when we’re having the time of our lives 24/7 and also writing deep and meaningful stories describing raw humanity and the state of reality.
At least, not until we get to heaven =P
Please forgive my condescension. I know you are perfectly aware how discipline is necessary. I think I wrote this as much to force myself to confront it as to respond to you. Hopefully there’s something here valuable to you. Keep purposefully improving and you will get better. Let me see the stuff when as you do, because I’ll be happy to read it :-}
"...the one with whom he so sought to talk has already interceded for him." -The Master and MargaritaJanuary 19, 2019 at 2:27 pm #72715Selah CJW@selah-chelyah
Good general advice above, Thomas.
One thing I have to say is that you need to know that God is wanting you to write, and that you are writing what He wants you to write, as well. God has His specific will for everyone that is always different! As long as you know that He wants you to write what you are writing for His glory, then tackle it! Go for it! And He will give you His strength to get through as you persevere, when you are in His will and timing. 🙂 Just make sure that what you are writing IS exactly what He wants you to be doing and when, why, etc… His ways are so much higher than ours, and it is SO important to be abiding in Him (ie, reading His word and praying) so that we know what it is He wants us to do.
Great question, and know that I’m praying for you and your family! 🙂
Assistant Guildmaster of the Awesome Meraki
~ Created to create ~
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