Like most writers, I spend a lot of time alone applying my craft to the stories calling to me.
And, like many people, I can lose myself in my aloneness. This is a good thing when I’m creating.
But there are times when it’s not a good thing. I tend to be a loner, private and keep-to-myselfer. I tell people I’m such an introvert, I won’t even talk to myself. When the creative juices are flowing, I can stay in my writing cave for hours, churning out word after word.
Unfortunately, when the creative juices aren’t flowing, I can still stay in my writing cave for hours. Or bury myself in a book, calling it research. It’s not research. It’s escapism. I’d rather be in the imaginary world of a story than in the real world with its hurt and rejection.
I suspect one reason I write stories is to escape that real world and live vicariously through my characters. I haven’t wanted to examine it until recently. Now that I have, I know it’s true. Admitting it means doing something about it. Keeping the status quo is not an option.
The real world is where God placed me. It’s where he wants me to live and to be in relationship with him and with others. The other day I read in one of my devotions that he chose to create me. That rocked me. I know he created me, and I know he has a plan and purpose for me. But this phrasing opened me to a deeper personal level. He CHOSE to create ME! He could have created someone—anyone—else. But he purposely decided to create me.
When I create a character in a story, I create that character for a specific purpose: to be the hero, the sidekick, the comic relief, the villain. God did the same when he created each of us.
Despite what my past, my self-talk, or the devil try to tell me, I am not a random creation. He created me to be in relationship with him, to praise and worship him, to love him and receive his love.
He also created me to serve him and to serve his people in specific ways, ways no one else can do. It may be to preach to thousands from the pulpit. It may be to minister to one person at one specific time and place, to perhaps save them physically and spiritually. Many of us serve unnoticed as parents and spouses, volunteers at church or in the community, in a particular vocation or career.
For many of you reading this, you’re part of the group he created to be writers. Whether that’s devotionals, memoirs, teaching books or inspirational books, or fiction. He created us with unique gifts and the ability to reach certain people in ways no one else can.
When I completed my first novel, I sent the draft to what I call beta readers or first readers. I wanted honest feedback from people I trusted. One reader commented about a particular scene. She said, “whatever you do, don’t take this scene out of the book because it brought me closer to God.” When I read that, God said, “If this book never gets published, it has still accomplished my purpose. It brought her closer to me.”
I know there are times when we feel alone, especially in times like now. But we’re not. Even in times of social distancing and restrictions on travel, etc., we are never alone. God is with us and working in us to fulfill the reasons he created us.
Rejoice in his love and purpose for you! Even when it seems he’s not there, have faith he’s working. Rejoice and trust.
Tagged as “one to watch” by Publishers Weekly, award winning author Henry McLaughlin takes his readers on adventures into the hearts and souls of his characters as they battle inner conflicts while seeking to bring restoration and justice in a dark world. His writing explores these themes of restoration, reconciliation and redemption.
Besides his writing, Henry treasures working with other writers and helping them on their own writing journeys. He is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. He regularly teaches at conferences and workshops, leads writing groups, edits, and mentors and coaches.