Sometimes, as a writer, I get stuck. And right now I think I’m stuck…
I get ideas, I work on them, come up with a story, and then I read it and don’t feel like it’s ready to let go. So I put the story on a shelf hoping that some day I will come back to it, get inspired, fix it, finish it, and release it – once I get the words right.
Words are great. Just like notes in music, if you put them in the wrong order you have a mess that no one can even stand to listen to. Put them in the right order and you can have a masterpiece.
I have a dictionary. It’s full of words. But the words don’t mean anything until they are put together in a way that makes some sense and conveys feelings, images, and ideas that have the potential to strike into the soul of the reader.
When I write a story, I agonize over the words. Is this the right one here, should I move it there. Does this word really convey the idea that I want to get across? What better word can I use?
Writing a story is kind of like raising a child and my stories do become my children. Have I done a good enough job raising them so they can face the world on their own?
I do have two children. My daughter is 23 and my son is 21. I think I did a decent job raising them. They don’t get into trouble. They are respectful and have done well in school and are now ready to start their own lives. Although my job with them may never be done, there comes a time when I need to let them go too. They need to go off and start their own lives without me hovering over them and knowing what they are doing all the time.
Like the notes or words of a masterpiece, hopefully, I have taken the things I have learned about life and being a good person and placed them within my children in the right order so others will find them to be a “masterpiece”.
My stories are no different.
I worry about sending my stories off on their own just as much as I worry about sending my kids off on their own.
“I can’t send this story out into the world by itself,” I think to myself. “What if no one likes it. What if I change just one more thing to make it better? What if it has no friends when it gets out there?”
I read and reread my stories and I feel as if I am never finished with them. But just as my kids must learn to fly on their own, so do my stories. At some point you need to stop worrying about them and you just need to let them go.
I wonder how much God agonized over us when He created us. Was He the over-analytical composer or the doting parent that many of us are?
God raised us, put us on the earth, and then let us go.
Just like I have a dictionary full of words that I can use to write stories, God has given us a book full of His words that we can use to write the stories of our lives. It’s called the Bible. Just like a composer uses notes and a writer uses words, we can use God’s teachings to make ourselves into masterpieces.
The nice thing is that no matter how we use God’s teachings and put them to use in our lives they don’t need to be put together in a perfect order. God loves each one of us and each one of us becomes a masterpiece in His eyes.
I started out by saying I was stuck with my writing, but I think I just got “unstuck” without even knowing it. Or maybe God gave me a little whack in the back of the head to help me get “unstuck”! Thanks, God…
Oh yeah… a few final words of advice to my story before I let it go: you are now on your own. Put on your boots and your coat because it can be cold out there. Don’t be scared. Everything will be OK because I raised you the best that I could and I think your ready to live on your own without me. But, just like God is always there for us, I will always be here for you if you need me – just let me know.