By Tanara McCauley
I recently joined the ranks of writers who pen speculative fiction. While I’ve read it for years and tend to favor a well-written epic fantasy over any other genre, it wasn’t until I felt God’s leading in that direction that I decided to step out in obedience and try to write my own.
I initially found myself exhilarated by the process. I was writing it with God, getting ideas from Him, talking to Him, and listening. The interaction and dependence made me eager to write in a way I’ve never experienced before. Until I went back and read what I’d written so far.
The writing was terrible. And that had me terribly frustrated.
And while I tend to err on the side of submission–growing up the middle girl and all–I have to admit I had myself a sassy Moses moment that day. Just like he asked the Lord, “Did I conceive all these people” when God told him to lead the Israelites to the Promised Land, I thought (we middlings don’t voice our sassiness to those in authority) “Was this my idea, that now not only am I writing fiction I’m uncomfortable with, but I’m back to bad, newbie writing? Did I misunderstand You? If we’re writing this together, shouldn’t it at least be decent if not…uh…GREAT?”
I was disappointed and discouraged, and dwelled in that place for days.
Then God had His moment, and showed me in a gentle but firm way that writing with me is not writing for me. If it were perfect from start to finish on the first go, with no effort on my part to continue honing my craft, braving my fears, risking rejection, and learning from mistakes, then how would I grow? He is in the business of growing His people, His writers, whether they are on their first book or their fiftieth.
And my first draft of this fantasy looks like a first draft because it’s…ahem…a first draft.
God also showed me that the early part of this venture, the writing with abandon, was about the joy of it. I’m learning how to dwell with Him and delight in Him while writing, rather than striving through most words alone and letting the quality dictate my worth.
He is teaching me to trust Him with everything, including this dream that hovered in the air the day of my birth and was sucked in with my first breath. And that trust must remain whether the final version of any book is something wonderful or something I sneak out of hiding from time to time to laugh over.
I doubt it’ll be the latter, but I’m getting to a place where, were it so, I’d be okay. Because Jesus loves me. There’s never been a moment when He hasn’t, and there will never be a moment when He doesn’t.
And that truth makes me channel Moses more appropriately. I will love the Lord my God with all my heart, my soul, and my strength. And I will write with Him draft to draft, book to book, moment to moment.
Which is the greatest fantasy a girl could ever hope for.
Tanara McCauley is a writer of Inspirational Fiction. She is a member of ACFW and CWOW, and a contributing author to Thriving Family. She lives in Arizona with her husband and three kids and is working on her third novel. Visit her website at www.tanaramccauley.com.