I think the thing that most helped me from the discussion on the open ended writing process wasn’t so much doing the process itself, but realizing that what I am doing IS hard, and DOES take a lot of time and I WILL feel chaotic and disoriented, even frustrated with all the choices, but that it is okay. It’s actually the point.
The point of the sea voyage is to leave the old “wrong” ideas behind and find a new vision. New ideas, something based on the old, but not the old.
All that was on Tuesday. On Friday I listened to a Bible class from summer 2011 about how the spiritual gift works. I’ve been slowly working my way through those classes as time allows and it had been awhile since I’d listened to this particular series. I can’t even say why I chose to do it that day, but the content fell right in line with what I had been learning about the writing process. Again I found myself transcribing quotes into my journal.
From my entry last Friday:
(This Lesson from Sunday, July 17, 2011) is speaking directly to me!
“The power that flows through my spiritual gift and the results of its function are up to God.”
In my case “results” can mean what I’m seeing as accomplishment, as acceptable “progress.” So even when I can’t see anything, it’s still Him.
“So what does that leave for us to do? We’re merely to nurture a willingness to do the work (write the story) and be prepared. And to put ourselves in the place where the gift can operate. We let Him pick the right time for its operation.”
Which means for me, when the story “emerges” when things finally begin to come together, whether plotwise or world-buildingwise.
“This is new! This is different! This is not the way you’ve been trained (by the world) from birth to get things done.
“The results are up to God, not you.”
“Therefore, don’t judge your effectiveness in your spiritual gift by the results. Be faithful to what God has called you to do, whatever it is. Just trust that He knows what He’s doing. Don’t freak out. Don’t get depressed, despairing, thinking that maybe you’re not doing what you’re supposed to. If you’re following the Word of God, hearing the Word of God, and being obedient to it, God’s gonna get you where you need to be.”
This on the surface relates to physical position, like at the corner where there’s a person waiting to hear the Gospel from you. But lately I’ve been reading about writing in terms of a journey – the sea voyage. You set out, leave land behind, get lost, don’t know what you’re doing and then gradually you come to a new land…. God will get you where you need to be.
This all SO applies to my circumstances right now. I’m looking through notes, reading various writings, doing open-ended writings and nonstops… trying to figure out/decide whether to have a more direct parallel to our situation today as a nation ( with other nations in my created world, covert ops, war, military actions… ) or make it a more abstract, even stylistic allegory, without all the grand political arena and dispensational stuff…Except I’ve already started both in the prologue, at least hints… And here I’m conflicted again. I feel like I’m getting nowhere..
But in all this mess I must stop and reflect: God will get me where He wants me to be.
Oh! And another message in today’s lesson:
“God is not a god of confusion. This is a very important principle when it comes to your spiritual gift because there’s a big temptation for them to get out of hand, lead to chaos rather than clarity. And God is all about CLARITY. Making things clear.”
So trust Him to do just that. Trust Him to show you the way you should go and believe that He is, even if it doesn’t look like you think it should look.