Chasing Inspiration

Sunday, April 22, 2007

How Much of It Is Me?

I'm reading a book by John Eldredge of Ransomed Hearts Ministries titled Waking The Dead. For those of you reading my blog who aren't spiritual or religious, this book may not be of interest, though I challenge you to pick it up if for no other reason but to see how others look at our world. For those of you who do have a faith in God in some form or another, this book may challenge some things you were taught in Sunday School. In a good way.

Why bring up a religious/spiritual book on a blog about writing? Because as I'm reading through this book and having my beliefs and thoughts challenged, I find myself wondering how much of the story I'm working on will be changed or challenged because I as a person am changed or challenged. How much of my story is a reflection of me and how much is a "just the story?" In the past I would have said that the tenets of the story itself wouldn't change, but perhaps how the characters respond to their situations may sway somewhat.

However, as I approached my story this afternoon, I found myself looking at some of the threads I intended to weave into my story and struggled with them. So I did what I usually do when I hit a block, I called my husband into the room and attempted to look at things for an intellectual, logical standpoint. My husband is good at this. Must be that engineering mind of his.

We discussed and we debated and in the end I threw my hands in the air and said with disgust, "It's all John Eldredge's fault!" That earned a puzzled look and a sneer from the boy. I knew I had to explain. In reading Waking The Dead I've been examining some things about my beliefs. Not a bad thing for a person to do. I think we should always be examining ourselves and our beliefs. It's an act of growth. However, some of those beliefs are beliefs that have been seeping into my story. Now that I'm challenging them, I'm torn between keeping things the same and static or rewriting the story to change with me. The later would allow me to follow my happy path but perhaps not bring a true representation of myself to the story. The former would throw the entire journey of the characters off and the book would become a whole new story. One I'm not feeling compelled to tell.

So you see my dilemma. How much of this story is me? And how much is just the story? How much should a work of fiction mirror the beliefs and values of the author?

I don't have an answer. But I did pull a coaching technique out of my bag of tricks and instead of pushing too far into this mess I seem to be creating for myself, I'm going to do some character interviews to learn more about Mallory & Jason and the rest of the cast. I have a feeling they need to tell me something that will pull my struggle together with their story.

Why oh why does writing have to be so hard? Oh, but you know I love it! *grin*


  1. Hi, found your blog through searching for blogs about "Eldgredge".

    I've read "Wild at Heart" (probably good for your husband), I've seen the DVD to "Epic", read "Journey of Desire" and am currently reading "Waking the Dead". His books really are great and much needed for our current Christian society.

  2. I've read "Wild at Heart" and "Captivating". Still trying to get the boy to read "Wild at Heart". He's not too into books right now. Can't say as I blame him. I think I may get him the book on CD for..well...just because.

    I agree with you that John's works are definately needed in our christian society. He has a wonderful way of bringing truth home. I have friends who have been to Boot Camp and have walked away healed and charged and with heart. I encourage you to look into that.

    And any time you want to talk Eldredge, you let me know. I'm happy to discuss.