Welcome to the blog of author Tricia Goyer!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

I should just go apply at Wal-mart now...

A few years ago on a e-writers group that I'm a part of I was shocked to hear that other writers have the same uncertainities that I have. The truth is that award-winning, best-selling authors (who I tag behind with applause) often peer at their words on the page and think, "I should just go apply at Wal-mart now, cause I don't think this story is working at all." I can relate.

For me, doubts come as I piece the story together. A heart-warming scene here, a description there, another layer of conflict--like the pieces of puzzle I set them into place, hoping they fit. Sure, I have an idea of the picture/story I'm trying to create in my mind, but there's no box lid to look at as I work. It's more like a fuzzy, sort-of complicated, and ever-morphing idea in my mind on which all my words are built upon.

Yes, after having ten novels under my belt, I do have a system to my madness. I don't question how to write dialogue. I don't find myself halfway through the novel and wonder what my character's movtivation is. (A quarter of the way, maybe, but not half-way.) Yet, even with an intermediate knowledge of novel writing, there is one elemet that cannot be overlooked, and that is the power of the Holy Spirit within me as I write.
My husband John reminded me of this as we walked down a country road and I lamented about so much that I still had to do on my latest book (due date looming). John used the example of Samson to cheer me up, telling me, "He may have been a muscle man, and he maybe even lifted weights now and then, but that can no way explain the man's strength. He could have killed five men with his own strength--maybe ten. But one thousand? Only the Spirit of God upon him could have achieved that."

This simple illustration gave me peace as I strolled along. In my own strength I may be able to write a few good paragraphs--maybe even a few good chapters--but it is God's Spirit within that enables the impossible. I can build up my writer's muscles. I can flex my typing fingers with diligence, but a story that touches lives and impacts heart is the work of the Spirit within.

God knows the story. He has a clear view of the picture on the top of the puzzle box, and He clues me in as I tune in to Him. And, boy, am I glad about that!

I don't know, what do you think . . . should I post a magazine cutout of a hunky guy near my computer screen to remind me of this Samsonite truth?


A. Kay Daniel said...

*laughing out loud* - Only if the hunky guy in the photo is your hubby!

Thanks for being transparent with us, and also for sharing your husband's encouragement. It was good, timely advice.

Karla Akins said...

Who can write better than the Holy Spirit? :-)

Paulette Harris said...

What a sweet husband. Yep, I definitely think that you should post that next to your desk. As a matter of fact, I may as well! :)

Paulette Harris

Name: Holly Bowne said...

Great advice. I really needed to hear it tonight. Thanks for sharing.

Elizabeth Bussey said...

Thanks, I needed this today.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, I needed this too. Great post.

Tricia Goyer said...

God led me back to this post because I needed to be reminded, too!

It's weird how we *know* something one day and forget the next? Yet God is faithful!