Forgive today's post, as it is mostly personal ramblings. A few conversations I've had with a good friend recently has me thinking, or at least trying to, in a new way.
Over the past year, I've felt called to write Christian fiction. I'd ponder it for a while, but ultimately kept waving it off and telling myself that God wasn't really calling me to do that. Why would He? Surely, a person like me must be inadequate and the stories I have to tell are unsuitable, right? Whenever I look at other Christian authors that I admire the work of; namely Anne Elisabeth Stengl, R.J. Larson, and Patrick Carr, I can't help feeling that I am in no way like them.
So, I thought that I would simply write my stories as secular, if perhaps a bit cleaner than most. That way, no one would be disappointed in them or in me. But that wasn't the truth of it. Someone wasn't satisfied.
Over the last month or so, the desire to write Christian stories has done nothing but grow and I have run across so many things that have given me nudges in that direction, even while trying to avoid it. Things that turned my doubts and excuses on their heads. It was finalized with some encouraging words from my favorite author, Anne Elisabeth Stengl, yesterday evening during her book chat on Facebook. It feels as though God has taken a metaphorical newspaper and has been smacking me upside the head with it till I can't ignore Him anymore or shove that call aside as just a fanciful whim of my own mind. Even with the encouraging words and nudges, there is still a voice deep down that scoffs, reminding me of the awful person I am. "What kind of horrible example would you be?" It says. "If anything, your life has been filled with things not to do or be! Who would listen to you? Why should they?"
In a way, that voice has a point. On my bad days I'm short tempered, unloving, thankless, self-loathing, pessimistic, and worse. On good days, I am still me, flawed person that I am, just struggling to follow where He leads. My past is riddled with foolish mistakes, terrible experiences, and family rumors that would make any decent human being cringe. When I think of who I am and the awful things I've done, sometimes I wonder how God can even use a person like me to glorify His name. Or why He would bother, when He has servants who are(or at least appear to me to be) better mirrors of Him than I am.
But I've been reminded in so many ways and through several people that He uses all for His plan. That I have a purpose and He has led my life up until now to accomplish that purpose. As much as I'd like to be like how I see those other authors, I am not meant to compare myself to them. Because He created me to be who I am, to reflect Him in the ways that I can. After all, as a Christian, I should not be saying 'look at me and what a good person I am', but 'look at Him and what He's done'. I may be a darker shade of Christian than them, colored by my own experiences. Or maybe not. I don't know them personally, much less what they've gone through. What I do know is that I was not led down this road for no reason.
There was a time when I was still lost that I couldn't stomach most christian fiction. At that time, all the christian fiction I'd read was 'preachy' and had 'perfect' characters that I simply could not relate to. It wasn't until I read a Christian Fantasy story where the main character was a drug-addicted assassin that He got through to me(Tahn by L.A. Kelly, for those interested). Now that is what I feel called to do. To reach out to the people who are lost like I was and who still struggle with sins society deems darker than a socially acceptable "I forgot to read my Bible today", with stories and characters they can relate to. Maybe there are people that He can reach through me, because they can relate to me in some way that they wouldn't with another Christian author.
And that is all I want.
In other, book related news, I finished the revision draft of my first series book, Bad Blood! It has nearly doubled in length from its original size. It might be split into two books possibly, if I think that it's best. It of course needs some editing and I'm still not sure whether to publish this series before they have all been written. I will decide at a later time. I'm currently working on the second book in the series and for April's Camp NaNoWriMo I plan to work on some short stories for a special project I'm working on with friends. If all goes well, I'll be sharing more later!
To my writing challenge goal, I've since added:
The Last Doomling: Bad Blood: 41,165(for an end, unedited total of 195,801)
The Last Doomling: Book 2: 9,732
Troasia Travel Guide: 3,173(new total of 12,165)
For a total of: 50,897 new words.
My new total challenge count is 238,793