Paper, Ink and Me... we're all the same, this is what I learned this weekend. I went to our local State Park, just me, hubby, our dog, and our camper. The state park is only about 20 miles from our house, but it's on a beautiful river and has glorious huge trees that when the wind blows thru them they sound incredible. And we can have a campfire and spend time talking to each other, vs talking to ourselves at our computers, or talking to our computers to tell them how stupid they are. We take our guitars and play by the campfire, we do things we don't do at home, we could but we just don't. That's why I love camping. I took along a book I'd been wanting to read for about, ummm 5 years now.
Anyone that's been listening to me at all for the last 6 months knows I'm writing a book. I love my book, but I think, as we sometimes do with our children, it has become a reflection of me and I take it very personally if someone criticizes it or doesn't like it for whatever reason. I want my book to make everyone happy, and if it doesn't I somehow feel I'm not making them happy. It's all become very twisted and much too important to me, I recognize that. I know because I don't sleep, I forget to eat, I can hardly wait to get up in the morning to work on it some more or read the last re-write from the night before, when my eyes were glazed over with grogginess and everything I wrote sounded marvelous and inspired! (rarely the case).
In my last post I mentioned I had given the Introduction and the first three chapters to three friends to read and give me feedback. Then I perched myself on the edge of my seat and waited for them to call me to tell me it was the best thing they had ever read but they couldn't wait until the next time they saw me to tell me that. Hey, I'm just being totally honest here. But no one called and I went camping without knowing what they thought.
Well, the book I took had a chapter called "Get Over Yourself." I'm serious, you can't make this stuff up! The Burden of Arrogance was the subtitle. Now, I seriously didn't recognize that this chapter had anything to do with me (ok, anyone that has ever not been blind to their faults raise your hand).
This is the chapter that did it for me. The author says; "God hates arrogance. (and well He should I'm thinking). He hates arrogance because we haven't done anything to be arrogant about. (Are you ready 'cause here it comes); Do art critics give awards to the canvas? Is there a Pulitzer for ink? Of course not. They are only tools, so they get no credit for the accomplishments."
That hit me between the eyes and God showed me that I had forgotten that He is the one that gave me the stories I am writing, He created the people they are about, He put me in their lives at just the right time, He gave me the desire to write about them, and He gives me the Hope that the stories will bless others. I'm no different than the paper they are written on or the ink they are written with, we're all just the tools He is using to do what He does. Thank you Lord for once again reigning me in. You are faithful!
So when I went to church tonight and one of the friends I had given the stories to gave them back with praise and encouragement to go on and write the rest of the stories and I was able to honestly say; "Thank you Lord" and not get carried away with thoughts of my soon to be recognized greatness and fortune.