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I read recently about a Christian author whose first novel had won a number of accolades. On being asked whether such success had surprised them, they indicated that it hadn’t. They went on to explain that from the first days of writing the manuscript they had marveled with surprise and some disbelief that they had been able to pen such words. The voice wasn’t one they’d ever seen themselves use before.
This “out-of-body” experience continued throughout the project and they sensed they were along for the ride. God was using the ingredients this author brought to the computer each day and together they penned something special.
Feeding the Masses
I loved how this author acknowledged the partnership with the Lord. It reminded me of something I read recently about Jesus feeding the five thousand in Mark 6.
Jesus instructed the disciples to feed the crowd. He took the food they provided. He didn’t create something out of nothing (ala water into wine in John 2). It was also the disciples who were responsible for distributing the food and collecting the abundant leftovers.
Just as we do as authors. We bring our research, our story ideas, our knowledge of craft, our finances, not to mention the hours we sit at the computer. We actively participate in the final product’s distribution and collect the results, the reviews, and accolades if they are forthcoming.
“And Jesus’ way of working is to take the little we have and bless it. So bring him your proverbial loaves and fishes … and watch him miraculously multiply them.”1
I continue to marvel at the fact we writers have the Creator of the universe as co-author and Executive Editor. It really is very cool.
Most writing days I too am surprised at what comes out on the page. Beating back the bullies of discouragement and doubt to turnup each day is so worth it when we get to work side-by-side with the best storyteller to ever have lived.
Keep bringing your loaves and fishes, keep praying and keep believing that your co-author is present. We’re all not going to win awards or sell gazillions of copies but that’s not the point, is it?
We get to do life with the Lord and write the stories that aren’t just on our hearts but on His.
Note: 1. Resilient, Your Invitation to a Jesus-Shaped Life, Sheridan Voysey, Discovery House October 2015, p80.
Ian Acheson is an author and strategy consultant based in Sydney, Australia. Ian's first novel of speculative fiction, Angelguard, is available in the US, UK, Canada and Australia. You can find more about Angelguard at Ian's website, on his author Facebook page and Twitter