For everyone who prayed for me during my meeting with the agent Sunday: thank you! I really could feel your prayers and the writer’s meeting went very well. Now I will be querying this agent, so I am going to be very busy preparing my query letter.
This means that unfortunately I will not be able to post until I sent that to her, get a handle on school, and take care of a few others obligations. So I probably will not post again until this weekend.
However, for today’s post, here is an non-formal essay which I wrote for my literature and composition class. It is about my writing journey. I hope you enjoy it!
Writing: My Sword of Ideas
I had not always loved writing. I preferred numbers to letters for most of my elementary years. Not that I was not imaginative; I had Narnia in my own back yard, and I had conversations with the cottonwood dryads which lived there. But I did enjoy reading; when I was in second grade, I tried to read War and Peace but ended up settling for Watership Down instead. But I knew no reason why I should write my own adventures or thoughts down. I thought all the summery work and useless stories about boring, still drawings in homeschool was tedious and took up too much time—time I could have been using to fight leaf warriors while riding the tree dragon in the back yard. Writing was a chore.
When I started the fourth grade, my mom decided it was time for my sister and I to join the local homeschool co-op. It had four classes: art, apologetics, music, and writing. I was only interested in three. So, sobbing for weeks, I begged my mom to let me skip the writing class, but, consistent with the wonderful mother she is, my mom refused. The first story I wrote in that class had seven sentences, all of which started with the subject, and, for five of those sentences, the subject was “I.” But then the teacher, Mrs. Smart, showed me how words could create emotions and pictures. She showed me how to put them into sentences and create a new scene and a new story. This was different from any writing I had done. Mrs. Smart would give me beautiful pictures of landscapes which could have belonged in Narnia or Middle Earth, and then I would describe them, creating my own image made up of words. I could see the crystalline blue waterfalls dancing over the slick, moss covered rocks in my prose, and, any time I wished, I could visit places I could never go. Writing became beautiful, and I loved it.
Within the year, I had the joy of rising to compete with the better writers in the class, but I didn’t want to stop my journey with the beautiful descriptions I wrote every week. No, when I was eleven, I decided that I wanted to write a fairy tale; I wanted to write a novel. My first attempt—now that I look back—was sweetly, innocently pathetic. The Jar of Spring was the adventure of a little buck, Ethelwin, and his friends the river-reed man, Lancelot, and naiad, Genevieve, as they tried to steal back the jar of spring from my villain who inexplicably spoke in Spanish, translated curtesy of Word. Though it was less than impressive with its two hundred word chapters and its childish language, Mrs. Smart and my mother praised it—and, even today, my writing teacher still has a copy. My adoring little sister would ask me to read it to her almost every night. There was nothing praiseworthy about the story, but the encouragement and love which I received from my family and friends kept me writing.
Over the next years, my writing improved but transformed very little. I started to rewrite The Jar of Spring with elves instead of animals and a different, more complex plot. It started to look like an actual novel with proper chapters and more realistic characters, but then something happened—I’m not sure when. I had been in AWANA since I was in “SPARKS” and had taken apologetics classes in homeschool and through the co-op. I had always loved debating and logic, but then I realized I had a calling which was not to frivolous writing and petty debates. I had a mission; I had a purpose. Today, I can only track the change through my journal entrees which I started writing to God. First I started signing “my life if fully Yours[God’s],” then I would write “my life is forfeit for You.” But, by the end of the journal, I closed each entry with the words, “Forever in the pursuit of the Truth.” Then I went back to the beginning and inscribed a single verse on the cover: Psalm 45:1 “My heart is stirred by a noble theme as I recite my verses for the king; my tongue is the pen of a skillful writer.”
Sometime between the journal entries, I realized. Yes, I had power; I could create worlds. But I could also I could master ideas; I could communicate the unspeakable. I could reveal truth. I had power, and I knew Who I was going to use it for.
Writing became my sword for ideas. I started writing essays which I had never enjoyed before. I wrote essays and poems about the hope of Christianity or the social implications of macro-evolution, but most importantly, I wrote about God’s Truth. Then one day, about two years ago, I picked up my unfinished novel and realized what it was missing. It was missing a message; it had no purpose. Adding a new character, I rewrote the entire novel with a new plot and a new message—God’s message of love, grace, and forgiveness. This time I finished the novel, unlike the previous few attempts, and had the pleasure of offering it to God to use for His glory.
Now, in the past few months, I’ve follow in the path which God has set before me. I’ve finished editing the novel, started seeking literary agents to pursue publishing my novel, and started my own writing blog. Writing has become my way of communicating truth; it has become my double edged sword. But writing has also become my calling—my mission as a servant of the Most High God. Only through his guidance have I transformed from a child who hated writing to a warrior of the written word.