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?