Into the Book

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Writer’s block is a lie, you know. What people mean by “writer’s block” is really “The right thoughts aren’t coming to mind at the moment.” That’s why everyone tells you to just start writing when you’re stuck – sooner or later, the wanderings of your mind make their way around to what it was you were really hoping to write.

That’s actually how this post sprang into being. Thoughts are always swirling in my head, so I figure that any attempt to get some of them down will lead me – however slowly and circuitously – to the thoughts I am really trying very hard to pin down.

Right this moment I’m trying very hard to sort out the ending of Fullblood, which is bothering me, Writing is a tricky business. It’s rather a pressing question, too, since I’m also supposed to be starting (and finishing) Fullblood within the month of January (self-imposed deadlines are always broken, anyhow). And here I am, writing anything but that.

Instead, my needlessly parenthetical mind is full of other things: the thoughts that always accompany a new year; the emotions from saying goodbye for too long yet once more; and the weariness of a long drive home after a white Christmas and a happy new year.

All of that to say: Fullblood is pretty far from my mind right now. Who cares how Carrin and Jamie and Danet end up if I am not sure how I will end up myself? How can I turn my mind to fiction if the present seems so roiling, so uncertain?

Fiction is a necessary tool to preach to ourselves.

Every human, I think, would be very good at writing a despairing story: despair is the default mode of our circumstances, and it’s easy to wallow in it. But comedy (I mean it in the classical sense) and hope are tinged with the gospel. How can they not be? To write hopefully, joyful stories is to preach hope and joy to ourselves, and to remind us that we are living in a comedy, however hard it is to see it at times.

I do not know what 2019 will bring, but I know that God will bring it. I know that he’s got me in his hand, and his story will be written. My hope for my own writing over the next year is that I can keep my eyes locked on that hope and reflect it in what I write. Happy new year, friend.

Published on 2 January, 2019. Last updated on

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