There are so many fabulous writers who freely share their wisdom about the craft online. One of my favorites is Holly Lisle, who offers a number of classes, free articles, and the occasional e-mail tip (https://hollylisle.com/). I found this one the other day when I was looking through one of my writing notebooks, copied down from one of her e-mails:
“Good fiction is personal. If what you’re writing matters to you – you are going to be in your fiction, and the people who read what you’ve written will read your mind. They will see you… It’s the price you pay for creating.”
Wow, sometimes that price tag feels expensive! Every character I create (both the heroes and the evil villains), every setting I choose, every theme I emphasize, every scene I imagine… it comes from a part of me, and when I let other people read it, I’m throwing a piece of myself out there too. To be evaluated, enjoyed (hopefully), occasionally trampled and rejected. No wonder we writers struggle sometimes!
But I can’t help thinking about the ultimate act of creation – God’s creation of the world. In Genesis 1 of the Bible, we’re told about how God speaks the world into existence. Another account in the book of John tells us, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God… Through him all things were made” (John 1:1,3 – NIV, Zondervan).
God’s words are so powerful, He can speak an entire universe into existence. And just as amazingly, we can see Him in His creation. Romans 1:20 (NIV) says, “Since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen.” We, ourselves, are told that we are made in His image.
So in some very small way, when I create a story, I am reflecting God’s creativity. I am creating my only little world – with a unique setting and characters and rules that govern it – right there in my book, and it reflects the mind of its creator, just as God’s creation reflects Him.
Our words matter, just as His words do, because He’s created us in His image. And that gives me courage to keep creating.