“When did I start on this path?”
Do you ever ask yourself that question? It’s something I’ve thought about a lot. When did I first know I wanted to marry my wife? When did I realize I wanted to become a counselor? When did I begin to love writing?
For you, the questions might be different, but they’re worth reflection. It’ll give you insight into how God has orchestrated your life: led you, pushed you, given you reign, or smacked you upside the head. The flip-side? It’ll encourage you for the future. Confused about something in your life? Not sure how all the pieces will fit together? Wait and watch. See how God will use it. Life is like a mystery story where every detail is there for a reason.
I remember when I really started on the path to writing. I didn’t know what it would come to in the end (and still don’t, if I’m being entirely honest). But it all began when I was homeschooling as a teenager. Nearly every day, my sister and I would hurry to finish our lessons so we could go exploring. The eastern fork of the Choctawhatchee River ran behind my house, and the sloping, wooded river basin was the perfect place to get lost, forget about the real world, and set up camp underneath an ancient beech tree. It was ideal for a little writing. And great inspiration for story-scenes and maps, which every fantasy author knows is a must.
What about your story? Your gifts? Your abilities? Already figured out how God will use them in your life, or are you still waiting to bloom? Just give it time. It is spring, after all.
Today, I am the featured blogger on Mikelyn Bolden’s website. For those of you who don’t know, Mikelyn is a fellow Dothan writer, and is the author of The Waiz Chronicles. I’ve posted my article below, but click on her photo to head on over to her website.
The stories we tell come from our hearts, or, are at least derived from our own grid of thinking. My fellow author and friend, Nathan Lumbatis, recently signed with Ellechor Publishing and will be releasing his first novel in the summer of 2015. He chose a more specific genre to tell his tale. See his reasoning and get a sneak peak of his book below:
Christian fantasy is interested in the “What if?” It presumes a Christian worldview, but then lets the imagination run wild.
What if you and your siblings discover that a musty wardrobe will transport you to a magical world where animals talk, magicians are fallen stars, and a Wild Lion is willing to sacrifice himself for your brother?
What if you find yourself stumbling through the tombs of Anak, desperately trying to solve the mystery behind a sinister family and the treasure it’s hoarding?
What if the Ancient One gave you gifts of prophecy and wisdom to lead a nation to greatness through your protege Arthur Pendragon?
Many of you may recognize these story lines from The Chronicles of Narnia (Lewis), The Tombs of Anak (Peretti), and Merlin (Lawhead). They all have Christian themes, but if we’re honest, it’s the way those themes are interwoven with the mythological and supernatural that give them such strong appeal.
In my novel, Daniel and the Sun Sword (Summer 2015), the main character is thrust into a world where Christianity and mythology intersect. The plot presumes that the myths of the world were born from mankind’s fleeting glimpses into the battle between God and Satan. In this, the first book of the Sons and Daughters series, Daniel and his two friends are transported to Machu Picchu, Peru, where they find that the gods and monsters of Incan legend are alive and kicking. . . or so it seems. An ancient deity known simply as the Father adopts him as his son, and sets him on a quest to unite the shards of a magical sword. But when that quest pits him against the “god” of the underworld, Daniel discovers he isn’t simply battling for a sword of legend. He’s partaking in an ancient battle between Life and Death and the supernatural forces behind them. There may be more to his Heavenly Father than he first realized.
With the success of series like Percy Jackson and the Olympians and The Kane Chronicles, mythology is in the forefront of teen literature. The “What if?” of Daniel and the Sun Sword takes that interest and focuses it on the Gospel.
What is your favorite “What if”? If you’re a writer, what “What ifs?” could you weave into your next story?
Inspiration is the core of anything we create. And it can come from anywhere: a song, sunset, movie, or maybe a particularly comforting time with God. Nature has always been very inspiring to me.
This adventure inspired me to write a will.
In case you’re wondering, I survived.
I’ve also been especially influenced by Greek mythology, Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Lloyd Alexander, and more contemporary writers like Rick Riordan and J.K. Rowling. Knowing what inspires you is one of the keys to writing. Why? If you don’t know what’s sparking your creativity, you will subconsciously become a creative copycat, punching out drab, hand-me-down stories that don’t grab people and pull them in. It’s like those Disney knock-off movies you see in the gas station. Who buys those things anyway?
If, on the other hand, you know what influences and drives your own creative development, you’ll be able to find a unique voice all your own. You’ll create something that contains elements of your inspiration, but is distinct enough to be relevant and worthy of attention.
If you’re a writer or artist, let me hear from you. What inspires you to create?