Recently, I was over at my friend Kristin’s Minnesota house (she spends most of the year at her Kenya house), discussing writing and Christian art.
Kristin is lovely and brilliant and so terribly wise– and she gets me, gets my heart. She knows how the desperate cry of my heart is to honor God in my writing through creating a book that is excellent and thought-provoking while avoiding mawkish sentimentality and all cliches, Christian or otherwise.
It’s so hard.
That is how precise my goal seems. I want my stories to be just offensive enough to disturb someone’s thoughts– but not so offensive that they’ll put down the book. I want them to be full of mystery– but with enough clues to find the answer. I want them to reflect the trials, confusions, and joys of my deepest heart– but in a way that no one will find cheesy or trite.
Again: the size of a dime.
I’m not sure that I am a good enough writer to hit such a bullseye (in fact I feel quite confident that I am not). So, what then? Do I stop writing?
Of course not. Not when that’s the goal of my life and the best worship I can offer.
I tell myself, You’re 31. Keep writing and you’ll be better at 32 … 33 … 34. But I am a perfectionist, an achiever, a go-getter, and terribly impatient. I get frustrated with myself (see here, here, here, here, here, and here) and get so down and low, or else frantic and scared. But the best I can do is to keep writing, continue praying, practice grace, revel in creation, and gauge my faithfulness.
And my faithfulness looks like persistence, like fidelity to Christ, to his gifts, and to showing up.