Oceans & Revisions

I went to praise chapel at Northwestern the other day. Though UNW has worship chapel every week, this was a special one for the semester since the entire orchestra was on stage, a powerful treat.

They played Hillsong’s “Oceans.”

wanderSpirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior

When I sang, “Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander,” I immediately thought of Truest and all its many rounds of revisions.

Here is the truth: on my own, Truest would have been finished a long time ago.  And it wouldn’t have been nearly as good. But so many people have been put into my life to press me further down that path than my feet could ever wander on their own.

And the result?

A better novel.  Also, my faith was made stronger: my faith in the creative process and my faith in God.

 

Image credit: if you know the owner of this image, please let me know.

The Faith of a Pantser

Plotter: a writer who plans out his or her novel.
Pantser: one who writes by the seat of his or her pants.

Confession: I am a pantser.

I have tried to be a plotter.  Here is the evidence, blurred in case I use it one day:

Kipp plot blur

I sat down and figured out the timelines of events for seven characters and subplots.

And then I proceeded to stare at my blank screen and could. not. make. it. happen.

I returned to my pantser ways.

It occurred to me the other day that pantsers need to have a lot of faith in the writing process: we are stepping into the unknown, armed with no conclusion, shielded by no outline.  Instead, we have to simply believe that the writing process will take over: write, feedback, revise, repeat.  It’s so, so risky.

What if no conclusion presents itself?
What if I get my characters into trouble I can’t save them from?
What if I’m walking blindly over the edge of a cliff?

Thankfully I’ve learned (and continue to learn) to love risk and uncertainty.  (Thanks, ERP!)

And so I’ll walk that tightrope, trusting the creative process is a net beneath me.

Related posts:
Pantsers Unite!
Trusting the Creative Process
Fiction: How I Start
Truth Tripline
My Writing Process