As a newbie novelist, I’m going out a limb here by sharing some thoughts about “writing rules”. Without a doubt, I have a lot to learn about the writing craft, but for my current work-in-progress, I’m throwing the rules out the window and replacing them with two simple ideas.
So far in my writing journey, I feel I have been pretty good at the first "rule" but maybe not-so-great at the second. Now that I'm about ten percent into this manuscript, I'm determined to make these rules my focus, and to quit obsessing about the others.
It reminds me of the Bible. In the Old Testament, we are given The Ten Commandments, but in the New Testament, Jesus condenses those ten into two. His "new" rules are summarized as love God and love your neighbor. The old rules are still valid and valuable, but now they are all wrapped up in a more concise formula. While my two new writing rules don't encompass all the valuable dos and don'ts amassed from brilliant writers throughout the ages, I sincerely hope that simplifying the rules for myself will improve my writing and help me push through on this third manuscript.
Now, there's a definite possibility that I will look back at this post one day and cringe with embarrassment at how naïve I was. But, it's all part of the journey. If you were to simplify the rules, what would they be? I'd love to hear them. Maybe you can help revise mine. Thanks, and happy writing!
Why does the writer write? Because they must. Letters form words, and words form sentences that can't be contained. They burst from the brain and end up as black and white art on a page, because there's a story that must be told.
Why does the painter paint? Because they must. They see lines and shapes and colors that the rest of us cannot see and are duty-bound to share, that others may know the beauty too.
Why does the singer sing? Because they must. Music is like air and the silence suffocating. Song breaks out as life to the owner of the voice and the hearers.
Why do we create? Because when the Maker spoke and made all things good and us like Him, He taught us how. Like seeds in dirt, He planted in flesh the power to craft, the skill to bloom with beauty. We create because He planted the seeds. We create because we must.
It's fitting that my first writer's conference was on top of a mountain, because that's how being there felt. Spending time in worship, meeting heroes of the industry, and feeding my passion for the written word was a lofty experience, an emotional high, and the peak of excitement. I bubbled over with the hope of a God-appointed meeting that would define His plan for the stories and messages burning in my heart, and the physical elevation at Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writer's Conference added to the elation.
The only problem with a mountaintop experience is that you have to come down sometime. My stay at BRMCWC was short- only Sunday and Monday, about twenty-eight hours total. As my minivan descended via I-40 East after dinner Monday night, my mood descended with it. I was headed back to the real world, where the writer in me would have to take a backseat to all the other roles in my life.
Thankfully, I had the sweet hugs and kisses of my husband and my children to make the transition easier. Now, on Tuesday morning, my mood has leveled off like the ground of my Piedmont home, gentle rolling hills of emotion instead of a steep plunge.
Only the people who've been there can understand how a short stay at the conference could have impacted me so much. I thank God for the experience, for what I learned and the amazing people I met. I look forward to next year, and I pray for all those who are still there right now. I hope their transition from the mountaintop will be gentle and full of happy reflection on the wonderful things God allowed to happen at the conference.
Thank you, God, and thank you, BRMCWC, for the mountaintop experience.
About the Blog
Welcome to "Every Season Blog", a place where I talk about life, family, fun, and all things "writing". Please visit the Devotions & Study blog page for insights to help you grow in your walk with God. If you want to know some stuff about me, click the "About Me" link in the menu. Thanks for stopping in!