I’m in the beginning stages of a new project. And I sort of forgot how hard it is to get started. To just sit myself down and start writing out the thing. I’m brainstorming and plotting and outlining, and I don’t think any of this is “bad.” It’s necessary, even. But I’m trying to figure everything out right now, and that’s just not happening. Namely–I have no idea how God wants to reveal himself in this story. I don’t know how to make it “spiritual.”
But then, I didn’t know any of that when I started writing Penumbra. I prayed a lot. And then I wrote, trusting God and a mysterious process I don’t fully understand. Here’s how Ms. Madeleine L’Engle says it. “To be an artist means to approach the light, and that means to let go our control, to allow our whole selves to be placed with absolute faith in that which is greater than we are.” Well said, Madeleine, well said. (read more here)
This is a relatively simple concept. But have I mentioned I’m a recovering control freak? I like to have my hands on everything. I want to clutch it and get the feel of every angle and crevice. But trying to hold a story I haven’t written yet is like grasping ice. It melts away from me, through my fingers, out of reach.
Story comes from water within. And it wells up as it chooses. I can’t control story anymore than I can control melting ice.
I think a lot of art is like this. We find flow and rhythm and beauty through surrender. This is beautiful, but it’s also very, very hard.
So what do you think about surrender when it comes to creating? What are some practical tips you’ve found to be helpful?