Jodie
C'mon, y'all. You knew Third Day had to show up some time. It's been awhile since the post on "Creed." Since God's been whopping me over the head with "This Is Who I Am" pretty much since the first time I heard it (and more than ever today), I figured it was time.

And, yes, it's the ringtone on my cell phone. :-) Glad you asked. I go back and forth between this one and Brandon Heath's "I'm Not Who I Was." Sensing a theme yet?

So, anyway, not only is "This Is Who I Am" a pretty rockin' song, it's got the great line, "This is who I am. So take me and make me something so much more."


Every time I hear the song, I think, YES! I am all of these things but, Jesus, make me something so much more! Build me into the image YOU have for me.

Here's why this is today's post, though. I sat here last night until nearly one in the morning, doing the very last thing on my manuscript before I do the very last read-through. There are "weasel words" in our writing. Words like just, suddenly, that... Let's just say (see that "just"?) there were over 1,200 "that" weasel words in my manuscript when I started. It took two hours to whittle it down to 471. And in the middle of the searching and replacing, something happened.

I grew to hate my book. By midnight, I hated it with a furious passion. I mean it. I could have deleted that puppy right off of my computer and sung songs of joy because I'd never have to look at it again. I started having fantasies. Ooh, I can scrap the book and go back to teaching and make real money again. Or, or... maybe one of the Christian bookstores in town is hiring and I can work for them. Or... I can wait tables again; tips aren't bad sometimes. Or... I wonder if they'd pay me to scrape the scum off of the pond near our house? (Okay, so it didn't go quite that far.) At midnight last night, I'd have done just about anything other than put another word in that book--or any book ever. I absolutely hated it, hated the act of writing, hated my desk chair, hated my computer, hated it ALL. (It's been coming on for a while now. Last week, a friend of mine from high school found me on Facebook and said she couldn't wait to read my book. I told her I couldn't wait to STOP reading my book.)

I went to bed with my happy little non-writer fantasies. When I woke up this morning and looked at myself in the mirror, I heard Cec Murphy's voice in my head. (If you were at Ridgecrest, you know where this is going, don't you?) If you can quit... quit. Here's the thing: I can't quit. Even if God said it was okay to go back to "regular" work, I'd still be a writer at heart. I'd still have stories stirring in me. I'd still ache to put words on paper.

This is who I am. I am a writer. God put me together this way. He built me to take letters, make them into words, mold them into sentences, and craft them into stories. Since I was able to write my own name, I've been a writer. I've never been anything else, even when I was doing other things. There is no quitting. It'd be like stuffing my ears with cotton and trying to listen the birds sing. It just wouldn't work. To quit would be to deny who I am, would be essentially to kill a part of me.

What happened? Why did I hate my book so much? Because I lost focus. Somewhere in the editing process, it became MY book. Ah, but it's not mine. It's never been mine. It's God's. I tried to take it away from Him. I stopped listening to Him when He told me what to put in and what to leave out. My eyes were off of my God and on my self. Not good. Never good.

I am a writer. God, this is who I am. Take me and make me something so much more.

JB
1 Response
  1. I think that place happens with every book. I got so mired in revising my fantasy novel in '07 (the one that finaled in Genesis this year) that not only could I not see the forest for the trees, I couldn't see the trees for the twigs. It got kinda ugly there for awhile. Like seven months.