While researching a novel now just a month from its release date--When the Morning Glory Blooms (Abingdon Press)--I was impressed with tidbits and trivia about morning glories. I studied photos of morning glories and took pictures of my own, like the one you see here. It illustrates what I consider one of the most important life lessons for a writer.
But they don't. They reflect light. A stunning effect, isn't it?
I used these photos as icons when I wrote my upcoming novel to remind me of the story's reason for being...and mine.
Even in the heat of deadlines, I stopped to ask myself if I'd gotten caught up in the role of author, or if instead I was lit from within, reflecting the Son shining on my character and my characters. Did the story reflect truth at its very core? Because that's where the beauty comes from when literature gives the sense that it glows, that it's lit from within.
And the choices I make about time use, projects to pursue, marketing decisions... Are they guided by an unquenchable desire to see that nothing casts shadows on what God can do with a humble blossom whose face is turned toward the sun?
John 8:12 ESV--"Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
Light that almost seems as if it's coming from within.
In every facet of a writer's life, it's easy to slip into a groove that borders on obsession. An endless list of projects we hope to see published. A workday that has little if any contemplative--reflective--time in it. A dizzying marketing plan spreadsheet we leave open on our computers. A speaking schedule that has us asking ourselves, "What city is this again?"
Schedules and spreadsheets may be necessary, but no organizational tool can mimic what God creates in the intricate beauty of a glow-because-He-does life, or even the books we write that make the schedules and spreadsheets necessary.
What would have to change in my life in order to give more attention to maintaining a lit-from-within core, both for me and for my books? Have you asked yourself those questions? Would your list include things like this:
1. Pray before, during, and after writing.
2. Don't assume any marketing opportunity is an automatic "yes" from the Lord. Seek Him continually.
3. Tell a story/write a book that reveals rather than stands in the way of the expression of God's heart.
4. Jettison time wasters.
5. Jettison time consumers that crowd out time alone with the Lord.
6. Market the source of Light rather than the reflection.
7. Cultivate sensitivity to the choices, things, and people that distract us and quickly get faced in the right direction again.
There's so much I do intentionally with regard to writing and speaking. As I anticipate this next release--a novel that drove me to my knees as I wrote--I want to be more intentional about drawing so close to the source of Light that when readers pick up the book, they'll see a reflection of Jesus. When they look at the author, they'll see the Author.
You may sense the same longing--to create books and character that seem lit from within.
Share an item or two you've incorporated in your writing life illustrated by a morning glory's glowing core.
Leave your comments here...and consider connecting with me on www.cynthiaruchti.com or www.facebook.com/cynthiaruchtireaderpage. I'm praying for you as you fulfill God's call on your life. Keep glowing!