Monday, January 9, 2012

Crying in a Bookstore

...or, why I write, simplified.

I almost ended up crying in a bookstore today. 
I walked through the teenage section, seeing book covers filled with pain and sorrow and longing.     Depression and pain and suffering and suicide and despair.

I read the first page of a book.   I can't remember the name.   Itwas a diary, the diary of a teenager who eventually committed suicide.    On the first page he talked about how meaningless his life was.     He cried out against the fact that he had nothing to live for.    And I wonder, did anyone ever answer him?

John Updike said about writing "I want to write books that unlock the traffic jam in everybody's head."

Nathaniel Hawthorne:   "Words- so innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them."

If I am going to be a writer, if I am going to combine words and phrases and characters and settings, if I am going to use my words as power...then I want to be someone who answers those who are in despair.

Sometimes I just want to shout Truth in their ears.   But I know that so many wouldn't hear it if I yelled.   They've heard too many people yell at them before.    So they stop their ears. 

And I whisper.  
I write a story.   I paint a portrait of love and life and pain and triumph.   I pour my heart out into characters and setting and plot.   I carve a bucket meant to hold a priceless treasure.

When you see the story, it's like you're taking the bucket.    At first, it may be the 'bucket' that draws you-  the outer shell of the story, the plot, the setting.     Something draws you in.      The story interests you, captivates you.     The bucket is beautiful in it's own right.

But what you really want is the water inside.    You want the Truth that I'm whispering in your ear through story.   Because what makes the bucket beautiful is what it is carrying.

Truth.   Life.   Love.   Hope.   JESUS.


  1. Oh my AE... I love your posts so much.I love the 'bucket'. I love how you just want to shout the Truth to everyone! You are my mentor :)

  2. So true. The YA adult section of my old library just FELT steeped in evil and darkness. I hated shelving over there.

    It's why I write too.

    Let's take this evil down!

  3. Yes. This is why the world desperately needs Christ-focused writers. Young people want to find the Truth in literature - we should provide it for them.

  4. Mmn, how true. There are day sit feels so difficult to find books appropriate to read. Sifting through them all takes time. But it IS worth it when you find an amazing story (written with the passion you writers talk about ^_^ )

  5. Yes, this is a passion very dear to my heart. I've actually petitioned to get better books in the YA section. A generation of seeking are finding nothing; we can change that.

  6. Amen! I couldn't agree more with what you've written. Silly books may have their place for shallow entertainment, but let's get down to business and conquer the lies of those other books.

  7. oh my gosh. That is so true. There are so many books (and all types of art for that matter) out there with so much pain. so many people crying out in desperation for something but they don't know what it is. I love those types of books because they are so REAL and honest. people are expressing what really going on inside and the struggles that so many people face every day. they are dying for Jesus, but don't realize that it's him they've needed all along!
    YES, you writers have an amazing place of influence here. You can bring up those hurts and pain and darkness and bring redemption and light and healing!!!

    "Sometimes I just want to shout Truth in their ears. But I know that so many wouldn't hear it if I yelled. They've heard too many people yell at them before. So they stop their ears. " oh my gosh. AMEN!!!!!! i know exactly how you feel. So many people are sick and tired of the yelling, acusing, judging... but there are so many other ways to share love and truth with people that is so much more effective!! story is an one of thsoe amazing tools. :)

    keep it up, sis. you are an amazing creator.