Wednesday, October 27, 2010

How My Passion for Writing Began

I am sure that many of my readers on here have noticed by absence for the last few weeks. My disappearance did not so much result because of busyness as it did for a lack of really having anything to convey to you all. Therefore, I took the liberty of simply asking folks, the ones who came to me that is about being gone, what they would like to see, since I was clearly fresh out of ideas. I must say, the response came as a rather large surprise, in that they all wanted to know a little more about me from a personal perspective. And so, the most common question asked actually became how my interest and my love for writing even came about. So, in an effort to answer that question, here is my exposition:

The beginning of my writing years does not receive an actual pinpointed date, but more of a general time frame. Ever since youth (by youth, I'm looking at elementary school level), reading any book I could lay my hands on became a rather large fascination to me. In fact, come twelve to thirteen years old, I had completely read and absorbed every single book deemed a 'classic.' I developed such a love for the fluidity of the old writing style that modern books gradually became rather distasteful actually.

But, when I entered my high school years, I hungered greatly for fantasy, science fiction, historical biographies, and theology to no ends. I read numerous, piles upon piles, of theology books and fantasy books and science fiction and historical biography books, falling in love with the writing style and feeling drawn to the very worlds these authors created and/or depicted. Within a year, I added Dekker and Peretti novels to my collection, intrigued by the darker side of fiction as well. With my yearly quota of books reaching about a book for every day of the year, sometimes even more, I had pretty much exhausted my interests and left with little to read and soak in that attracted me. Thus, I turned to writing. Freshman year of high school marked the beginning of my writing period, starting out with essays for school deemed amazing and slowly increasing into novels. By the summer after Freshman year, I had set a goal to write two full sized novels (80,000-150,000 words) every single summer of my high school career. And accomplish that goal I did.

I began to fall in love with poetry, seeing as I had wore out my fictional references. Seeing as my Mother is actually a poetry writer (she has a collection of over three hundred poems, all written throughout her adult years), I decided to try my hand at that. And, believe it or not, I succeeded, developing over one hundred poems of my own written over the past three years. Around Junior year, I began an official editor for many of my classmates and teachers, thriving in learning and perfecting the art of grammar. About this time, I really feel in love with writing, head over heels in fact. I would write something every single day, whether it be an essay, article, tutorial, forum post, or chapter of a novel currently being developed. My life became one of fantasy worlds and drowning out all noise simply to write anything and everything. I soon joined several teen-lead magazines and publications and started a blog. Unbeknown to me, my articles were circulating the internet with people I did not even know. But, I simply continued to write, always accepting and adoring any new critique on my writing from all who gave it. It became my greatest desire to simply improve and hone my writing skills above all else.

About Senior year, I sought chose a career field that I wanted to enter in and start college for. Since I possessed such a passion for writing, I wanted to become a journalist, a writer as my first choice. But, as I got to thinking, I realized that writing is more of something I do all the time. While I wanted a career that used my skills for God's glory, I also wanted to seek a career that would challenge me and combine a number of my skills. For these reasons, I decided to pursue a career in law, utilizing my writing, speaking, memory, and people skills all in one. However, I can firmly say that while law is a huge passion in my life, I do fully intend to become a writer, a published author of novels. And I will put my heart into that because it is a very monumental goal I hope to achieve for His glory.

My perspective on writing has greatly changed, as I no longer see it as something I do simply for my own benefit. I now recognize it as being a way to speak to people, to reach the hearts of many whom I may never meet. With this in mind, I still continue to write, with much more purpose and resolve than I ever have before I might add. If you must know what I have written in the past, here is the list: fictional novels, non-fiction books, tutorials, essays, articles, reflections, reviews, critiques, poetry, short stories, and posts on forums of course. I hope to add to that list as I continue through life, as I hope to add to my knowledge and skills in the field of writing. Even if the career in law does not pan out, I firmly believe that God will continue to direct my heart in the path of writing, as He has continued to do it for many years now; though, I am always subject to change.

I guess, in conclusion to it all, I would like to encourage anyone reading this to pursue your passions as I have mine. This life is too short, too valuable, to be lived doing something God has not laid on your heart and equipped you with doing. Don't settle for others' dreams of what your life could be; dare to dream big and to pursue those dreams with your whole life. You never know; your journey through life and how your love for something started may be the very path given to you in order to prepare you to live out that passion. While my writing story comes from a personal standpoint as a result of being asked a specific question, my overall message is not one of myself but of what the Lord can do through a mere human being like myself. He is doing the same kind of amazing and mystifying work in you, in past, present, and future. The question is not what can you do, but what is He calling you to do? That, my friends, is where our eyes should be focused.

Friday, October 1, 2010

My Passion Is Found

Death. Such a cheery topic to think about. I remember in school when the teacher asked the infamous question of who in the room has some reservation about dying. I watched as every hand in the room was raised. . . except mine. The teacher looked at me for a moment and then dared to ask me why I had not risen my hand. With a small smile, I simply said: "I live today purely because I am given another breath of life. My purpose in life is not to fear or think of death, but simply to choose each moment based on whether or not I am honoring my Lord. And whether or not that brings me to death on this Earth, in the end it only matters that it was about Him." The teacher kind of smiled at me and asked whether or not I would ever miss the opportunity to live to an old age and die with many grandchildren. And I simply shook my head and said: "To be honest, ma'am, I never considered living to an old age. I have just sort of assumed that I would die before then." I think I left her speechless with such a contrary view towards life. I knew that many students in that room lived with a invincible kind of attitude, that they would always have tomorrow. And what I said that day, brought silence to the room. They did not know what to say to someone who spoke of dying as an event that was to happen within seconds rather than years.

While I am about four years older now, I still live my days expecting death to be a reality that may be just around the corner. I stand thankful for the four years the Lord has given me after that speech in front of that class. And I can tell you for sure. . . I'm still living, loving, and laughing. But there are times when I wonder what I truly want out of this life. There are days when I make the same plans that everyone else makes: education, career, finances, and so forth. Then, there are days when I wonder when it will all end, when I can finally just pursue my one passion without everything else getting in the way. See, I don't fear death nearly as much as I do a worldly life. I am always told that everything in this world takes money. No, it doesn't. I can leave everything I own right now, walk away with the clothes on my back, and leave this nation to another and will probably find a place somewhere. I already have a home in Heaven, and it is waiting for me to return. Until then, I am simply a traveler seeking a place to exist for the time being. My impact on this world may be small, it may be large. It does not matter. All that matters is that I make the choice every second of my life to live like it were my last in the Lord's name.

I cannot even begin to describe the passion that simply takes hold of my heart these days. There is this feeling that my life is whole lot simpler, a whole lot more real. I have given up the planning step-by-step for the future or hoping that there is one. I simply listen to the calling of my heart and go where the Lord has given me a passion for. I live each second striving to make the choice between Him and the world in everything I do. I live and breath purely because of His grace and His love for me. I live with a drive that I want my life to mean something, mean something for Him and no one else. This life is not enough for me. This trivial existence on some planet is not enough for me. I am left suffocating when I live within the boundaries of this world. But, folks, Jesus is enough for me. Jesus holds the keys to my adventures, triumphs, and failures. Jesus is my all.

And I stand here to tell you that this life, if not lived within His life, is not enough for you. You will grow faint and weary; you will stumble and fall. But, not I. I will soar on wings like eagles. I will run and not faint. I will walk and not fall. I live within a power is the so much greater than I; so much more inspiring and breath-taking than I. I grow weary when I try to fix things myself. I fall when I try to take Jesus's passion out of life. I stumble when I silence the songs of His praises and His promises upon my lips. I cannot stand still. When I gave every piece of my life to my Lord, something greater, something more powerful than I can describe took place in my heart. I found the adventure, the thrill I had been seeking for years.

See, we do not tire or fade away when the passion of Jesus Christ grips our hearts and lives. How can we? We become a temple, a holy body in which His spirit dwells in. And as the spirit grows in us, so will the passion. God has the power to do absolutely amazing things in our lives, and things not necessarily noticed by the public. When you give Jesus your all, you cannot prepare for where He will take you, on what awe-inspiring journey you will take apart in. I stand here and I make a choice, every second I live and every second death comes closer to reality: will I let His passion be silent or will I shout it to the nations at every opportunity? As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. What about you?