It was easy to pretend I was a fabulous singer when I was playing a part, pretending to be someone I wasn’t. But when I couldn’t pretend and I had to be “me,” I suddenly became terrified. What if they hated me? What if I couldn’t find the right note? What if . . . well, you get the picture.
I recently discovered, I have this same phobia when it comes to writing. If I’m hiding behind a character, I’m more confident. I can write as long as I’m pretending I’m a certain character. As long as I’m not “me,” I’m fine.
But lately, I’ve found “me” slipping onto the page. Not that I interfere with my characters and who they really are (although, there are times I’ve done that and had to clean up the mess I made). The truth is, I’m finding that my lack of confidence is seeping into my work. So often I find myself doubting. Who said I could write? I have no business rubbing shoulders with other authors who’ve been published over and over again. Who do I think I am?
That’s when I accepted the fact that I simply couldn’t do this alone. There was no way I could write the stories I want to write without a helping Hand.
You see, when I was in seventh grade, I was tested at a third-grade reading comprehension level. They eventually got me up to speed at a tenth-grade reading level, but with that kind of history, I really don’t feel like I belong in this world of writing! Again, the question plagues: Sandi, who do you think you are?
Well, now I have an answer! I AM NOTHING. I AM NOBODY! That’s who I am! So there!
Really. Without God, I am nothing. That is why I pray over everything I write. I ask God to make my stories pleasing to Him. I ask Him to help me when I can’t figure out how to word a sentence. I pray over every paragraph, every scene, and every chapter in my work. I ask Him if it’s pleasing to Him, and if it’s not, will He please show me how to fix it before it’s too late. I ask Him how I can make something sound “better.” I ask Him to guide me in every way in the hopes that my work will lead people to Him.
While I write, I imagine Him behind me, guiding my clumsy fingers over the keyboard. When I get excited about something, I thank Him for what we accomplished. He is my mentor. My teacher. My strength.
I’d like to be able to say I do it all on my own, to strut around and claim every accomplishment was reached because of my great skill and talent, but the reality is . . .
HE has made me what I am: a professional editor and an award-winning author.
Through my weaknesses, He has always been strong. And I can guarantee you, if I get a haughty attitude, I’ll end up flat on my face. Ouch! I’m constantly growing, improving as a writer and storyteller, and I’ll continue to grow as long as He leads me.
There’s a reason I write Soli Deo Gloria (To God’s Glory) after my stories. I pray my stories will glorify His Name and encourage people to look for Him and to Him for the answers. In what better Hands can I put my work, my hands, my life?
Thank You God for being my confidence and for making me ME!