"I'm diving in, I'm going deep..."

I have been challenged so much over the past week or so. It seems that everywhere I turn, someone's exhorting me to do better or dig deeper or put more time into something. I've also been challenging myself: to be diligent in my study, not to go on the computer as much, spend more time with my siblings... etc. And it is hard sometimes to follow through with all these good intentions. I backslide, fall, trip over my own feet, and get myself completely turned around. Yet I know with all this God still loves me. That keeps me going.

One challenge I received was from my best friend. She is an amazing writer (her novels grip me so strongly that I cry in most of them), and I've always... well, felt a little intimidated by that. After she heard that I was doing NaNoWriMo, she asked me what my plot was, and my characters, and all that. Then she asked me a really good question. She said, "How can you make your writing deep? How can you go beyond the norm, find something that will make your reader cry & laugh & be moved? What makes you do these things?"

I was really struck by that. In my books I never really thought about being "deep", I typically write because I'm interested in the story and want to see where it goes. Often I would rather write something in a beautiful or unique way than just what I actually feel. But this deepness to the writing... that goes so much beyond. That's what makes all of her novels so good. That's what I want to do to make my novels good.

We're writing a book together, currently called "Queens". The book is in journal format, with the journals of the two main characters side by side. When we got together and wrote the first entries, she again challenged me to write with depth - directly from my heart. It was hard to do that, knowing that she would see it and wondering if she would praise it or think my "deep" thoughts too shallow. Yet writing is all about trust.

I had to trust her enough to write what I really felt. I'm so glad, though, that I did, because once I was done, I could see my character, speaking to me from the page. She was real.

And that's what writing is all about.

I can't wait to put this challenge into action in my NaNoWriMo novel as well. It will take hard work, and trust. Yet I know God can pull me through. He knows alot about writing with depth - after all, He wrote my life story!


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