by Allen Arnold
One of my favorite passages in The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe occurs when Susan and Lucy are bewildered by how Aslan has come back to life. The lion gently reveals to them “that though the Witch knew the deep magic, there is magic deeper still which she did not know.”
There is also a deeper magic to writing that will determine your destiny as a writer. Yet few know it.
It goes deeper than the business aspects of getting your story published.
Deeper than an Indie / Trad publishing conversation.
Deeper than anything technique or craft can offer.
Deeper than the discipline of hitting a daily word count.
And deeper than any social media success.
This deeper magic comes down to one simple word.
Are you actively writing with God? This is radically different approach than starting your writing time with a simple prayer or asking God to bless your work once you’re done.
This is a much deeper invitation. An offer to be so intimately focused on his presence that you quite literally create together. It involves knowing God’s rhythm. Sensing his suggestions. Playing together in the realm of imagination. Following and waiting on his cues as tangibly as you would a skilled dance partner.
There’s a passage in Exodus 33 where Moses has a rather passionate conversation with God. He basically says to God “If you’re not going on this journey with me, let’s call the whole thing off.” He demands God’s presence.
Are you so hungry for God’s involvement in your writing that you’re willing to call it quits until you sense his presence? Because what you most need – and your readers hunger for most in story – is the eternal spark of life that comes only when you create with the Creator.
Can a writer experience success without that fellowship? It depends on how you define success. You can certainly hit your word count. You can relentless hone your craft. You can build a better social media platform. None of those things are bad. But none are the main thing. And notice how so many of those last sentences focused on you and your definition of success.
The deeper journey isn’t about you.
It’s about you and God experiencing the creative dance together. And that kind of rare, shared journey transcends all of the typical measures of an author’s success.
It’s like taking a road trip where you are so consumed with getting to the destination that you forget to enjoy the journey. And you miss that you have a companion who is the most creative, wise, enjoyable, funny, comforting presence imaginable. He also just happens to be the driver. He knows where you are going. He knows why you are going. Even more – he knows you inside out. You thought the road trip was your idea. But it was his. And the primary reason is for the relationship and the transformation (yours not his) that will happen along the way. Miss that and you’ve missed the entire purpose of the trip.
Believe me, I’ve seen it with hundreds of authors. Better to call the whole trip off like Moses was willing to do than to get to your destination successfully – yet still be empty and alone.
God gave you your gift of creativity as something the two of you could experience together.
That is the deeper magic of why God invited you to write.
Allen Arnold loves the epic adventure God has set before him. From the mountains of Colorado, he leads Content & Resources for Ransomed Heart Ministries (led by John Eldredge). Before that, he spent 20 years in Christian Publishing - overseeing the development of more than 500 novels as founder and Publisher of Thomas Nelson Fiction. He was awarded the ACFW Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012. But that doesn't really describe the man. Allen savors time with his family, craves the beach, drinks salsa by the glass, is hooked on the TV series "Once Upon a Time" and is passionate about helping storytellers tell better stories from an awakened heart.