Posted by Marcia Lee Laycock
Probably unlike most of you, I am a reluctant novelist. I did not imagine stories and tell them to my dolls as a kid. My writing genres of choice are articles, blog posts, devotionals, and poetry. Yes, I’ve written and published a few stories but writing fiction has never come easily or naturally to me.
However, there was one story that ate away at my consciousness for years. I finally caved and wrote it as a NaNoWriMo project in November 2009 and published it in 2012. That, I told myself, was going to be it for fiction.
Except that people keep asking, when is your next book coming out? So I started thinking sequel and dreaming and researching... As I got down to work, there was a click of rightness. But there was also a lot of apprehension. Having been through the process once, I know how much work it is to plan and write a novel-length story and that the writing is only the beginning.
I have, in the two years that I’ve been nibbling away at this, often allowed myself interruptions. Then, when it was time to get back to work, I’ve prayed, “Lord, is this really what you want me to do? A novel is, after all, just entertainment. Couldn’t you give me something less frivolous and more important to write?”
I was praying like that again a few days into the new year when I was back at my desk facing my binder of research notes, looking through my Scrivener file of character summaries, and reviewing my stapled sheets of plot ideas. As before, I got no other answer but “You have your assignment. Now get busy.”
A few days later I was praying the day’s Scripture prayers from A Watchman’s Guide to Praying God’s Promises. In the guide author Dick Eastman emphasizes the importance of prayer for our society and its influencers. He names seven main ones that he calls “Mountains of Influence”: Religion, Family & Marriage, Education, Business, Government, Media, and Arts and Entertainment (including Sports). The seventh day of each month is devoted to prayer for Arts and Entertainment with Scripture verses and suggested prayers.
On January 7th, then, I found myself reading and praying this: “Lord, you are the creator of all things, and you have made us in your image so that we are creative like you. Today I pray that your Spirit would fill and inspire the arts and entertainment industries so that the things we create and celebrate would reflect your beauty and purity. Let creativity lead the world back to you the creator...”
And then I heard some strong words:
Violet, entertainment is a huge influence, a mountain of influence in your society. Do not trivialize this work I give you. It is not frivolous or unimportant. Instead of praying for a different job, pray that you would do this one well; that your words would be light on the path to Me in the realm of entertainment.
I love reading novels. I have the utmost respect for many of you whose books I’ve read and perhaps even reviewed. If there’s a purpose for my halting tales, there is so much more for yours. So be encouraged today that your entertaining creations are not trivial or frivolous but important and potentially influential outposts of the Kingdom of God on our society’s mountain of Arts and Entertainment.
Violet Nesdoly is a freelance writer and author who lives near Vancouver, B.C. Canada. Her biblical fiction Destiny’s Hands was a finalist in the historical fiction category of the 2013 The Word Awards. Visit her online