Monday, January 19, 2015

Where My Writing Belongs

Most people know Lucy Maude Montgomery for her book, Anne of Green Gables and its sequels. My first Montgomery books, however, defied the more traveled road. Granny gave me my mother's childhood copies of Emily of New Moon and Emily Climbs (I honestly can't remember whether or  not she gave me the final book of the trilogy, Emily's Quest) when I was around 12, undoubtedly because Mom hoped I would imitate the main character by developing a passion for writing.

To their disappointment, I found Emily's  various romances much more interesting than her literary aspirations. I've been reading the series again (I may finish Emily's Quest tonight or tomorrow), and I must confess being gripped with curiosity as to how she and Teddy will end up together. When my PCA tore me away from it last night, Teddy manifested signs of mutual love toward Emily's  best friend, Ilse. Oh, the  anguish of having to respect the schedules of PCAs!

Gran and Mom would be gratified, however, to know that my current reading of the Emily Trilogy has  stirred my interest in writing a little. So often, I've come to this blog with a bit of resentment regarding the subject matter. I've wanted to simply enjoy the act of writing for its own sake. I've felt the weight of writing things that I well know most people don't want to  hear. And I've wanted to just write fanciful stories. The  Emily Trilogy has brought those longings to the surface.

Sometimes I cherish the thought of simply writing  about the woods that line the stretch of road through the Blue Hills Reservation, and my daydreams of Native Americans possibly inhabiting those very woods before white settlers established the town of Milton, MA in 1640. I'd enjoy writing down my fantasies of those people stalking wild deer or becoming lovers or playing with their children. Never mind that, in reality, I have absolutely no idea if anyone ever lived in those woods (actually, I rather doubt they did).

But even Lucy Maud Montgomery would advise me to write about what I know. I know nothing about tribal people who may or may not have lived in southeastern Massachusetts prior to 1640, but I know a great deal about the false teachings in present-day churches. I have very little interest in studying 17th Century Native Americans, but I have a passion for researching evangelical trends. And I increasingly desire to honor the Lord Jesus Christ through my writing.

Emily is merely a character in a series of three novels. Montgomery developed her vividly, to be sure--so vividly that I experience her emotions as I read. But do I really want to write from my romantic dreams as Emily does? For that matter, do I burn with the same desire to form words into sentences and paragraphs, feeling unable to truly live unless I write? Despite the wishes of Gran and Mom, no. For me, writing  serves my greater passion of telling people about Christ. And that's as it should be.

1 comment:

  1. Oh DebbieLynne! I've been wanting so much to be inspired to have a book in me, one that could come alive in people's understanding of what is going wrong and instill good values and a passion for Jesus....but actually I don't think I have a gift for writing (I think you do btw), and I think that my desire stems more from wanting recognition for myself than for Jesus.


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