Dobsons 411

Hanging on for the ultimate ride--God's great adventure.

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The author of fourteen contemporary and historical novels, Melanie Dobson lives with her family in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. Her latest novels are Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor and Chateau of Secrets. More info at www.melaniedobson.com

Monday, April 02, 2007

Green Monsters

I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. (Philippians 4:12)

Yesterday our pastor spoke about being content—in every situation. He talked about how the constant desire to want more things or more money or different circumstances sucks the joy out of our Christian life. It was a good message. The perfect reminder to keep our eyes on Christ.

But the message didn’t resonate with me. I’d heard it before, and that familiar pull for more or better things has eased off since we moved to Oregon. Our house seems perfect for our family. We don’t need more stuff (okay, a rug for our hardwood floor would be nice and paint for the girl’s room and a hutch for the dining room…). I’d like these new things, but I don’t feel the root of envy taking over.

At least I didn’t think I did…until I settled in for a relaxing afternoon with a latte, a fire, and of course a good novel. Grace at Low Tide by Beth Webb Hart. An amazing, beautifully-written, soul-stirring book.

And then I realized I am NOT satisfied with my circumstances. Or my abilities. I’m far from it!

No matter how hard I try, I will never be able to write creative, quirky characters like Ms. Hart. Or witty descriptions. Or metaphors that make you stop reading to savor the words.

Envy—yep. Jealousy—you bet. Contentment (groan). Apparently not.

The green monster began strangling my mind and my soul. I want to write prose like this! I want to create words and sentences that make the reader go “wow!” I want be like Beth Webb Hart!

Whine. Whine. Whine.

I’ll never stop trying to improve my description and characters. No matter how long I write, I’ll attempt to make each book, each character a little better than the last. But I’ll never write a book like Grace at Low Tide. Literary fiction is Ms. Hart’s gift, and I can’t wait to read her next book.

As I start working on a new manuscript this week, I need to keep my eyes on Christ. If I let discontentment destroy my confidence, I’ll be too terrified to write the first word.

Okay, it’s too late. I’m terrified already.

Maybe next week the pastor will talk about overcoming fear…since I don’t need that message either.

1 Comments:

Blogger Vennessa said...

We heard a very good sermon on insecurities this morning. Very well timed, for me at least. I struggle with this constantly, in relationships, work, and especially my writing. I look at other peoples writing and think "Why do I bother? I will never be this good." It's a battle to get out of that frame of mind, but it is something I am determined to conquer . . . when I find time to write again that is. :-)

6:01 PM  

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