Once again my dear husband has written this Thursday post for me. I seem to be involved in too many things lately and I am humbled by the way he can think of these thoughts to bless and challenge me with. I sure hope they do you also!
I am so privileged to have had his support for my writing ever since he challenged me that I had some talent writing and "what are you going to do about it?"
Writing a previous article I wanted to define ‘authority.’ Of course to the dictionary I did go! It stated that the word came from the Latin ‘autoritas’, from ‘auctor’, meaning author. On the strength of that I perceived that an author has the right to command, take control, and enforce obedience within the realm of his or her domain.
With pen or keyboard we are to rule over our kingdom of words and story line. Unfortunately we know that within any society there are those who flaunt the established authority. They have a cost to pay. We also understand there are some who counterfeit certain roles within authority and fraudulently use their ‘power’ for selfish purposes.
Do you think I’m strange when I say the same thing happens in the creative realm of authors? There are some plots, characters, ideas which want to assume your authority and take you where your whole purpose of writing has no intention of going. Still they persist and the author needs to exercise his or her authority. We all have met or heard about those claimants to inspiration who insist their words have been dictated or approved by the Lord. Reading even part of the script reveals some other force has taken over. May our Author save us from similar deception or lack of personal authority for our framing of words!
As a Christian writer I consider myself an ‘under-author’ or ‘under-writer.’ It’s a similar concept to the Apostle Peter’s claim that Pastors are under-shepherds to the true Shepherd, Jesus. (1 Peter 5:2-4.) However I sometimes behave similar to the self-willed words which want to do their own thing. Fortunately my Author exercises His authority and disciplines me as He determines. This, it seems to me, is a good guideline to our responsibility within the story we are writing.
Most of us will never be a Jane Austen, William Shakespeare or Charles Dickens. Moreover, there seem to be countless books around telling the story close to our heart. Why then should we bother expending our time and energy in dominating our characters and story line, especially when they want to be naughty? Would I be too vain in saying we need to write for our present and future generations the well told drama between Christ and individuals. Old plots need refreshing, modern characters face old challenges in different guises, and devotional meditations require the fruit of modern research.
When you sit before your keyboard or doodle with your pen, may you have the scent of authority as you bring words and characters to ‘life.’ Your characters etc may have some good things to say and offer in their ‘self assertiveness’. However you must be the one in control! Take the worthwhile, abandon the rest and chastise errant words. The end of the story will thank you. So too will the readers.