I’ve just learned that I’m a custodian.
Not in the usual way, where I’m stunned to find I’m now responsible for another mouth to feed or daunted by having to look after someone else’s property or estate.
I’m actually a custodian of an idea.
God has challenged me over the past few months to rethink the story I’m writing. Not in a structural sense, or by introducing a new character or even by revealing to me a plot twist of which even M Night Shyamalan would be proud (although that would be nice).
All He did was remind me how the story started. He gave me an idea.
When people have asked about my recently-completed manuscript, I’ve found myself falling into the habit of describing the story as “it came to me”.
But God has reminded me that it didn’t so much come to me as was sent to me.
He entrusted me with this idea and to carry it to fruition. Why? Because one day this idea might be the one thing that inspires someone, comforts someone, makes them laugh or makes them think.
I now feel challenged to change my thinking; to resist the urge to charge off in my own direction because this is my story. Once I’ve acknowledged that I might be the custodian of an idea from God, it changes how I’ve approached my writing. Suddenly I’m accountable:
- For time. I hear a lot of writers talk about squeezing their writing into very busy schedules. That was me, but I now view this differently. I’ve had to shuffle around some workload and clients, but I’m now trying to invest more in my craft, because I’m looking after someone else’s property.
- For quality. I’m a copywriter by trade, writing for clients every day of every week. When my words are portraying someone’s business or their livelihood, I am responsible to them for how I describe their business, their passion and their life. So I have changed how I view quality with my own writing. It’s now how I’m trying to see my story today – it’s actually portraying God’s love, patience and humour, not just filling a word count so I can get the certificate from NaNoWriMo.
- For what I recognize as success. I’ve moved through that early writing phase of just knowing I’ve got a best-seller on my hands (that may have crossed your mind) and not understanding why people wouldn’t love it (you can admit that one too!) But here’s where I’ve been challenged; if only five people bought my book and three of them turned their lives around or were inspired to repair a relationship, would I consider it success? I’ll put up my hand and admit that some days no, I wouldn’t have. That thinking is slowly changing as well.
So I’m now writing as a custodian; nurturing someone else’s idea and writing for Him. I’ve found this as refreshing as I have confronting, which may be a conundrum I know, but it’s one I possibly needed to face.
What about you?