Who we are
Well, we're the writers. We knew that, of course. We're the ones behind the pen, the one with the stories in our heads and the message in our hearts. A message we're typing to share with the world. Being the writer gives us a kind of power only writers know. We hold an entire world in our hands, and we can change it on a whim. If we feel that something should happen next, voila! It happens. We create people, then move their lives in any direction that we want.
We are in control. We are the writer.
Then we do a 180. We switch roles, and suddenly we are on the complete opposite side. We are now the reader. Unless we know how to be the reader, we are going to fail as the writer. This role is essential to the success of our stories. Think of how you got here. If you are a writer, it is because you were first a reader. And we all need to return to that if we are going to succeed.
But now reading takes on a whole new meaning. As the writer, you write. You write that sentence, that paragraph, that scene, that chapter, that book. You love it. It is your creation, and it is a piece of your heart. You put your life into it, and as the writer, you think it's perfect. Now you must step back, exit your role as a writer, and read what you have written. It's hard, yes, and nearly impossible to be unbiased toward your own creation, and to let go of the love you feel for your writings.
It is hard, but it is necessary
We have to be willing to look at our work and judge it with a critical eye. More often than not, that means recognizing the problems in it, accepting them, and fixing them, all while ignoring how you may feel about it. In that sense, we are also the editor. We are the writer, then the reader, and now we must become out own editor, the one who must dissect out words like a science project, pick over each letter to find those hidden mistakes, and fix them.
Yes, there are professional editors, but sometimes there is a situation where an editor is not an option, and sometimes we just want to look halfway intelligent. And spellcheck doesn't catch everything. Believe me, it doesn't. Even though when we started writing, we didn't sign up for editing, we must be up to the challenge. It is worth it in the end.
We are even more than that.
Looking past all of the technical aspects of being a writer, reader, and editor, during all of this, we are something more. Something entirely different. We are the characters. Every single one of them. This is by far the most complicated role we play. And we do play it, literally. Even though we are just simple people, who by chance can write, suddenly we become actors.
We have to look past what we are and become things we never would have imagined. We must be soldiers, doctors, detectives, missionaries, criminals, men and women, heroes and villains, everything. Most of the time, several of them at once. We must span hundreds of years, past and future, and travel thousands of miles to unimaginable places, all to discover and become our characters. All the while, we must take the reader with us.
We must become something that we
would never otherwise be.
That is a huge demand, but one that we must meet. If we don't become the character, step into their shoes, walk their steps, and live their lives, then the readers themselves won't be able to either. And that will be a failed story.
But aside from all these roles,
we are something else.
Before we are the actor, the editor, the reader, and yes, even before we are the writer, we are the messenger. We are a representative of grace and of a God who works in mysterious ways. We were given a story with a message that needs to be shared. They're not just something that we just came up with.
Writing isn't just a hobby, or even just a career. It's so much more than that. God looked at billions of people, and he gave us each a specific, detailed, amazing story. Why? Because somehow, somewhere, someday, someone is going to be touched by that story. And it is going to change someone's life. That's who we are. And we're not here for us. We're not even here for the reader. We're here because we were placed here. We are called into this for him. For his glory.