“But what if this is what God wants you do?”
As always, my wife verbalizes the question I don’t want to admit has usually been running through my head before she opened her mouth.
We were driving home from spending the afternoon with some friends and talking about the changes God’s been making in our life. I shared with her how I had some ideas for writing stories but that I didn’t like the overall genre the stories seemed to fall into…
They seemed to be romance novels.
Yeah. I had the same reaction that you likely had reading that.
You see, I hate the romance novel genre. Even moreso the Christian romance novel genre. Over the last year plus I’ve listened to many different Christian romance novelists who lament the “rules” of the genre and I’ve seen more than a few of them get zapped in writing contests because they didn’t fit the “conventions” of the genre like the man and woman have to meet before the end of the first chapter.
And forget even being remotely realistic about the characters. If someone wrote Song of Solomon today and tried to get it published as a Christian romance, they’d be run out of the business. You need to keep everyone so clean that a nun would look like Hugh Hefner in comparison.
To paraphrase the great philosopher Happy Gilmore, if I wrote something like that I’d have to kick my own butt.
Yet the story ideas that keep coming into my head have romantic factors underlying the story. Amy spotted them right away while we were talking and challenged me on the fact I had such a problem with it.
“You have problems with happy endings?” she asked me.
“No,” I said, “just happy endings that too impossibly clean to be anything close to real. And contrary to the conventions of the genre, in the real world the guy and girl don’t always get together in the end.”
That’s when Amy dropped the hammer that had been swinging around me.
“What if this is what God wants you to write?” she asked. ”What if God answered your prayer about writing by having you write these stories that keep coming to you?”
I’d like to say that I said I’d just do what God wants and went home and started writing these stories in my brain. In reality, I’ve written this blog and prayed that if this was God pushing those stories in my head to let this cup pass and bring me one that’s more to my personal taste! Something with a good murder mystery and need for the CSI techs to show up.
You can write snappier dialogue that way.
After all, catch phrases like “book ‘em, Dan-o” didn’t come out of romance novels. Then again, “you complete me” from Jerry Maguire did fairly well making it into the common lexicon.
So, I’m resisting what I’m feeling and thinking it might not be God. Or I’m telling myself that so I don’t have to do what I feel like I should be doing.
Have you ever found yourself looking for reasons not to do something that seems to be clearing coming into focus in front of you?