This is a sponsored post for Crusaders.
When I was in the throes of November obsessed writerdom, I had a conversation (actually more like several) with Boatman, that went along the lines of: “I just need to keep writing! Whilst I’ve got the momentum, and I’m on a roll I have to go with it! One day off and I might lose the fire!”
And each time we had the conversation, Boatman would nod along knowingly and tell me to go write, figuring, I suppose, that the quicker I got the whole thing done, the quicker his wife would return to programming as usual.
Well we are seven days into December, and whilst it appears on the outside as if I am much more cool about the whole thing now, truth is I’m not. I’m still just as obsessed with that book as I ever was, but now I also have to pretend I’m a normal human being. It’s a hard life.
I’m aiming for this:
whilst feeling more like this:
Anyway, whilst I’m not focused with the same kind of single-minded abandon that I had a couple of weeks ago, I am sourcing every available moment to read through the story on the first of its edits, and I have to say that I’m so far pleasantly surprised. It’s not quite the entirely soul crushing process that I thought it would be. I’m about a third of the way through reading it, and whilst there have been a few paragraphs that have made me want to tear my hair out and question my thought process, on the whole I’ve been quite impressed with it. It flows a lot better than I thought it would, considering the speed and the lack of perfectionism employed when typing it.
I’m sure though, that come the next few chapters I’ll be totally retracting that statement and once again shouting, “What was I thinking?!!” to the sky. 😉
I’ve been a little reluctant to share the plot with anyone yet. I wanted the story done first, because I was worried about criticism or contempt. And then I just needed a little bit of time to start reading and see if it was at all decent, before I shared, because it’s my little baby, and it needs looking after.
I finally feel ready to share a little.
Way back when, when I was young girl fresh out of school, and entering the big wide world, I had a crisis of faith. I had always been a very strong, steadfast Christian. I was the kid that happily led devotions at our Christian school, and wrote an essay on Jesus being my hero for a ninth grade assignment. If I was a character in a hollywood movie, I would be Jamie from A Walk to Remember. Without the floral dresses. And the ability to sing well. But pretty much the same.
Anyway when I left school and discovered there was a whole other world out there that thought differently to everyone I had every known, I struggled a bit. Ok a lot. And without going into a great amount of detail about the whole thing, it came about that I decided at one point that I had had enough of church, and God and Christianity and everything to do with that. It was too hard, and too restricting, and I was done.
For about six months.
It wasn’t long at all, but it was long enough to end up pregnant, and decide that some pretty serious life choices needed to be made. Whatever my issue with people, I was quite certain that I would not bring my baby up in a world without God. So I returned to the thing I knew, and the One who had never let go, and have not regretted that decision for one moment since.
But before that happened; in between the anger and the returning, I wrote a journal. I’m not sure why I wrote it; it wasn’t a personal diary type thing. I actually think I knew that I would end up regretting abandoning my faith, and that this would serve some kind of purpose, so I wrote it all down. Every angry thought, every misguided truth. Every outrageous feeling. And then I printed it up and put it in a folder and it’s sat next to my bed in five different houses.
Until last month, when I wrote a work of fiction about a girl with a crisis of faith, and the diary she keeps.
The whole process has been quite confronting. Looking back on past feelings and choices, and coming to grips with the fact that whilst there is so much I wouldn’t change now (like my eldest daughter), there are other things I would. Making this fictional person walk a similar road has been hard. I wanted to make her stop, or change things, but I couldn’t. Not any more than I could change a friend from doing the same thing.
Thinking back on that time, I wonder how things would be different. How I could have done things, and what my main character, Arianna, could have done differently. And whilst I’ve thought of all the things that she could do, (or I could have done), what she needed most was support and a great community. People around her on the same journey, believing the same things, pursuing the same purpose. Christian’s need other Christians; that’s why we have church. To be around each other.
A few years ago, I heard about Cru Camps, run by Crusaders, and loved the idea. Immediately I thought it was a good alternative to schoolies, but I’ve since found there’s so much more to it than that. They run for all kids from kindergarten right through to year twelve, and it’s day activities as well as overnight stays, and so many different types of activities that test the mind as well as the body. What I like though is that the purpose of every camp is sharing Jesus. It’s an environment that encourages faith, and gives kids opportunities to build lasting relationships that will hopefully see them through the challenging times that will come.
I would have loved that, when I was younger, and as pointless as it is now, I sometimes wonder if that kind of opportunity would have changed me enough to change the decisions I made.
Or if I had sent my main character there, if she would have done things differently 🙂
But what’s done is done, and things are what they are. It’s time for moving forward. Looking back is good and has its purpose, but the future is what’s important. I can sit here and regret the past, or I can be glad I got a great book out of it, and focus on creating opportunities for my kids (like perhaps Cru Camps) that will hopefully see them not make the same decisions I did.
It’s an easy decision really come to think of it. If you’ll excuse me, I have a book to edit…