I posted this on Facebook today, and reckoned it would make a good blog post, too.
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For all you writers who are also people of faith, this is what I read in today’s devotional reading (“The Night No One Came”):
One winter night, composer Johann Sebastian Bach was scheduled to debut a new composition. He arrived at the church expecting it to be full. Instead, he learned that no one had come. Without missing a beat, Bach told his musicians that they would still perform as planned. They took their places, Bach raised his baton, and soon the empty church was filled with magnificent music.
This story made me do some soul-searching. Would I write if God were my only audience?”
-Julie Ackerman Link (Our Daily Bread, Tuesday, January 7, 2014)
Made me think, too. Although my short works have been published, what if there is no audience for my long-form fiction? What if the only one who ever sees it is God?
Last month, I set aside a couple years-old manuscripts that couldn’t find a home with a publisher. Long before then, I’d started writing new material for another old manuscript. I’ve already promised to finish this one mid-summer and send it out. Unlike my hopeful attitude with the other manuscripts, I don’t have illusions of this one finding a home. Of everything I’ve written so far, it is the most overtly God-honoring story, but it’s not a safe story by any means.
(In fact, I expect it to anger and offend people regardless of what they believe. That’s not what I set out to do, but that’s where the story has led.)
What about you? Even if there was no audience, would you still write, paint, dance, sing, compose, play, sculpt, speak?