Saturday, October 7, 2017

Sweet Sorrow

I am stepping away from writing for now. Frankly, I stepped away a long time ago, but I wasn't entirely sure why I had lost my creative spark. I think I'm finally coming to understand it, and I wanted to share at least some of my feelings with you before we part ways.

Recent events in both my life and the world have caused me to take a step back and reevaluate a lot of things. There was no one incident that triggered these feelings, but rather several years of ongoing attempts to open dialogue with people of different perspectives and belief systems.

When viewed through the eyes of social or television media, our society can sometimes seem as though it is crumbling. Nowadays, any online conversations involving even the slightest disagreement seem to be derailed and drowned by hate, anger, distrust, ignorance, and a stubborn unwillingness to consider anyone else's opinions. I, too, have been guilty of some of these things. Healthy discourse is severely lacking, replaced now by angry screams and hateful condemnations. It is completely counterproductive and it goes against everything I was ever taught about coexistence, cooperation, and love.

We don't cooperate anymore. We don't seem to want to coexist. We most certainly don't love each other. When I was young, I lived in a time of "We Are The World" and "Hands Across America." Every TV show had an episode about the pitfalls of racism. Every cartoon taught kids the importance of understanding, accepting, and embracing each other despite our differences. We didn't have to have the same religious beliefs. We didn't have to side with the same political party. We were all humans. We were all in this together.

Today, in 2017, you are ridiculed and discarded for having religious beliefs. You are judged, threatened, and stereotyped for your skin color. You are vilified and dismissed for your political views. Our society has become everything that the bullies and villains in my childhood stories were. Everything we were taught was wrong has been embraced. It scares me. It sickens me. It depresses me.

This website was called Searching for Heroes.

I've reluctantly come to the conclusion that we now live in a world where true heroes are seen as the villains.

While this has all been going on, I've begun to question my role as a writer and the responsibility that comes with it. What is my part in improving this world? How can I help change the direction our society seems to be heading? Sure, I could set the example by writing stories of true heroes, but I've come to question the nature of my writing. To put it bluntly, I'm not so sure what God wants me to write anymore. Is sci-fi/fantasy the way to go? Should I write more books like Building Blocks and get away from sword and sorcery? The Bible speaks against witchcraft and the like, but I always accepted it in the fantasy context because I know how to separate fantasy from reality. But what about my readers? What about the influence I'm having on them?

Many of you have written to me over the years to tell me how you have been affected by my books. I can't tell you how much that has meant to me. But at the same time, I take that responsibility very seriously. And I have started to wonder whether or not I am using what God has given me properly. Am I serving Him with my writing?

Or am I serving myself?

What am I supposed to be doing?

I'm not sure. But until I have an answer, I will step away. I will reflect, study, pray, and seek.

When I write again, it will likely be under a pseudonym. I don't want the credit for the work that God is doing in my life. I don't need the credit. I don't deserve the credit. God deserves it all, for he has blessed me and my life in more ways than I ever expected.

I love you all. Words cannot express my gratitude to all of you for giving me the forum to share my stories with you. It has been an amazing journey, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

God bless,

"Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened." - Matthew 7:7-8