Monday, July 29, 2013

Because I said so.

As a mom, I want my son to just do things my way. 
Life would be easier if original thought didn't lead to disobedience.

As a writer, it is easy to do the same thing to the characters in my books.
Instead of allowing them to be their own entities, I tried to make them into what I envision. 
As if my preconceived notions and limited understanding of the big picture are enough.

I strive to gain more knowledge every day. 
I want to learn more.
Then I realized the more I know, the less I truly know. 
For every new fact, and every earned insight or life lesson I gain, there are hundreds of new questions I encounter.
He wanted to see how it worked!
This is life.
It may seem daunting at first, but don't let it get you down.
Embrace your own limits and step over them.

This epiphany struck during church this last Sunday. 
My husband and I work hard to make my son learn he needs to be quiet and respectful in church. 
No loud sounds. No running down the isle. No sleeping on the pew. 
The list continues.
I've even used the "because I said so" line in my best stern whisper. 
Now he wants to know why.
If we hadn't taken time to start answering this question, the ones that followed may not have been asked.

If I didn't show compassion like God with Jonah, I never would have hear him shout for the whole congregation to hear, "Hey look! It's Mom!" as I walked up to cantor, to sing the psalm.

The same holds true for writing.
If I didn't listen to my characters and just continued writing things my way, some awesome twists wouldn't have happened.

My son is better for not listening to the power trip of "because I said so".
He is now starting on his own journey of faith, not just doing the motions.
He doesn't simply follow the directions for his Legos, he revises them to be better engineered.

My books are better for not following the original outline "because I said so".
The characters have become more dimensional, realistic to Readers.
The plots have become surprisingly unpredictable, but cohesive.

From the statement "because I said so" comes the logical and reflexive response "why?".

Now I strive to find an answer for every "why" question.

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