Tuesday, October 31, 2006

R.A. Salvatore


Tonight I met one of my favorite authors, R.A. Salvatore, author of the Drizzt books and others. We went to meet him and hear him speak at Barnes and Noble at Bella Terra in
Huntington Beach with our friends John and Renée. Quite a few things came up as I listened to him talk and as I debriefed with John afterward.
  • Salvatore said that if I can stop writing, do it. If I can actually stop writing, I’m not a writer. A writer will have stories bubbling up inside and will have to find a way to let them out. Can I stop writing? Have I already, or is the constant feeling that I should be writing what he was talking about? He also said that you can’t be lazy and be a writer, which is something I’ve been wrestling with for quite a while now—I lack discipline in many areas of my life, discipline in writing being one of the most glaring weaknesses in my life.
  • Salvatore said that being told by editors that he couldn’t be a writer was what motivated him to become a writer, which left me with the question, “If feeling the Lord’s leading to write isn’t enough motivation for me, what would be?” What greater motivator exists for me? This seems intimately connected to the dark night of the soul John Coe spoke about two weeks ago. The Spirit is working through a time of desolation in my life, revealing some of my deep places and asking me to let Him in to them.
  • Elements of Salvatore’s life story are similar to mine and I wonder if that is part of the reason his books appeal to me so strongly, that I can see in him a kindred spirit. His view of kids and reading is similar to mine because we both avoided reading until the right books were placed in front of us—fantasy books. In his case they were Tolkien’s books, in my case they were his books.
  • In talking with John regarding the dark night of the soul and the areas the Lord is showing me I’m lacking in discipline, I told him that I’ve learned the truth of Jesus’ words when he says, “Apart from me you can do nothing.” It’s true. I want to write and I believe that not only has God gifted me with the ability to do so, but He has called me to do it, yet I can’t and I don’t. Why? Because apart from Him I can do nothing, not even what I want to do, not even what I have a real and strong desire to do. The only thing I am capable of doing on my own apart from Him, and I’m very good at it, is sinning.
  • Part of our freedom in Christ is the freedom to create out of His creation, to participate with Him in His work, just as Adam did when naming the animals. That was not work done on his own, but rather it was work done in Christ.
  • John and I were discussing the value of a writing community like the Inklings for developing ideas and having a springboard to bounce ideas off of. He asked me who I could send my stories to and receive some good feedback from. I hope that Salvatore might be one I can build a lasting relationship with and even have him mentor him as a writer, but the person who stood out in my mind was my dad. I was floored just thinking about how much he would appreciate being invited into this area of my life. He would love it, and he would think it was the coolest thing ever. Now I just need to find a Christian author whose work I truly admire and pursue a closer relationship with him—it seems the only ones I can picture having that kind of relationship with are already dead.

No comments: