The first sunny day in spring. The first time at a new restaurant. The first whiff of a book as you thumb through the pages. In the beginning, everything is new. Exciting. Full of wonder and expectation and just a touch of nervousness.
That's how I'm feeling today. When I got home from work, waiting for me at my door was a package (which is its own kind of excitement). This package was special because it contained paper. Very special paper, for a very special project. See, with this paper, I am undertaking quite possibly the biggest project of my life thus far.
I am a writer. I eat, sleep and breathe words. Words create and destroy, and bring joy and sorrow. They are powerful and beautiful and clear and love them.
I am also a Christian. I am constantly being changed, shaped and made new by my creator, and I am learning, slowly, to revel in it. He is the author of the universe; the writer I could never even dream of becoming. And I love him all the more for it.
What I am not, however, is good at finishing my own novel.
I have been working on the same story, with tweaks major and minor, since 2008. I have taken it to two writer's conferences, met with multiple literary agents and publishers, received requests from most of them, and have still managed to not finish it, regardless of what goals or motivations I set before myself.
So, imagine the dismay I have felt; knowing that God has gifted me in writing, feeling like he has called me to write, and seeming incapable of completing the only writing project (aside from assignments) I've had for five years.
Which brings me to this blog. About a week ago, I had the sudden urge to write the Bible. And by "sudden urge to write the Bible", I mean I have never felt so strongly about writing anything in my life. Ever. So, I've taken this as literal divine inspiration, and I'm going to do it.
Let me say that again:
I decided one day that I was going to write out the Bible. Word for word. By hand.
I feel strongly that this satisfies a couple desires for me.
First: I am at a point in my novel where I feel helplessly stuck. I haven't written a word in months, and it's killing me. So, this will get me writing again without feeling like I'm dropping my novel to start a new story. In case you were wondering, this also doesn't mean I'll never come back to my own book. I might, after this. Maybe with renewed enthusiasm, even. But for now, it's on hold.
Second: I have always felt that there has been something missing during my quiet time with God. I don't know if it's that creative streak in me feeling unsatisfied with simply reading and journaling and praying, or if it has been the Holy Spirit trying to make me have this idea for years. Either way, I've found it difficult to read my Bible and feel like I was connecting with it in a way that is real for me. Now, I will say that lately, I feel as if that's changed. God is speaking to me through his Word in a way I haven't noticed before, and it's wonderful. But I think this is going to be even better.
My goal, lord willing, is that I finish in a year. Now, I don't know if you've ever looked up "hand writing the Bible" online, but I did. There's not a whole lot there. What I did find was a couple articles about a man who made a handwritten and illuminated Bible, which took 12 years, another man who did it in seven years, a video of a sweet old woman who did it over about 16 years, and a blog post by a man who did it in a year and a half.
So, my God either has incredible confidence in me to put one year in my head, or I am utterly stupid. I'm hoping it's the former.
Because I'm right-brained and have to be creative, I will also be hand-binding each book of the Bible, separately. So, when I've finished, I will have 66 volumes, all hand written and hand bound. I'm already trying to figure out where to keep them.
So there you have it! This is my wild journey with God for the next year, which I felt like I should blog about because I love writing (clearly), and I figure I'll be so sick of hand writing that I'll want to type for awhile. Weird, right?
I'm anticipating that I'll be blessed by my venture, probably in ways I can't even imagine right now. And, I'm hoping, if you're following along with me, maybe you'll be blessed, too?