Oh, the cleverness of me!

I so often try to be clever. That’s what I’m after, what I want. I want to be known as clever. It is the epitome of excellence in my mind: to be a clever author. I was just reading a friend’s blog and it was so humble. And I thought, “Golly gee, I want to be like that.” Because it was a picture of Christ. I feel I am not like that at all. I’m at a bible college! The whole point of me coming here was to learn more about Him, but I procrastinate, slack off, and often spit in the face of my Savior. I am the cause of His suffering. And I forget so easily. I’m not saying I should be in a constant state of shame. However, I need to remember who this is all for. I’m writing as an expression of who God is.

When I get on here and type away, I have many motives. I’d like to get a huge following, to have people read my reviews and my writing and care about it. I want people to think that I am clever. I want people to love my style, my word choice, my mind. I want people to read what I write and think that I am one of their Greats (my Greats: C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, J.K. Rowling, Shakespeare, Austen, Wilde, Charlotte and Anne Bronte, and maybe David Eddings). I want to be a successful, cherished author whose words will last long after my body. These are things that I want, but not necessarily what’s in store for me. I often go to the root of these desires. Why do I want all of this? A lot of it is for the fame, the money (although I’m finding that there really isn’t much money in writing), the profound awe that comes with being a published author (with a big name company: anyone can get published nowadays). But deep down I just want to touch someone. I want to make a difference in someone’s life. I want to be eighty-four and have some stranger come up to me and say, “Aren’t you Nicole Thorsen? I loved your book! It meant so much to me when I was little!” I have so many authors I would love to say that to if I had the chance. I want to join the ranks of the beloved. Is it wrong? Selfish? Not glorifying to God? I don’t know…I guess that’s what I’m trying to work out.

When I think of authors who were near and dear to me growing up my first thought is Gail Carson Levine. Ella Enchanted was a refuge for me. It was my inspiration book when I got writer’s block when I was young. At twelve, I’d sit, struggling over how to characterize this person, or whether to having flying horses in the Nomorims (seriously, I that’s when I started writing it. And it’s still not finished). After being stuck for maybe a half hour, I’d run over and pull the well-worn copy off the shelf and dive in. If I was having a bad day, I’d open to the part where Ella was forced to serve her evil stepsister, Hattie. Misery does love company. And I’d reach the end and cry when she couldn’t tell Char that she would marry him, because I could feel her pain. Oh, the memories. I still cry at that part actually. I’ve read all her books. The Two Princesses of Bamarre made me cry harder than any book to that point in my life. Dave at Night was the first book I read, which I can remember, from a boy’s point of view. Her princess tales had me rolling on the floor in laughter and The Wish made me wish I was sixteen.

Levine is one of many: Tamora Pierce (who I stopped reading last year, her books were borderline idolatry for me), Sherwood Smith (Crown Duel is legitimately one of my favorite novels of all time), Eoin Colfer (Artemis Fowl), Terry Goodkind (The Sword of Truth series), J.K. Rowling (if you don’t know this, you’ve been in a cave for the past ten years), Katherine Roberts (The Echorium Sequence. I wrote my first fanfic about those books), etc.

I want to be like them. Is it even possible? I’m having doubts about my writing. I genuinely don’t think I’m that great. Maybe it’s because I’m comparing myself to the Greats, but people say that my writing is good and I just don’t believe them. I put it down to a matter of taste. So I’m just insulting my friends’ tastes, instead of calling them liars (sarcasm!). I am my harshest critic. Isn’t that usually the case?

The point is, I don’t know if all of this is okay. Is wanting to be the best bad? Should I focus on that at all? Or should I remain solely focused on God? I”m so confused. Maybe wanting to be the best is glorifying to God. Maybe I just can’t figure it out because I’m me. I overanalyze, overcriticize, and overwhelm myself.

Well, dear reader, if you figure it out, let me know.


One thought on “Oh, the cleverness of me!

  1. Heather Ruch says:

    Questions like this mean that you are achieving adulthood, kiddo. However, I do read your blog on a regular basis, and I think that maybe, just maybe, you might want to concentrate on the non-fiction for a little while. You have written a couple of columns that I have had to go back and re-read, because they touched me deeply.

    When you are vulnerable about your struggles and your life (I remember the column about the beggar outside the restaurant leading to a discussion of goats, and a column about your idle summer in particular), you have a way of making the words just jump off the page, and helping me to clarify some of my own thoughts and feelings.

    To me, that is what makes a great author “great”. I have not read any of your fiction. But your nonfiction? Consider me a big fan!


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