The Deeper Magic of Writing

by Allen Arnold
One of my favorite
passages in The Lion, The Witch, and The
Wardrobe
occurs when Susan and Lucy are bewildered by how Aslan has come
back to life. The lion gently reveals to them “that though the Witch knew the
deep magic, there is magic deeper still which she did not know.”
There is also a deeper
magic to writing that will determine your destiny as a writer. Yet few know it.
It goes deeper than the business
aspects of getting your story published.
Deeper than an Indie / Trad
publishing conversation.
Deeper than anything technique
or craft can offer.
Deeper than the discipline
of hitting a daily word count.
And deeper than any social
media success.
This deeper magic comes
down to one simple word.
With.
Are you actively writing with God? This is radically different approach
than starting your writing time with a simple prayer or asking God to bless
your work once you’re done.
This is a much deeper
invitation. An offer to be so intimately focused on his presence that you quite literally create together. It involves
knowing God’s rhythm. Sensing his suggestions. Playing together in the realm of
imagination. Following and waiting on his cues as tangibly as you would a
skilled dance partner.
There’s a passage in
Exodus 33 where Moses has a rather passionate conversation with God. He basically
says to God “If you’re not going on this journey with me, let’s call the whole
thing off.” He demands God’s presence.
Are you so hungry for
God’s involvement in your writing that you’re willing to call it quits until
you sense his presence? Because what you most need – and your readers hunger
for most in story – is the eternal spark of life that comes only when you create
with the Creator.
Can a writer experience success
without that fellowship? It depends on how you define success. You can certainly
hit your word count. You can relentless hone your craft. You can build a better
social media platform. None of those things are bad. But none are the main
thing. And notice how so many of those last sentences focused on you and your
definition of success.
The deeper journey isn’t
about you.
It’s about you and God
experiencing the creative dance together. And that kind of rare, shared journey
transcends all of the typical measures of an author’s success.
It’s like taking a road
trip where you are so consumed with getting to the destination that you forget
to enjoy the journey. And you miss that you have a companion who is the most
creative, wise, enjoyable, funny, comforting presence imaginable. He also just
happens to be the driver. He knows where you are going. He knows why you are
going. Even more – he knows you inside out. You thought the road trip was your
idea. But it was his. And the primary reason is for the relationship and the transformation
(yours not his) that will happen along the way. Miss that and you’ve missed the
entire purpose of the trip.
Believe me, I’ve seen it
with hundreds of authors. Better to call the whole trip off like Moses was
willing to do than to get to your destination successfully – yet still be empty
and alone.
God gave you your gift of
creativity as something the two of you could experience together.
That is the deeper magic
of why God invited you to write. 
Allen Arnold loves the epic adventure
God has set before him. From the mountains of Colorado, he leads Content &
Resources for Ransomed Heart Ministries (led by John Eldredge). Before that, he
spent 20 years in Christian Publishing – overseeing  the development of
more than 500 novels as founder and Publisher of Thomas Nelson Fiction. He was
awarded the ACFW Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012. But that doesn’t really
describe the man. Allen savors time with his family, craves the beach, drinks
salsa by the glass, is hooked on the TV series “Once Upon a Time” and
is passionate about helping storytellers tell better stories from an awakened
heart.