The House You Choose

by Allen Arnold

Where do you reside as a writer?

I’m not asking about the publishing house you write for or the coffee house you write at.

I’m talking about the place you write from.

The place you call home serves to either awaken or numb your heart, your identity, and your creativity. Storyteller simply can’t tell stories bigger than the realm they live within.

And there are only two options. Both are filled with extremely creative people yet they couldn’t be more different. Let’s start by looking at the residents within each.

The first place is bustling with activity. Heads are down – lost in laptops and phones. It feels like time is short. And everything is comparable and measurable– from daily word count and manuscript deadlines to social media growth. Those who fall behind are told to try harder and do more. Except it’s never enough. Though everyone here strives for success –it never seems to fully arrive. And what was once exhilarating is now exhausting.

If you doubt this, just look into their eyes. People here are overwhelmed, disheartened, and isolated. They long to create things for God and to write stories about God. But they have forgotten how to pursue their creativity with him.

I call this the Orphan Realm – a place of fierce independence where residents largely pursue their writing alone. They have forgotten – or perhaps never discovered – how to create with God as his Sons and Daughters. It’s near impossible to write stories that awaken hearts and offer hope when the storytellers themselves have lost heart and hope.

And then there’s the second realm. The atmosphere is filled with wonder and abundance. The focus here isn’t on doing more but rather being more. Residents don’t strive for validation. They know that doesn’t come from what they do but who they are. Instead, they see their creativity as an active, intimate dance with God. Writing is pointless without him. They seek his presence over their own productivity or daily word count. The external gives way to the eternal…and stories that could never be born in isolation or through formula come to life through Creative Fellowship with God.

This is the Freedom Realm. A place of fierce dependence where Sons and Daughters have no interest in creating from their own strength. What worked last book has little bearing on what God is inviting them into the next time. And as they discover their truer identity and how to create with the Creator, their imagination is fueled exponentially.

Now think of the writers you know. Which of these two places do they tend to live? Getting more personal, which sounds most like home to you – the Orphan or the Freedom Realm?

The good news is you get to choose your home. And that decision can change everything.

Throughout 2017, my monthly posts have one goal. To help you transform the stories you’re writing by transforming the Story you are living.

Are you in? It all starts with the house you choose.

Allen Arnold is the author of The Story of With, an allegory that reveals a better way to live and create through the doorway of identity, imagination, and intimacy. His mission is to help people actively pursue and transform their talent by discovering how to pursue it with God. As the founding Fiction Publisher for one of the world’s largest Christian publishing houses, Allen oversaw the development of more than five hundred novels. He knows first-hand how common it is for creators to become disheartened, overwhelmed or burnt-out–as well as what it takes to help the dreams of writers become reality. In his current role at Ransomed Heart, he oversees content from the mountains of Colorado for the ministry. Before becoming a Board Member for ACFW, he was awarded their Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012 for his substantial contributions to the world of Christian Fiction. 

The Story of With: A Better Way to Live, Love, & Create by Allen Arnold

“Unique and powerful, The Story of With will take readers deep into the discovery of their own identity. “Bravo! This fascinating blend of storytelling and teaching will shift the thinking of all who take this journey.” New York Times Bestselling Author, TED DEKKER
“Through allegory and invitation, Allen Arnold ushers us into a journey of imagination, insight, wonder, and wisdom…Read The Story of With!” New York Times Bestselling Co-Author of Captivating, STASI ELDREDGE

“This is your invitation into deeper identity, intimacy, and imagination with God. Like finding the place you’ve always longed to be. The moment you finish this book, you’ll race to grab one for a friend. Highest Recommendation!” Bestselling Author of The Long Journey to Jake Palmer, JAMES L. RUBART