I haven’t been away. I have been busy writing.

There are many reasons why people blog. Some do it as part of a theological institutions networking among the students. Others do it as part of a social media conversation. Some people blog because its a way to promote and write about their passions. 

For myself, blogging is often like a online journal. I blog what I am thinking about. I write what I am thinking and reflecting about. Sometimes its part of a ongoing conversation with other bloggers thoughts and needs. Sometimes my blogging is deeply personal and is a way for me to share with the world. And other times I blog because something deep inside of me likes to write and likes to blog. 

I haven’t been blogging as much lately and there are a few reasons for that. We had a death in our family, we lost our dog, I injured my feet and I went into a depressive state with grief where I had to pull out of a number of things I was involved with – namely the course I was doing this semester. 

I was also kinda angry at God deep within for allowing all this stuff to happen to me (again). Yeah yeah I know you will say… But hey, I have found its better to be honest with God then pretend your heart is clean before him – after all he does know the truth of what is going on. 

A good friend went home to be with the Lord. I had been spending much time in prayer for my friend and suddenly I was faced with a vacuum. in my life. My time and focus of habitual prayer was in tatters. 

But something else was bubbling up inside of me. I have long wanted to be an author. Deeply buried within my soul was a yearning to be a writer, ever since I can remember I have been a book worm and devoured novel after novel. Over the last couple of years I have had an opportunity to write –  I was invited to share my testimony of shattered and restored faith. I sat down numerous times to write it – but truthfully I wasn’t ready to go to the places it required me to go and truthfully I didn’t know where I was on the spectrum of restored faith. 

I have also had a few ideas to write a semi academic book or two and sent in a couple of ideas to a publisher but again, something inside of me was telling me not yet. And I have come to realize that I don’t really want to pursue the life of an academic. 

But the urge to write was still bubbling up inside me. But write what, has been my prayer. I want to write and yet I still have nothing that I feel I can write about. Last month I heard about a writers group whose members strive to write a 50k word novel during the month of November. I felt the Lord stirring me inside (or perhaps it was the pizza) to get involved. My prayer to the Lord was I have nothing to write about, you give me something to write about. 

Finally from out the depth of frustration in a time of lament I said to the Lord, “I dare you to do something big in my life!” Honestly I don’t know where that prayer came from, it just sprang up out the depths of my inner man. For a while I thought I was going to get zapped by a lightening bolt for speaking to the Lord in the way I had. 

November was coming up, and I still had nothing to write. I had no story, not plot, no character and once again I thought I had been deluding myself and had been praying to the Lord to grant me wisdom in this area. Finally the last day of October arrived and I was about to say no, I’m getting involved when a story plot just bubbled up out of my inner being and I started writing. 

I don’t want to give the plot of the story away just yet. But the first week of writing was a hard slog. There were battles in my mind to overcome, thoughts of who did I think I was to want to write a book. And so I battled with it, and suddenly the writing took on a life of its own. It was as if I was no longer directing the course of the characters lives – but instead I was getting excited to see what they got up to next. 

Last night I reached a milestone. I have written close to 24’000 words and am near the 1.2 way mark. I have been crook the last 2 days and am battling the flu now as I type. My chest is sore from the coughing, my eyes are watery,my sinus’s blocked and have a headache. But despite the flu I felt compelled to write. I had to write. I had to get this story out of the depths of my inner man. 

As a boy I cut my teeth on the classics such as Huckleberry Finn, Treasure Island, Robinson Crusoe. Then there were the Three Investigators, The Hardy Boys and discovered the likes of Jeffery Archer, Frederick Forsyth and Wilbur Smith, Not to mention the works of Tolkien and Lewis.  

The genre of my story is one that is a modern day adventure set in Australia. It’s about a teenager who is on a journey of discovering who he is as a man. A boy who reconnects with his father (This re-connection has a twist to it.) and through his fathers encouragement is encouraged to pursue 7 specific characteristics to become a true man. 

The characters and the story are fictional. But the places he travels through are real and many of the encounters, struggles, victories and characters in the story have as its basis a variety of personal experiences and those of others I have met along the way. 

I have to admit I have a love hate relationship with two of the characters in the story. . They expose my own flaws, tap into my own unfulfilled dreams. And yet at the same time they are likewise encouraging me to actively pursue 7 specific characteristics in my own journey of man hood and its my prayerful hope that it will likewise have the same effect on those who read it. 

About Craig Benno

I'm an average aussie guy who has lived perhaps a not so average life.
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3 Responses to I haven’t been away. I have been busy writing.

  1. there is a time to write, and a time to type…. 🙂

    But all things …done in Christ

  2. Thad E. Colon says:

    When writing your story, be aware that people who are close rarely use each other’s full names. Couples will use nicknames, terms of endearment (honey, dear, boo). What nickname have your characters come up with for each other? Also, parents rarely call their children by their full names–unless they are admonishing them for bad behavior or testifying in court. If you have loving parent characters that are addressing their kids, use a nick name or term of endearment (sweetie, baby, D.J.). An exception to this would be if you want to show the parent character being cold and distant to their child.

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