Where do I even begin?
This month, I took a deep dive into The Creative Way, a storytelling course by my favorite author, Ted Dekker. I was so excited to finally be able to take it as it has been offered once a year for the past two years and I was never able to afford it. This year, however, thanks to my parents and Millie, I was able to sign up and get my books! I am beyond grateful to the support I recieved from my family in taking this course and it has had an invaluable impact on me already.
The big thing about this course that makes it so powerful and unique is that it is not a writing course – it is a storytelling course. It is entirely about the art of story, and not just any story, but what Ted calls transformative fiction. I have long loved his definition of what a good story is, and The Creative Way really pushed me deep into the full meaning of story.
Story is a series of events involving worthy characters who are transformed as a result of those events.
He broke this definition down and specified each part of it even more in the course, but the main focus was on the word Transformed.
I should mention that when this course started, I was in a very dark place. I have never struggled much with depression until this past year when it has come and gone in waves. It has been a fight to keep my hope placed in Christ, knowing that God is working all things together for good, but the light that He was shining into my life was often dimmed by darkness.
While I am still on that journey, seeking the light daily, this course could not have come at a better time. So much of Ted’s philosophy on life (and theology) has to do with perspective, and that is without a doubt the biggest take-away I had from this course. One thing that I will forever cling to is one of the primary ways he explained perception early on in the course through Luke 11:34:
Your eye is a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is good, your whole body is filled with light. But when it is bad, your body is filled with darkness.
We understand that when Jesus said “your eye”, he meant your perception, and when He said “your body”, he meant our life. Thus, when we are looking at our life through what I call ‘Gospel Goggles’, we can see God’s goodness, keeping our hope in Jesus, focusing on the cross. When we wear Gospel Goggles, we can see truth and hope, which gives us peace in the midst o any season. However, if we take off the Gospel Goggles, we will not see what is true, we will see what our flesh is pulled towards – darkness, offense from others, self-condemnation – and the storm will be filled with fear and anger.
I hope you can see how that kind of revelation would be helpful when some days are just getting through, walking a tightrope between crying and nothing at all. Although, I am thankful for the bright days, the days when my eye is clear.
I know this is all very philosophical and the course was very philosophical, but that is what made it so much more than just a writing course. It wasn’t just about writing stories full of transformation, it was about being transformed myself into the image of Christ, and how writing stories can be a part of my own transformation.
I could go on and on about this course, but it is truly hard to explain everything if you haven’t taken the journey yourself. I feel like I’m way to introspective when I try to talk about this course with my husband and explain just how intensely impactful it is.
All in all, I will probably go through the book and podcasts for this course continuously for a year to really grasp it, but it has given me both freedom and direction in my writing without a doubt. I am very excited to see what happens in my next novel, and not only that, but how I change as a result of writing it.
Be sure to check out the course for yourself if you are interesting writing stories that transform more than the characters on the page here: https://thecreativeway.com/enroll2017 .