The first thing I thought about when I decided to stop writing fiction was not how I felt about giving up the world of fiction. I first thought about what I would say to readers, people in general, who asked what happened and why I quit. I felt like a quitter then. I didn’t want to feel like a quitter. I didn’t want to appear like a quitter. But, what could I say?
The last couple of years, I have found it harder and harder to write fiction. Looking at the violent situations being repeated on the news, things I saw, the suffering around me – it had become hard for me to write when I sit to pen new pages for books. With each report of an assault of any sort, news reports about attacks, tragic ends – it became increasingly hard for me to write some of the content I was used to writing. It got to the point where I could no longer see me using art, in any form, to add to what I was seeing. Writing then became a burden and the burden began bleeding into other parts of my life. But what could I say?
The last couple of months became of blur of motion and decisions. The desire and passion I had for writing fictional works slowly became a casualty, with my thoughts centering on “do I want to spend my time focusing on an expression that I was losing my desire for”. I knew it wasn’t just writer’s block when I would sit and skim every news report on any violent thing, no matter how sedate, instead of writing. My fiction, the type of fiction I wrote, I could no longer contribute.
Then the decision became absolute. I was done. After answering the questions, the only thing left was to get past the feeling of feeling like I was letting anyone down. I didn’t quit; I needed to focus my energy on the things that defined me. I define me. God defines me. And my focus was on defining a future that optimized the use of my creative talents and skills so long as it doesn’t include fiction.
I have since thought about when I first realized that I didn’t want to write fiction. How it felt, and how it compares to how I feel now. It is something I see people going through time and again as they struggle to decide what they want. Driven by the need to appear as if they’re doing fine even while they’re being eaten up by the flood of emotions trying to devour their will.
The answer is typically in that first tick we dismiss when we think about doing something, wrong or right. It’s a feeling that keeps repeating the further we push against what we want and what we know we ought to do. It doesn’t quit. It is like a constant friend always reminding us we can do what we want, even while we believe we can’t.
That is the conscience. No matter how desensitized we become to life, our conscience remains faithful to doing right. Does not matter what vice we have, our conscience wants us to do right. Over the span of my life that initial feeling has never changed. It never interferes when I make the right decision, you can probably say the same. It just awaits our decision before it goes into action. But if that decision is wrong, tick.
The one constant I have noticed is our conscience is the single aspect of our humanity that will never leave us to wallow in the cesspool of mistakes or judgmental mishaps we accept as our lives. God is the only part of us I’ve discovered to be more loyal. But, I can imagine that this part of us, our conscience, is God’s microphone. Maybe that is why it never gives up and it is always ticking for us to do right.
More importantly, I have come to realize that our conscience is all we have to answer to. In doing so, we answer to God in us. In so doing, we are enabled to do anything we desire to do through God’s Grace and power because it becomes our conviction.
Once I decided that I was finished writing and publishing fiction, things began to fall into place. I found my focus. Getting closer to God. Empowering people. Helping where I can. Creativity. Entrepreneurship. I found myself moving further and further from writing fiction to doing things that made me happy and confident. My brain began a reformation to where I was comfortable closing one chapter to begin living the way I wanted, without clichés.
I thought for a while, how best, I could share this discovery without seeming like I am living in judgment or seeming overtly lacking. This is what made sense in the end; We all have decisions to make and lives to live. The best way to live is to answer to your conscience at all times. Looking at scriptures and writing from this experience – even God says; “choose to be hot or cold and not luke-warm”. Meaning, decide what you will do and do it and he will be with you or against you. But He will not force you to make a decision. He will act based on your decision or do what He will do. You still have to make it.
But, if you are fighting your conscience to accept your decision you are already against what you are doing and that will fail. No one can change that for you. So, before you answer to anyone or anything, about anything in YOUR life, answer your conscience and be well with the decision you make.