How to Paint Reality

It’s past summer, and we’re just entering October. I was sure I would have a full-time job by now, but I don’t, and I’m not even sure . . . should I go gung-ho into freelance writing/editing? There are so many choices to follow: create an Etsy shop, start a YouTube channel, write books. I don’t know exactly what will come next.

For instance, a wonderful “next” happened a couple days ago, when I learned that a few poems of mine will be published, no later than October 25, in Adelaide Literary Magazine in print and online! It’s amazing! And wonderful! I can’t wait to see them on the site and explore where or what to submit next!

Meanwhile, my mind flits about to different things to focus on constantly. I go to one room for earbuds and come back with tea. I start playing piano and forget I made tea. I slide my phone to snooze for ten minutes, but end up turning the alarm off instead and barely have enough time to write this blog again before going to my editorial internship.

I find, also, that I sometimes think I see a bright light and have everything figured out only to find nothing is so black and white. Joshua killing the Canaanites represents Christians doing God’s will and putting to death the sin in their lives–the parallel of the five kings hanging on five trees and put in a cave with a large stone rolled in front of it and Jesus’ hanging on a tree and buried with a large stone in front of the tomb proves it, and therefore God will be 100% behind our battles with sin and give us the full victory! Yes . . . but not so fast. The flesh/sinful nature we were born with is always with us on this earth, so we will never be completely free from sin in this life. I thought I had an epiphany, only to be checked.

Then how can I paint a good picture of what reality is through my stories if I can never be completely right? “Paint what you see, not what you think you see,” comes to mind. I am not a very opinionated person; I’m more likely to hold back for fear of being wrong.

In story writing, one of the few (and major) gifts that friends and family encourage me to never stop doing, we can only paint reality, which is what writing stories is, for some, as far as we can understand with our faulty understanding. Watercolor paintings aren’t perfect, so why do stories have to be?

The best way I’ve heard so far to make an actually good story is this: to make characters that are victorious over villains.