I'm currently working on an as yet unnamed science fiction feature. I had the story idea for it back when I was in college, and since then I've approached it and abandoned it more times than I can count. I just can't seem to get it out of my head. Which is a good sign, I guess.
Sometimes I feel guilty about taking so long to write (can I just finish a draft, already??) but today I looked back on the past three years of living with this story and had a realization:
The core of my story is virtually unchanged, but it has grown in subtlety and lost its certainty in many ways. Much the same could be said about my faith. And that's why I'm starting to see screenwriting as a devotional practice.
Writing this story has been an intensely personal journey that has challenged and refined me, forcing me to grapple with big questions and come face to face with the ramifications of what I believe. One minute I'm crying out to the Spirit for inspiration and the next I'm doing my best to puzzle it out on my own. Even in the weeks or months when I'm not working on it, I sense tectonic shifts in my paradigm forming new crags and valleys in the landscape of a film I'll one day finish.
When I started, I thought I was telling myself a story to better understand my faith, or even to defend it to the doubting world around me. Now all I can see is God's practiced hand in the process, revealing himself to me through a medium I have grown to love.