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  • HAPruitt

Something Different

Apparently when you write a book, you must weave it around the core of what is known as a "felt need". This ambiguous "felt need" is something inside people that drives them to do whatever they do. If people feel the need for cake, they buy cake (or books about how to make cake). If people feel the need to be better at parenting, they buy parenting books (or books about how to make cake). Implanting a felt need in your book is crucial for people to feel a need to buy your book.

I learned about the necessity of a felt need long after I wrote Anelthalien. So when the publishers prompted me to provide the felt need of Anelthalien, I didn't really know what to do. I just skipped that question and moved on to another. I reached the question of my motivation for writing Anelthalien. For a second I considering considered answering something noble like "to change lives" or "to save the world", but my motivation was not something like that. It was something different - to just hear the story God told and write it down because I wanted to be with Him so much.

While writing the motivation, I realized the felt need. It was not something I wove the story around; it was how God drew me in to Anelthalien. I had fallen so willingly into the land and story of Anelthalien because it was something different. Anelthalien was an escape from real life. It was also an escape to real Life. Anelthalien was the place and story that simultaneously pulled me away from this existence and told me that a different kind of life is possible during this existence. God helped me see that my want to be with Him was the felt need--that often undefinable longing for Him that most of us know simply know as wanting something different.

That felt need is in pretty much in all of us. We all want something different at some point. When we feel stuck in a job or home situation, we want out, and it doesn't really matter where we go. We just seek something different. We want something different because we feel that anything different has to be better than what we have. We go avidly looking for it, and sometimes we find something different, but when that something different is something we made happen, it usually is not something actually better.

We all also do not want something different at points in life. We like (or at least know how to navigate) how our lives are at the present moment, and so are comfortable remaining content. When something different does happen and shakes up everything we know, it really bothers us. We feel out of our element, out of control, and totally out of our comfort zone. We don't like that something different that happens to us but can't avoid it. When something like that happens--something so different that only God could bring it--it does make life better. That something different does not feel better at first, but because it moves us out of who we have become content to be, it forces us to take a hard look at ourselves and change. When God does something different in our lives, it transforms us to be more like He intended us to be. When God brings something different, it changes us into something different, something useful, effective, and unlike we could ever be on our own.

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