Sunday, March 8, 2009

Writing Isn't An All or Nothing Deal

I just finished reading Scott Hamilton's new book, The Great Eight, and was inspired in several ways. While the book is mainly about how we make or break finding happiness (or better said, contentment) it wasn't the eight ways that inspired me so much as one individual story. Hamilton was discussing his desire to make a return to skating after hitting age fifty. In the telling, he described how he learned to accept the fact that everything doesn't always turn out precisely as you want it to, even if you're doing everything right, and even if you feel God's nudging you to continue on. What may be your picture of success, might not exactly be what God pictures.

He told about a friend, a successful song writer, who was writing a book and felt a bit insecure about it. So,the friend gave what he'd poured his heart and soul into to a well respected friend in the literary world for feedback. But he didn't get the feedback he'd expected. He was basically told that it could be edited back from 250 pages to about 50! At first, his heart was broken.
But then he thought about it more and realized that his joy had come in the process of writing! He decided, why should he let anyone take that away, just because they might be looking at it from a different point of view? Hamilton's friend would keep writing because he enjoyed it. Whether someone else wanted to read it or publish it, fine. But if not, that was going to be okay with him, too.

What a great reminder. We don't have to always live up to other people's expectations of what we should be writing about, or how we should be going about it. And, IT'S NOT JUST ABOUT PUBLISHING!

Writing is simply not an all or nothing deal.

It's about following through on our God-given promptings. Enjoying the process. Baring our souls.

So press on, my writing friends. Don't fear for their faces! Don't cringe at critique! Love the words. Express your hearts, your stories, your dreams, your rantings. Continue to commit to the process. And let all your hard work and effort leave you happy and fulfilled in what it is, and not in what it is not.

1 comment:

K.M. Weiland said...

Great, great point - one I feel is all too often missed. Writers are often made to feel that if they fail to publish, their skills and their time spent writing are worth nothing. But that simply isn't true. The joy is the journey. The *point* is the journey. Publishing is just a stop along the way for some of us. It's neither the beginning nor the end.