So. I had a tiny come-to-Jesus moment the other night. I proverbially, threw my hands up in the air and said these words, “I just want to write, I have to write. And I don’t care any more if anyone reads my stuff or even likes it.”
You see. I’ve been worried, for a very long time, that my work is not work unless it has a price tag dangling from the corner. One or more of my graphic design teachers (when I went to a 2-year community college for art less than 10 years ago) told me never to do any work for free. Which is funny, because every other entry-level graphic design position in KC seems to be an internship. Unpaid. Ha!
So I decided to harness my art skills, writing skills and any other skills I had by writing a book. I had big dreams of book signings and elbow rubbings. And everything started to make sense. I thought I had found my calling (132nd calling, to be exact, but who’s counting? Stop counting!). But writing books takes years and I can’t seem to get past short-story status.
When book writing didn’t pan out, I figured blogging was where I might find my stride. Short, little bursts of wisdom and creativity with creative media on every post. Perfect! I was made for that. My skills line up with that like 2nd graders going to extra recess. But everyone has a blog. I even know a dog with a blog. And several babies. Pretty sure.
So. Being creative sucks. It’s hard to find an outlet. One that pays anyway. And you’re competing with a bunch of talented and untalented creatives, alike. Ones that have gone to school for journalism, English majors, natural-born Hemingways or Picassos. And the other heaps of craft and Christian blogs that fill the ocean of online literature. How can I ever hope to keep my head above the waves in a sea of blogs?
But in my come-to-Jesus moment, with tears, I realized. Who are you doing this for?
Through some pretty painful thoughts, my epiphany rose. Your writing is the voice you always wanted. And you just want to be heard because you felt like you never were. Same with acting, art, anything. Your hands and mouth and mind won’t stop, even if you tried. They’ve had their freedom. You were the 4th child of a crazy family who wasn’t big on sharing, feelings or truth. Your voice was lost on that sea of insanity. You don’t want to be ignored. You have something to say.
But, it has to be more than that. Because everyone has that story. What God is leading me to is this.
GOD: If I gave you a voice, it was to use for me. Not to heal your broken heart. Not to sermonize. Not to exorcise your demons. Not to psychoanalyze your issues. But to work for me. And I have taken care of you. I will continue to do that. You show my power in your weakness. Stop worrying about money. I will not let your voice drown. Like the boat that I was in and kept tall on the waves that I stilled, I will raise your voice for those that need to hear it.
After having my moment, I received an email the very next day. It might have been spam, but God can even use spam I think. Here’s what it read:
I came across your artwork and absolutely love it. 🙂
Probably spam. But it was an offer for artists to send in their designs and earn a percentage on what they sell. They probably saw my art because I started working on customizedgirl.com to sell my art on t-shirts and bags. This email featured a site that was very similar to customizedgirl, just an upscale version of the same concept. And they claim to be socially conscious. Of course they do.
But whatever. It was simply a reminder. Keep doing what you love. It doesn’t matter where your art goes. It goes.
And. I saw a blogger post a blog post (one they had not written) on Facebook, liked by another blogger. The blog post was about an amateur blogger asking advice from a successful blogger. That’s like 4-blogger deep. Not kidding. “That’s like Inception in the blog-o-sphere.” (joke credit: Guy C. Maggio)
Great article. It opened my eyes. Her advice was stop worrying about your writing. Just let it speak for itself. I saw this after my meltdown. I mean, moment of clarity. Ha! It was a confirmation of what I already decided. God was showing me that. Affirming that. Assuring me.
Every time I have reached a meltdown-able moment in my life about anything. Love, work, school, parenting. I have to reach a point of clarity from exhaustion. I’m fairly hard-headed and I love beating that big, hard head against the wall. I usually try to force my agenda/dreams/choices through some narrow, attractive door of opportunity. Until I see for myself, it just won’t go. Then I can let go and walk away because I have no pushback left.
And then I usually walk by an open window. Usually. 🙂