So what brings me out of my own hand-crafted prision? A post I read this morning from Writer's Unboxed. If I hadn't read it I would still be stumbling around in the dark. Check out another (much more accomplished) writer's thoughts on getting stuck ... How to uncage your inner writer: Ask your inner pulitzer prize winner.
This last month has been a string of frustrating nights as I've stared at yet another unfinished manuscript that didn't lack story direction ... but lacked place. I guess the best way I could explain that is it isn't writer's block ... it's writer's stupidity. I know the story I just get too scared to write it. I have a whole computer file full of these now. Surely there is an award for most incomplete manuscripts somewhere??
The post I mentioned above spoke a bit to this all-too-familiar place I've been living in. She even titles it a prison, but hers looks like a college campus. (I could go a little Freud on that one.) She talks about having the advice we need to catapault ourselves over the imaginary walls we sit behind already within ourselves.
Isn't that one getting old yet? I guess because we still haven't mastered the whole 'be who God created you to be not a cheap imitation of something or someone else' thing it will never get old. Just be.
I've repeated to myself over and over again hoping it will by some miracle stick to something inside of me. Just be.
Over the holidays I got a chance to attend a concert. Although that in and of itself is not unique I did something so "me" and yet something I'd never done before. I volunteered to help set up the concert - you know haul equipment, lights and instruments and hang up merchandise for the concert-goers. It kinda was a flop in many ways yet I couldn't have felt more at peace.
No discredit to the bands, but the whole "help us out plea" was very disorganized. We stood, watched them set up and basically twiddled our thumbs more than anything else ... but we walked back stage, passed by musicians and stars and mingled in like we belonged. (Sort of). By the end of the five hours of twiddling, my friend and I were more help to the custodial staff than the bands, but it felt great to just be there.
I was far too shy--er, I mean respectful to go prancing up to the stars and tell them I knew who they were but it was so cool to see them "just be". They sat and face-timed loved ones, or plugged their ears with tunes or podcasts of some kind, they stretched out on chairs and "hung out". Some even stood marvelling at our majestic view of the mountains. But they all seemed tired, spent and maybe even lonesome for home. They were just being themselves. They were Normal. Average. Guys.
Now that is not breaking news to anyone - surely not someone of my age and maturity. However it was freeing. I could picture the whole scene - they sit in normal, regular homes and plunk out notes and rhythms on normal, regular instruments, pouring out on paper what God has created them to do. Sing and play.
Do they struggle with what people might think? I think so.
Do they cross their fingers and hope for applause and praise instead of being booed off the stage. I imagine so.
Do they ever wonder what in the world they are doing? Yup.
The lead singer of one of the bands poured his heart for us on how he struggled before the show - questioning and seeking clarity of what God's plan for him was. I was so impressed.
So what makes them travel hours in a bus, endure freezing cold winter temperatures (when they could be down in some place warmer like Tennessee), and face crowds night after night? Aside from the money (hehe) ... they do it because of a calling on their lives. A chance to live out what the Master has asked of them.
Ok, maybe I am being a little dramatic and still trapped within my own fairy tale, but this experience opened my eyes a little more. What am I doing in my little closet, plunking keys on my keyboard? What am I "wasting" hours on? Something I want or something God wants?
Is it something I was created to do; that without it I would not feel complete and at peace?
Am I just being? Or am I striving to be?
So my New Year's Resolution or My WORD(s) for 2014: Press on. I Press On ... all I need I will find in YOU!
Phillipians 3:13-15 ... Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
How about you?
Some profound advice from my friends at Building 429. A video from the lead singer on where the song comes from. Or just read the words for yourself. Enjoy!
"Wrecking Ball (Press On)" By Building 429
(feat. Blanca Callahan of Group 1 Crew)