Sunday, April 05, 2015

An Old Practice. A New Approach.

Since I got my first journal I wrestled with the idea of being a writer. Looking back on that time, I wonder how my friend Jason knew what to get me for a graduation present. We were making the biggest transition of our lives, graduating from high school and moving on to college. Maybe he thought I was all growns up and figured this would symbolize that. Maybe he thought I talked too much and needed a way to get my words out. At any rate, he bought me a journal. And I began to write.

It wasn't like I hadn't written before. School required that of me and I found that I was decent. Not great, but perhaps good. I wasn't a slouch, but I was never one of those kids who grew up writing or enjoyed employing new words, like "loquacious" or "verisimilitude" (I still don't know what those words mean, only that they were SAT words). Looking back, I did what I needed to do in order to get A's. Grades were more important to mean than learning. I don't think that's the case now (sure, I'm not in school anymore), but it sucks to admit that.

Then I got my first journal and something changed. It took a while to get going, but I began to write for myself. No one was reading it and no one cared, only me. That practice -- which has gone on for almost 15 years now -- is as much a part of who I am as my brown eyes or my short, but manly 5'7" stature.

So often in those 15 years I've asked myself and others if writing is something I can do, like really do. Could I write a piece, any piece, that would get published? Sure, self-publishing is easy these days with blogs like this or Amazon, but that's not what I'm talking about. I'm also not talking about getting published on blog sites I have personal connections with like The Gospel Coalition, The Resurgence, or my current job's site. I mean, published. It could be an article in a magazine, a short story, or even a scholarly work. Could I write a book and stop being jealous of my friends that already have?

Here's the problem: I've always been afraid to take that step. Always. I, and I alone, have always convinced me that I don't have what it takes. I'm not like those friends who can just sit and write something perfect in what seems like 15 seconds. I don't know those big fancy words. I can't weave a story well. I don't have the discipline. I can't stay focused long enough. I don't have the right knowledge. It never comes out right. It's all mediocre.

The excuses roll off the easiest. Now that I'm thinking about it, maybe I could publish a book of excuses.

Do you know what I'm talking about? Isn't there something in your life that you want to do or just like to do and in brief moments of insanity you believe you might be able to go somewhere with it, only to let your old friend Freddie Fear "open your eyes" and somehow convince you for the 1,000,000th time that you're crazy?

I don't want to do that anymore. Life is too short and too fun for me right now to keep letting that happen. Freddie Fear is a sucky friend who needs to be punched or the face or pushed off a cliff. I haven't decided the punishment yet. And I'm taking a new approach.

I like to write. I am decent at it. I like to put my thoughts into words and have people read them. I like to dialogue through what I'm writing and thinking. I've done it before, but not this way. This time, I'm going to write everyday. I'm going to take one thought I have for that day and write about it for 30 minutes. That's it. No more, but sometimes less. I will take a little time to edit and add links or images and such, but the content will only be the product of 30 minutes of writing on one thought. And I'm going to do this everyday for the next 365 days.

This is an idea that comes on the same day we celebrate Jesus' resurrection. It is the day I'm reminded that His perfect love has cast out fear. I am reminded that His resurrection has brought me new life. Instead of resolving on New Year's Day (which I did as well), this should be the time of year I make resolutions in remembrance of the new life I have in Christ.

This is an idea, an experiment, and an adventure. And I hope that if you see any of yourself in what I just wrote, that you'll join me on this journey (subscribe to this bad boy on the upper right-hand side of the blog).

Day one is done. 30 minutes are up. This is gonna be fun.


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