This feels like a vulnerable thing to write about. Because once I say I have things that are stopping me from following through on my dreams I am claiming its existence in the first place. It’s admitting that I have a dream and want to move to a different place in my writing life. If I do not consciously acknowledge my dream I have no obligation to try, no chance to fail, and no chance to be wrong.
There’s no risk if I never say the words.
So what stops me from stepping into my dream as a writer? My fear of failure stops me. My fear of going down the wrong road paralyzes me. My fear of being wrong freezes my thoughts before they are even half complete. The idea that I am not qualified even though I am simply stating my own thoughts on a matter haunts my steps.
But who can fail without an answer key? Who can tell you you are lost without knowing your destination and your enroute purpose? How can you be wrong in following through on writing words that no one has written before?
The problem with writing is that there is tangible evidence of your thought processes and beliefs. You can’t say: oh I didn’t say that. Because it is all written down. Readily available to be reexamined at any moment. There is a distinct sense of vulnerability.
So you have to be careful, yes. But you also have to be brave. Because, in writing, we never know what will become of it until we try. If we do not try we can’t know the negative or positive impact the piece may have had. There are no consequences. There is no fulfillment. There is no transmission of ideas. There is no growth.
Unless we are writing the words that make us want to yank them back every other minute or so, we are not going to grow in our art. There will be no invitation for disagreement or discussion.
Iron sharpens iron.
As we share our ideas and discuss them thoughtfully a way is made for a deeper understanding of the topic and of each other. Criticism gives us a chance to refine our words and thoughtfully consider another point of view.
I love to discuss things. I enjoy talking with my friends about things that matter. I think a world where we all agreed perfectly would be boring and unhealthy. At least in this world. I think in heaven we’ll all be surprised, but, in the omnipotence of God, we will all agree. And that agreement will be sanctioned, holy, and right.
But right now we must continue to wonder at and discuss the ambiguities God leaves up for discussion.
My dream as a writer is to show a bigger picture of who God is. I want to illuminate the bridges where chasms were seen as the only option. I want to suggest a way that brings us closer together instead of tearing us apart. I want to show both sides of the story. I want to know that it is not “compromise”, but it is simply allowing God to be a little more unknown than we would like. I want to reach for a God who encompasses the universe instead of just filling in the gaps in our own little worlds.
I want Him to be the bigger picture.
Because that is all it is. It’s Him.
This post was written in response to a prompt from my Writers
(In)couraging Writers group. Catch up with us next session here.
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