The Blessing is in Being


In my Visual Communication class, we have been studying the concept of gestalt. It’s hard for some students to pick up, but the essence of it is the concept of “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” Another way to look at it is to realize that sometimes things don’t make sense, even when you have all the information. Then, in an instant, you have your aha moment, and it all comes together.

I see this in life quite often, and you probably do too. I have trained and disciplined myself for years in the craft of writing. I have written many books, some which have even been published. But I am caught in the quandary of writing what I know will sell versus what I feel I need to say. I have strong ties to Adventist publishing, but feel we have talked to ourselves long enough. And I don’t have ties at all to general Christian publishing, or secular publishing. The secular book market is daunting. I look at it like the Wild West, after being raised in safe St. Louis. I know there is a future out there. Or at least I would like to believe there might be.

But the big question comes when I ask myself, why do I write? Do I write to make money? Cha, like that’s going to happen. I’ve learned that I can make a lot more money hiring myself to do someone else’s magazine. But my soul is not there. Do I write for recognition? I might say no, but there is something really enticing about being recognized. It’s addictive. And if I were given the option of making a difference in my life without ever getting recognition, I would have to think long and hard. I would likely say yes to that option, but it wouldn’t be an easy decision.

But then here comes the aha moment. What important is really the process. It’s great to have a goal of success. But from my own experience of personal successes, I have found that the joy is truly in the journey. You have to have a goal, a farfetched but reachable goal. Then the fun comes in trying to reach it.

So I realize that even if I never become rich or famous as a writer, what’s important is the process of trying to reach that success. And once again, I don’t think I will ever become rich or famous. And maybe it’s not Christian to claim to want to become either one. But like all other writers, I want to be heard.

The trick comes in knowing what it is that needs to be said, that’s important to you. That’s between you and God. You need to be right with God–as I am trying to be. And as he told me, it’s not what you do that’s important, its who you are. Once you figure that out, the rest should come pretty naturally.

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One thought on “The Blessing is in Being

  1. Indeed. In many ways, NaNoWriMo, as a general experience, as a journey, has been more important to me than the actual material I’ve put on paper.

    Sure, I like my story. I’ve come to believe in “Jaine” as a story worth telling in a way that I certainly didn’t believe at first.
    But the process of NaNoWriMo has taught me so much more about myself, about what I can do and accomplish when I actually make myself try, and about what motivates me and makes me feel right.
    I never knew how much the feeling of accomplishing something I felt was meaningful and tied to who I am could make me feel good. Getting to that word count each day made the rest of the day, even if it wasn’t filled with entertainment and fun, seem like a day seized and made the most of. It made me feel complete each day.
    I also now know that I can’t simply just settle. I want to be a writer too much. I think for a long time I harbored the suspicion that no, I wasn’t going to be a writer, I was just going to be a professor who never got published, sitting in his office staring out the window dreaming about what I had wanted to be and missed.
    I’ll still probably end up being a teacher, hopefully a professor. but I’ve also realized what I already am. And if I have to take up another profession to put food on the table, fine, but that will always be secondary to my true calling. I am a Writer. And that feels so right.

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