Writing is hard. It’s not hard to put words on a screen, but it’s hard to not put my identity in my audience response.
And I wonder why I write? Do I write for that response? Or do I really love writing?
Is it appropriate to write for an audience? Is there a time and place for that? Or should I only ever write because my heart longs to give words to what is inside. I long to read what I feel – like I can’t quite understand or have clarity until I have encased it in words.
Being willing to share my heart encased in words and offer it to the world around me serves a greater purpose than me. It gives others an opportunity to say “me too”, and potentially passes hope, like a baton, to another.
That is why I should write.
I’m not going to lie. This is a bit of a paradox. To truly write well and to be free in writing I must write for that last mentioned reason. And often when you offer your heart encased in words your audience responds positively because they can connect. But my writing isn’t pure or right when I am motivated by people.
So how do I keep the freedom and the purity? It has to be by writing everyday and writing what is inside and choosing to not follow the stat trends and people-response. This is hard for me. It doesn’t come naturally. I like to know how people are responding. However, I know if I am led by the cause of pleasing people that I will eventually stop writing. My purpose will ebb and flow like the tide and it will cease to actually reach people. It becomes manufactured and faux.
We must do our work for a greater cause. We must create out of freedom. We must reach past our audience and fans and critics and step deeper in the actual calling. We are all called to create. Creating innately gives us a deep sense of fulfillment, but also fills a hole in the world around us. Lives can be touched and changed by our willingness to create and share that creativity with the world around us.
However God has called you to create must be done at a level deeper than the shallow end of the pool where your feet touch and all applaud. We must venture to the place where it takes faith to move forward. We have to paddle awkwardly sometimes and there may be a time where it feels frantic. We may have seasons where no one watches or if they are watching they are not applauding but rather booing or naysaying.
Pressing through, not retreating, learning to swim, learning to float, continuing to be challenged is where we do our best work. And we must “do work” to do our best work.
The deep end is where our destinies are made and where future generations are touched.
I want that.