Archives For passion

Forgotten How

randomlychad  —  November 13, 2014 — 5 Comments

I think I’ve forgotten how to blog. How to write. Or at least have forgotten what I loved about it in the first place. Sitting here, staring at the blank page, it’s hard to believe this site used to see updates from me five days a week.

How did he do it? That guy that used to be so passionate, so engaged? I he guess he forgot that his work was never about him at all, but was about you–the reader.

He forgot that this was intended to be a place to make you laugh, think, reach for God. Instead, he made it about himself.

But that guy is done. He’s not welcome here anymore. This blog is about you–about what reaches you, blesses you, what challenges you, what makes you tick. Because this writer believes that unless you see yourself reflected back at you in these words you’ll breeze out of here like yesterday’s news.

So what would you like to see written about here?

In case you didn’t know, I’m contributing author in the Not Alone book, which was edited by the incomparable Alise Wright, and published by Civitas Press.

I’ve said before that I’m proud to have contributed, and humbled to included in such a great group of writers.

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Alright. I need to get this off my chest. It’s been seething inside of me since I read it (in one sitting!).

I “hate” Bryan Allain’s new eBook, 31 Days to Finding Your Blogging Mojo.

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So, this past weekend, Jon Acuff hosted his first ever Quitter Conference (based on his book of the same name). Aside from having a serious case of “Quitter envy,” my weekend was a pretty good one. In fact, I drowned said envy (wherein I compare my beginning to some more successful soul’s middle) the watching of films.

'Steve Carrell, Get Smart' photo (c) 2007, TV Squad Julia - license:

On Friday evening, my wife and I had our first date night in sometime, and saw the new Steve Carrell movie, Crazy, Stupid, Love. From the trailers, it appeared to be “yet another romantic comedy,” of which men, if you’re married (or soon to be married), you are contractually obligated to see a certain number of. (This number to be determined by your spouse/significant other).

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>at knife's edgephoto © 2008 Jordan Hoskins | more info (via: Wylio)

In this series, we’ve talked a lot about what art is, how it impacts, explains, and supports life. But there’s an aspect we haven’t touched on yet; namely, that art is sacrifice.

It’s the name of the game. In order to make great art, we as creators have to be willing to give something (or many somethings) up. I’ve heard both Bryan Allain and Jon Acuff talk about a “Like List.” As in a list we compile detailing the things we truly love versus the the things we merely like. Anything on the like list, if it interferes with the creation of our art, must be jettisoned. This is, I suppose, another aspect of “killing our darlings” (which we touched on last week).

The balance to this, which I’m learning, is that family (and thus family time) isn’t something that belongs on the “Like List.” If it’s there for you (as it was for me), I strongly suggest you reevaluate your priorities. Stephen King, one of the most successful writers ever, put it this way: “Life is not a support system for art, it’s the other way around.” And that was a hard fought lesson for him, as he–at the top of his game–almost lost his family.

No dream, no passion, no calling, is ever worth that. Don’t you ever dare sacrifice truly living for art’s sake. Chances are, your kids (if you have any) won’t understand you constantly giving up time with them to “pursue your dream.”

That, my friends, is the delicate balance of art: jettisoning that which keeps us from pursuing our passions, while simultaneously sacrificing the dream if it interferes with our closest relationships.

Take heart: it can be done. There is a path through these two kinds of sacrifice. It’s along the flat of a blade, but it’s there. Finding it isn’t easy, but is so worth the energy and effort expended.

God bless you as you pursue your art, and your relationships.

What have you sacrificed in pursuit of your dreams? Where have you found your balance?