“Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.” E.L. Doctorow
For most writers, what our hands produce is an expression for what we feel in our hearts. Sometimes though it gets a little mixed up in there I’ll admit. For the most part, if you let a thought simmer long enough it will produce something that can be moving or thought provoking. For me areas around me have to just about right to get my mind to settle on what to express on any given day. Such as it is all artists, we need things like we like them, handy accessible or within reach at least.
This weekend I spent some quality time in a room where I formulate thoughts and articulate them in a blog. I was surprised by what I found on my dusty shelf. A full, actually overloaded basked of blog thoughts, ideas of thought provoking posts and many unfinished blog concepts. Most of them were only half started and looked like a scribbly mess. I remember those days when I was a firestorm of ideas.
I still have a lot of ideas for blogs but lately God has been focusing a lot of my efforts on writing a book. I am making great momentum in that project. The point of my mentioning a lot of half-scribbled notes about blogs is two ideas: 1. What did people use before the invention of Post-it’s? 2. Do you think Paul had a stack of half scribbled notes surrounding him while writing from prison?
When I found the overload of the scraps of paper I had to wonder why I didn’t take time to write some of them out. I recognized that I have a great ability to start a lot of great and awesome projects around here and my kitchen table is paralyzed right now with about 10 craft projects that I want to pin to a board someday. I realized “someday” needed to become a bigger priority to actually finish any of the projects. Was my need to accumulate a lot of stuff by crafting or was I just wanting to cover my table to make it literally unusable for the purpose it was intended for?
I think it’s because we tend to find value in what our hands produce and receive our worth from the false sense of productivity to gain value in our lives. I’m pretty sure Paul, the writer of over half of the New Testament, didn’t have a craft table or 10 projects laid out on it. I am pretty sure he didn’t have a basket overloaded with chapter ideas either. I pretty sure that Paul had a lot of time to articulate his thoughts. Take a read some of his latest releases called the New Testament Bible.
I am pretty sure that Paul didn’t always have the cleanest of areas to work in. I’m pretty sure there were days when Paul didn’t see the light of day or get out into nature to inspire him to put pen to paper. I’m pretty sure that Paul didn’t over analyze his work nor have doubt about what his calling in life was.
Do you think he was disappointed with how his life turned out? He wrote about contentment a lot. He wrote about praying a lot. He wrote a lot and remained focused on truth. He kept his mind in check and could have let it stray to dark places but he didn’t. What did Paul have in his life that other writers didn’t?
I think in his “knower” that he knew. Paul wrote to churches that needed encouragement, teaching and preaching the truth, and showed how to love first and foremost. Paul wrote about some “hot” topics too. Paul was known as a passionate person who had been radically changed by an encounter with God along a dusty road. Paul didn’t question his ability to write, he just knew that it was God who was empowering him to share the Gospel that still inspires us today.
He just knew. And there was no doubt that was what he was supposed to do. If there was any lack of faith it didn’t show. Am I the only one or do you get stuck in the “how” of God’s ways and try to figure things out before we let Him have His way in us?
I have gotten stuck in the “how” details were going to happen, or if my dream would ever happen. I stacked my little notes on a shelf thinking if I’m better I’ll write that, or if I have time I make that a great post, or if there is no one else out there that will tackle this subject, then I will. How often I think I have nothing to say about something?
This stack of unwritten blog ideas has changed me a little to think I only need a little more confidence to focus on if I should write it at all. Focused confidence was what Paul knew as his purpose and it came from the Author Himself. I often find myself reminding God what I don’t have to do what He has asked me to do. He has confidence in me, so why can’t I have confidence in me?
All that changed this weekend. No, I don’t think I can write all those scraps into a post, because it’s not about the quantity number of posts that I write but the confident quantification that I write from. If God is in your unfinished pile of projects then don’t give up before He has had a chance to add a little confidence to your mind and heart. It will do you a world of good to throw away a bad idea. It’s okay, no one knows about those silly ideas anyway. Focusing and letting God sort your ideas will help you become confident and know which ideas to put effort towards. Who knows you could be the next Paul creating something for a generation that hasn’t even been born yet!
If whatever creative stroke is consistent in your life then seek God in the middle of it and ask Him to be your confidence. He will bolster your faith in a way that won’t make you over-productive but will help you produce what He has put inside of you. God cares about those details too!
Where do you need more confidence in your life?