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I tell people I enjoy writing fiction. That’s a blatant lie on a couple levels.
First of all, It would be more correct to say, “I enjoy having written.” Any real writer will tell you that the act of writing is torture. A writer writes because he is driven to, not because he wants to or because he enjoys it.
Second, I’ve managed to avoid writing anything of significance for over a year now. Can I really call myself a writer? Writing marketing content for my employer doesn’t count. There’s writing and then there’s writing. I think you get it.
But the call has always been there. I may do a decent job of ignoring it, covering it up, or distracting myself from the inner voice that screams at me to bleed my subconscious onto the page, but It’s always there.
Sometimes it threatens me. “This story that you so want to get out will never be completed at the rate you’re going. Are you even capable of pulling this off? It’s about time you wrote SOMETHING if you’re going to call yourself a writer.
Sometimes the call is gentler. The smell of fresh coffee. The snow falling outside. The live streamed Yule log on YouTube. All coaxing me back into my craft. My profession. My possession.
There’s some irony in starting a business, or writing a book, or any other creative endeavor. You have to let the dream die first.
I’m a hobbyist fiction writer. One of the hardest parts about writing is getting over the fear that I’m doing it wrong. It actually kind of cripples me at times.
I worry that a story won’t come out exactly how I want it to. I worry that a character won’t mean as much to the reader as they do to me. I worry no one will like my book because it wasn’t the absolute best it could be.
So I do nothing. I close my laptop and wait for it to be perfect.
The truth is that reality will always look a bit different than our dreams, no matter what. there’s no way around it. Every artist, every businessman, every human has to face this fact.
If you have a dream of doing something daring, something entrepreneurial, something great, go do it. It wont turn out the way it did in your head. It can’t. In many ways it will be better, but first you have to let your hold on perfection die. You have to let the dream die.