Faith seeking understanding, my personal journey towards a deeper knowledge of and intimacy with God, the cosmos, humanity and myself through thoughts, words and (occasionally) images, is a series of [hopefully] daily reflections I’m writing with the purpose of publishing something on a regular basis for others to read, either here, at joncarllewis.com or among my writings at Medium.com.
I wrote today. For hours. [Or, rather, I storycrafted. Writing involves lining up words in a particular order which conveys a story, but what I did today was storycraft.] I basically worked and reworked the synopsis for an old and ambitious project of mine that I thought would never see the light of day again. But, for some reason, I seem to have gotten myself into the habit of facing some fears I didn’t know I had, and I was able to pick up this project again and do some good work after over more than a couple of years away from it.
One of those fears is being so swept away by the creative impulse I won’t be of any practical good. I faced that fear today. I was worried that my project was so attractive to me that it would suck me in and keep me from doing what else I am supposed to be doing (whatever that is). This fear usually keeps me from beginning or continuing work on a project, especially one I am really interested or invested in. I worry that I might be so seduced by the dopamine rush of creation that I wouldn’t be able to pull my head out of the rabbit hole and… do what?
You see, there are things I needed to do today. I didn’t write a short speech I must deliver tomorrow afternoon. I didn’t pay bills. I didn’t return emails as quickly as I wanted to. I didn’t even look at my phone all day. But somehow that didn’t matter. Somehow, I managed to push all of those worries aside. For some reason I became unhinged from my fear and dove into the world between my ears and in my heart.
I suspect it has to do with a couple of things that are going on in my life. Because I have made it part of my daily routine to publish a piece of writing every day, I have started to see myself as a productive person. No matter that what I am producing is words. No matter that I’m not getting paid. No matter that I don’t have a product on the best seller lists—or any lists for that matter. I write. I write daily. And—thanks be to the wonders of the internet—I have you to thank for being able to say I have readers. It makes me a little giddy to think about it: my creative activity is worth it to somebody out there to take a few minutes out of their day—or more—and listen to what I have to say.
I hope it’s helpful. The discipline has been more than helpful to me: it’s been invaluable. I have a job, and that job is to craft stories which I will then write. Someday, I might write enough to fill a book or a script or a collection of shorter works. But the fact that this will happen someday and isn’t true now spurs me on to do the work that will get me to that someday. And, if I never get to that someday, I will have spent my time doing something I loved to do.
Apart from writing regularly, I also think that I have benefitted from being in community. The community of other writers and creatives, to be more specific. I used to think I was alone in this pursuit, plugging away with no one to ask questions or learn from or even just complain about the joys and pains of this thing I call the writing life. But that is no longer true—if it ever was. I find that there is a lively exchange of ideas on Medium.com. I’ve definitely been involved in many two-way and multiple-way conversations through this medium. I love the fact that I can partake of someone’s wisdom—or, even, their foolishness—and with a few keystrokes be in dialogue with them about the finer points of whatever it was they had to share with the world.
And, even beyond Medium, I’m grateful for the internet. Sure, it’s full of potential distractions (and I visited one or two today) but it’s also filled with TED talks, podcasts on every possible subject, useful articles, instructional videos and even courses (some of them free). it takes some discipline and discernment, but there is a wealth of support out there for any creative endeavor. It’s a great blessing to be alive and working in this environment and I am grateful for days like today when I can just plunge in and enjoy being in the creative flow of life.
And, now, after a day of being creative… I need to divert the flow a little bit and go write a little speech!
Thank you for your time and attention.
I’d love to know your thoughts on what you’ve read.
Please comment, below, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
May God richly bless you on your journey.