You don’t have to like everything you create. Sometimes the purpose of creating is to minister to others or for someone else’s enjoyment. You just need to have a measure of peace with your work, know that you’ve given it your current best and keep learning; keep practicing. For example, I paint a little and have some pieces I don’t like, but the people who own them do, and that’s great— because the artwork was for them and I don’t have to look at it hanging on my wall.
To my fellow writer Brian who inspired this post, I say:
Brian, you have held on for too long to let go now. The lessons learned on the journey prepare us for our destination. Humans are by nature too self indulgent and lazy to spend as much time and tears on something, as you have on your writing, for the desire toward it to not have been set in your heart by your Maker. But talent is a seed and it must be cultivated. So get back to work! Much weeding often precedes reaping a good harvest.
Powerful writing isn’t achieved by merely composing words, but by the pouring out of a heart onto the page.
Write out of your passion
Write out of your pain
Write out of your trials
Write out of your triumphs
Write out of your hurt
Write out of your healing
Write what matters
Write what ministers
Let the scars of your story be heard by others. Doing so diffuses the enemy’s lies and our wounds become weapons of light. -Allen Arnold, The Story of With
The inclination to abandon unfinished work reminds me of those who habitually break up with the person they are dating, just so they aren’t the one to get dumped. It’s their way of avoiding rejection, failure. They still lose. Sometimes in our efforts to self preserve we self sabotage.
It’s important that you not just write, but finish. Completing a project builds confidence, and confidence silences doubt. -David Corbett
It’s one thing to set something aside for awhile and work on another. It’s a different thing to abandon your work. Fleeing your duty doesn’t save you from failure.
Stopping at third adds no more to the score than striking out. -Babe Ruth
So, you fell down. Get up! The only real failure is quitting when you are called to carry on.
You will never know who your work will impact until you put it out there. But first you have to finish.
Natural diamonds take years to form as carbon encapsulated deep within the mantle of the earth is subjected to intense pressure and heat. Something of greater value is created than it’s original state by going through time and process.
Life will steamroll you if you let it with the day to day dramas. But as the preacher said, don’t let the urgent distract you from the important. You will have to make time for what is most important in your life; you will never find it. My priorities are, God, family, and the tasks which fulfill my calling.
Heat & Cold
Fire forges; fire purifies.
Elements introduced in the process of a diamond’s formation can also affect its color and clarity. So too trials color our lives. According to my gemologist friend, Robert, the whitest diamonds are found in greatest abundance in Russian mines due to the effect of the extreme cold of the earth’s surface there.
In those times when I can’t see where I’m going and I don’t feel like carrying on, I cannot allow my emotions or lack thereof to govern me. My faith in God, His Word and calling for my life lead me. I fulfill my part by doing the work I know to. I just start and lay one word down on the page, and then another, and another… Sometimes the power is in the going.
Editing is like mining. Like Kimberlite, the volcanic rock, which transports diamonds from deep within the earth to the surface, everything that fires your inspiration is not going to stay. Some of it is just to get your words on the page. Then the mining, cutting and polishing begins.
We too must leave our original sinful state and go through process, if we are to be transformed and into a new creation- a precious son or daughter of the King of Kings. We are His treasure.
It takes time to form a diamond. It takes time to form character. And it takes time to form a writer. It took more than two years to cut and polish the Centenary Diamond. The skilled diamond cutter reveals the brilliance of the gem.The better the cut, the brighter the diamond.
Do you want your work to sparkle? Do you want to be the real deal, to reflect the brilliant light of Christ? It’s going to take time and process, becoming transparent and having a teachable spirit. You must yield to the Master’s cut.
I want to be polished and perfected, faceted into His perfect plan.
Writing starts deep in the heart and soul. For me it starts with time spent with God. I cannot write without Him.
With God, the priority is always presence over performance, intimacy over independence. -Allen Arnold, The Story of With
“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. John 15:5 (NKJV)
Jesus is my breath. I pray through every piece I write. I write with Him.
I realize that if I can accomplish something purely in my own strength, those dreams are way too small. –Allen Arnold, The Story of With
It’s often a terrible spiritual battle as I write. Doubt and fear hound me, I battle oppression, discouragement, depression and exhaustion. Sometimes the battle is from within; I can be my own worst enemy. But often it is from without.
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12 (NKJV)
Writers of truth are a threat to Hell, so we should expect assaults. We need to put on our full armor- be battle ready word warriors and continue to pray for one another.
Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. Romans 8:37 (NKJV)
“God,” I said, “why is this so hard?”
“How else will you be able to minister to others if I don’t take you through here?”
Life is demanding; it has a way of taking mad turns. But all our struggles and failures provide opportunity for God to grow us and bring a turnaround. They enable us to encourage others on their journey. If everything came fast and easy, I’d probably think it was my doing— I couldn’t empathize with others, or learn to lean on God and His approval.
Much of my inspiration comes from my pain, struggles and failure and my desire to help others. I take my assignments from the needs around me and my God above me. I can invite Jesus into my inadequacies, all my inabilities, for He is my enabler. Jesus meets me in my mess and He is enough. I press through. Sometimes I must write through the darkness and into the light. There comes a point when it’s like the dawn and the fog lifts and God’s presence falls and there is joy.
I know I am small. I have much to learn. But I’m not depending on myself. I’m depending on Christ. Christ is my qualifier and He has a way of making much out of little when we give ourselves to Him. He is faithful, so I hold on, carry on, and write on, for His glory.
“Here’s my pen, Lord.”
*I take full responsibility for all flaws in myself and in this article. I’m undergoing time and process. Blessed to write for my God; privileged to sit under the mentor-ship of author Jerry B Jenkins as part of his writers guild.
The Gemological Institute of America
Robert, my gemologist friend, also known as, “my gardener friend.”
© 2017 Rachael M Colby Tattoo It On Your Heart