They’re words wrapped around some story. That’s all.
They are wonderful. And they are work. Those are the two opposite ends of the spectrum. Those of the two sides of the field.
Sometimes the wonder wins. Sometimes the work sucks the fun out of it all.
But at the end of the day, and week, and month, and at the end of time, they are just sentences comprising some tale. That’s all.
The faith that pinpoints everything. The fact of being a husband and a father and a friend. The familiar grounds of falling and picking myself up again. This fine line that I never quite master—these are the things that mean something. Today and at judgment day. Not whether a story works and if it lands on a bestseller list and whether it’s highly-regarded.
I was a cynical soul once. But God rooted that out of me.
I was a dreamer but the business tends to rip those dreams away day after day.
Yet I try. I try and I keep trying and I keep trying.
God is this really what you want ‘cause I’ll chip away at concrete all day?
I’ve really said this.
God you know I need more and deserve more and surely I’ve worked hard enough to get one big fat break right God?
I’ve uttered this with anger and frustration.
God I know I’m a sinner and need to shut my mouth and need to know I wasn’t there at the beginning when you created the Heavens and the earth.
Humbly, I have to pray this, time and time again.
It’s so easy to be so wrapped up in yourself. Especially when your business and your brand (ahem) is all about YOU.
I see the literary grandeur and long for it. Yet I live the daily tick-tock of the machine. The life of a writer who pays the bills and supports a family and tries to make it doing this very thing I’m doing now. Typing. And typing more. And typing more.
It’s tiring but still it’s amazing. Sometimes I know—I JUST KNOW—it’s the right thing I’m doing. I get these emails from strangers. I get these feelings from the words and the scenes. I try ‘cause I’m building some bigger and bolder than anything I could have ever imagined.
But life cuts you down to size. Day after day.
I’m not a good enough writer.
I don’t sell enough books.
I’m writing way too much.
My name’s not big enough.
Is that my real name to begin with?
I don’t have a platform and my books don’t preach enough.
My books are too preachy.
Sometimes the thought of that concrete, the same kind I worked with right out of college, seems nice. I remember I could never quite get it off my fingertips and out of my hair for six months. The grime and the dust and the utter endlessness.
That was the job before getting into publishing.
It seems like a universe ago.
Going on seven years of living the dream, sometimes I just want to say leave
Sometimes I want to just say go away.
But these stories that fill my head and my heart and soul—they mean so much to me.
They mean something.
I wish I could do them justice. I really do.
I wish I could paint the colors in as bold and brilliant a manner as possible. But I’m slightly color blind and can only show them the way I see them.
I’m running while limping on one leg. That’s how I often feel.
I don’t need validation ‘cause I get it every day. But still—I look and feel like I still haven’t gotten that far. I have so far to go. I don’t want to complain and often just keep these thoughts to myself.
Then I think of the faces looking up to me. Looking at me. The bridges built.
The families who have adopted me. The loves and the likes I’ve been given.
They are what matter.
They are what will sustain me.
The stories are a part of me. Like wrinkles and a high forehead. Like a mischievous smile. Like a comical spirit.
I feel like I’m still just learning and feel I have so far—so far—to go.
Whatever door opens, whatever the day brings, I will come back to the words and the stories. Like breathing, they are me.
I fail and I falter, but I’m one stubborn soul. So I get back up and I keep trying.
Publishing won’t break me but my spirit might.
Thankfully, God knows and He loves me like a father. So He keeps teaching me.
I’m learning. Sometimes on certain days like today, I don’t love the lessons.
But I hear them and try to learn from them.
I’m trying. Lord knows I’m trying.