Every book I’ve written, fiction or nonfiction, has taken a piece of me. I’ve given it freely, openly, passionately. I love every single project, even the troubled ones. They all have my imprint on them. They all have a piece of my soul, even the ones where my name isn’t known.
I wonder what life would look like if I was so giving to others. If I poured myself into the people around me like I do with the characters in my books and with the people I collaborate with.
There is an inherent selfishness involved in being an artist. Balance is difficult. I almost wrote impossible, but I know it’s possible. As the saying goes, anything is possible with God, but even an atheist can figure out how to balance creating with cohabiting.
The end of the year arrives and I’m absolutely and utterly spent. I’m grateful to be coming off a very busy year, because that means I’m working. September through today have been blurry. I have so many holes inside of me I resemble a honeycomb.
It’s amazing to feel so depleted, yet to also have a heart and mind and soul filled from these different projects. With every individual I work with, I learn so much and have this intense education on the way they view the world. There are so many things to glean from them, simple things like work ethic and courage. Then there are the deeper things on life and love and faith.
It can be so clear what to put down in a chapter, how to frame a life with ten million stories into only one hundred. Yet the personal takeaway for me can be tough. Sometimes I feel I don’t measure up with these people, and of course, I don’t in many ways. That’s why they’re the ones telling their life story. They’re inspiring and educating and amusing the readers. Sometimes I put their recipes for hope and success down on the page, yet I fail to apply them to my own life.
I wonder sometimes if God puts these people into my life not just for work opportunites but also for soul opportunities. God is telling me I need a little extra help–no, I need a lot of extra help–so He’s bringing in the big guns.
When I step out of my self-talking head for a moment, I have to realize all the blessings I’ve been given. Both personally and professionally. I am hard on myself when it comes to my profession, yet when I’m able to truly see the forest for the trees, I’m amazed at all the diverse personalities who have invited me into their lives for a short period of time. Who have given me the task to help frame and figure out their life story. I’m in awe to see their perspectives on life, their pulse on society, their persistence. More than all of those, these people all seemed born with a purpose, even for those who seem to stumble across it.
I’ve known my purpose since third grade: to write. God continually reminds me it’s not about me, yet He constantly allows me to continue to do something that I dearly love. It’s difficult and demanding, and I’m still learning. Every day and every project.
These are some scattered thoughts from a scattered mind. I’m looking forward to putting pieces back in place—in my head and my heart—to see what doors God will open in 2019. There are many stories to tell, whether they’re ones swirling around in my head or ones circling around in our culture. I know they’ll be good ones.