Wild Words . . . Photos & Fine Art

Co-creating by heart with sandy cathcart through writers helps and art info, focusing on all things wild.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Putting Down The Giant — Part III

Hey! It’s working. I set some goals and I’m actually keeping them. I hope some of you are experiencing the same delight. If not, then keep rearranging your goals until you get something you can work with. It feels sooooooo good to actually accomplish something.

So, here we go, with some more of Steve Hopkin’s words from the Art Conference. Excellent help for writers and authors. If you missed the first two posting, go back and catch them. Today we’re starting with his second point.

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Secondly, no one is gong to defeat procrastination except you.

Many will not embark upon an endeavor because they are afraid of being alone.

I’ve never been in the military, but I have many friends who were Marines and I am always intrigued with their stories of boot camp. I think boot camp teaches guys something very useful to artists and writers. It teaches them how to be miserable.

Marines love to be miserable.

They love the fact that they can eat food colder and crappier than anyone else, that they can work more efficiently than others with lousy equipment and in lousier conditions, and they brag that they have a higher casualty rate than dog faces, swab jockeys, or fly boys.

In the same way, an artist committed to his or her calling must learn to love misery.

They must learn to thrive on rejection, self-doubt, ridicule, and most of all…isolation. No one was going to defeat Goliath except David. And no one was going to help him do it. And the only one who is going to defeat your giant of Resistance (The Flesh) or Procrastination is you.

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Thirdly, David had to overcome his fear.

Fear is another ally of resistance, and many are paralyzed by it, but fear can be a good thing.

Fear is an indicator.

Fear tells us what we have to do.

You see, the more fear you feel about a specific project, the more certain you can be that the project is important to you.

Many have the impression when they read I Samuel 17, that David wasn’t afraid. Baloney! David was afraid, but I suggest that David’s fear told him that what he was doing was important.

Have you ever listened to an actor being interviewed by a TV talk show host? When asked, “What made you decide to take on a particular role?” The actor usually answers, “Because I am afraid of it.” He takes on the role because it will stretch him. He takes on the project because, “…he will venture into uncharted waters that compel him to explore unconscious parts of himself.”



Now, let me say this about fear…many a creative person feels he or she must first overcome the giant of fear before they can do their work. But, folks, fear will NEVER be overcome. There is no such thing as a fearless writer or artist. We move forward in faith. Faith is NOT the absence of fear…it is what we do in the face of it.

Perhaps you say you aren’t afraid, you just don’t know how or where to start?

Here’s something that helped me…when I have a sermon to write or a script or a book I want to write, I often have no idea of how to begin or where I want to take a story or a scripture text. So I simply start writing!

I take an idea, even if it’s borrowed, even if it’s simple or bad, and begin to write. And as I do…other ideas—original ideas—come to me.

I usually start every writing endeavor with a #5 mechanical pencil, because for me, thoughts disentangle themselves over the lips (talking) or through the fingertips (writing).

Now, this kind of thing takes discipline, because it is here I meet the most resistance. But as I discipline myself to this task, the spirit begins to move, ideas start to come, and suddenly thoughts and ideas come to me faster than I can write.

I think when we do this we give room for the Holy Spirit to move.

I wrestle with issues. I jot down thoughts…sometimes they don’t even connect. And my thoughts become like puzzle pieces. I flip them over and the Lord begins to speak to my heart and mind, and connect them together, and suddenly I see the picture.

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Okay! That’s some great advice. Except perhaps for loving to be miserable. Goodness! I’m not sure I’m ready for the Marine-type mentality. But I do like the idea of writing something, anything, until I come up with something worth writing. Now, that’s something I can do (as all my students can attest to the many free writes I put them through).

There’s still more to come! We’re only nearing the half way point in Steve’s messages.

See ya tomorrow!

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