Once again the editors of Higher Things Magazine have demonstrated poor judgment and questionable taste by publishing in their fine magazine an article I wrote. I received my print copy in the mail this weekend, and even knowing the article would be in there, it still gave me a jolt of pleasure to see something I wrote in print. It always does--always being twice so far.
It's funny--not really 'funny ha-ha' or 'funny strange', maybe more like 'funny amazing'--how life works sometimes. I've been writing for pleasure (in other words, for purposes other than schoolwork or as part of my employment) since I was probably fourteen years old. I'd show what I wrote to a few trusted people, but that was it. And after taking a lot of guff while I was in high school from people I trusted about a writing project I had undertaken--I started to write a young adult novel when I was barely a young adult myself--I stopped even showing it to trusted people for a while. I kept writing, but I never thought it was worth anything. I've still got most of those old writings in a file, though I threw out that YA novel start, sadly. But I never really did anything with them.
It wasn't until I was in my junior year of college that I actually submitted something for attempted publication, and that was for the fledgling college newspaper at Concordia College in Bronxville, New York. By the time it was in print, it had been edited so much that I barely recognized it as mine. I didn't submit anything again until I was in my late twenties, and that was the first time I was published in Higher Things Magazine: an article about online relationships.
There is a point in all this, and I swear that I'm getting there.
Once I started blogging, it got easier to attempt to increase the amount of people who read what I wrote. All I had to do was e-mail the web address of my blog to people I hoped would read what I wrote. And now that I've started writing hymns, I've been able to use this gift which God has given me to give glory to Him, not only in my vocation as pastor, but even through something I consider a hobby.
So what's the moral of this story? The point of me saying all this is that I hope that, if you're someone who has something to say, don't be afraid to share it. I lived in fear for much too much of my life. There are things that I could have or should have said, but I left them unsaid because I was afraid of what people might think. Don't be afraid to try. I will never receive as many notices that my work has been published as I have received rejection letters, but that's okay. What I wrote won't always be received as I would hope, but it's not going to stop me from writing. I'm about to begin writing my second novel now, even though I've not fully finished editing the first. God has given me a gift, and I intend to use it as much as possible to the best of my ability. Don't be afraid to do the same. Enjoy what you do, and don't let the critics get you down. Write, paint, compose, or do whatever it is you do for the glory of God and for the sake of your own joy. Even if no one else appreciates it, at least you've found joy in what God has given you.
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