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On Giving Up.

Today my husband asked if I’d write a skit for the Maundy Thursday service at church. He’s the family minister, and the thing about family/ associates/ youth pastors is that they get the weird church services. The one right After Christmas, (the one no one comes to because they and the lead pastors are all out of town), the ones that are sort of different like mother’s and father’s day (which we love FYI I’m not complaining just giving you some perspective) The wednesday before Thanksgiving…  So my husband gets to be in charge of the Thursday service, which celebrates the last supper and the institution of communion. My husband is fantastic and works so hard and loves his job, and he wants to be creative, so he asked if I’d write a sketch for the service.

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My first reaction was “YES!” I love this kind of thing. I love love love cheesy church skits and dramas (I am a product of the 1990’s and Carman after all). But then I felt scared and I wanted to say “no”. A while back a friend and I wrote something for the church we were then working at. It was for the children’s Christmas play and I thought it was fun and sweet. Not too long and not too hard for a group of kids to learn in a short amount of time. It wasn’t received well… It definitely wasn’t Tony Award caliber but the criticism really stung, like a lot, like I cried. And I did the thing you should never do I said, “Well, I’m NEVER doing that again.”

Sigh…

Today I read a blog post from a friend about fears and facing them (she had a fear of dogs) then I read another post by another friend about not trying and what giving up looks like and I understand what they’re saying. I get it, that people won’t always like what you do, you won’t always be successful. I understand that you have to keep trying and going, but it is very hard when you feel you’ve been injured by people that love you. It’s scary, I don’t want to put something out there that will make Brian look bad.

However, there’s something out there that I’m even more afraid of and that’s stopping writing. I would never make a conscious decision to quit and never pick up my pen again. The fear is that these little things will slowly keep me from pursuing my dream and that one day years down the road I’ll realize that while I call myself a “writer”, I haven’t actually written anything because other people’s biting and hurtful words cut too deep. 

Pursuing your dreams means being vulnerable and you can’t say “you’ll never do that again.” because that might be the thing that gets you where you need to go. I’m going to write this last supper sketch for Maundy Thursday and it might fall flat, it might miss on all the jokes, the message might get lost… But, I’m going to write it anyway.

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10 thoughts on “On Giving Up.

  1. This morning, driving my son to school (actually on the way home), I prayed for a sign from God that He wants me to keep writing. Last night, my husband gave me his critique of my latest fantasy novel (unpublished) and while I love him with my whole heart, he is a hard, logical critiquer, and while he probably has a lot of good points, it hurt because this book has taken me over two years to finish. I’m 55 years old, and not where I thought I would be as a fantasy novelist.

    The notice of this post came up in my email entitled “On Giving Up,” and I just stared at it. Surely, it can’t be about what I’m thinking about, but lo and behold, it is exactly what I needed. Thank you. You may have been writing about yourself, but God used you to get into my hurting heart.

    May He richly bless you for your words.

    1. Nancy you have no idea what this heartfelt comment meant to me. I am so glad that it touched you and also kind of glad someone else has been where i’ve been (even though that place stinks). My husband totally supports my dreams of a published novel, and he believes in me but I don’t write the kind of thing that he would choose to pick up on his own. I’ve learned that he’s not necessarily the best beta reader of my stuff (for me and our marriage). I don’t know if you have a writer’s group but this has changed my writing life! They give me the critiques I need but they’re so supportive and they’ve been there too. Your husband isn’t a writer, he’s your husband so his thoughts might cut too close. Don’t give up! You don’t know how your words in your book might change someone’s life. If God’s given you the desire keep at it. FYI I LOVE fantasy, and I can’t wait to read your book!

      1. Jessie, My husband IS a writer. We wrote Sword & Illusion together and he’s working on the sequel. I KNOW it wouldn’t be the book it is today without his input. I actually wrote the first version and together we worked hard to make it better. This book is mine, and after a heartfelt talk with my critique group (of which he is a member) I decided to take a month to let the “hurt” heal, take another look at the book and if I still like it the way it is, I will submit it. It is MY book, and I have to be happy with it.

  2. Thanks for the shout-out Jessie!
    You know what? Your story of the skit was spot on this morning. I had a kind of similar incident when I first joined my church, years ago now. They heard I was a writer, and asked me to write a skit. They gave me a vague idea of what they wanted, based on one that had been successful a few years before. I wrote something. I was proud of it. It didn’t go over well…seems they wanted something pretty much exactly like the one they’d done earlier…that I’d never seen. I never forgot the frowns on their faces. And, like you, I declared I’d never do it again.
    Hehehe. Hmmmm.
    Good luck with your skit! I hope it goes wonderfully, and that it heals those wounds left by the Christmas play.

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