This past month, I have been visiting my daughter's family in North Africa. They live there intentionally for kingdom purposes, and I try to visit them every year for an extended time. I will not get to know my grandchildren if I do not spend the time. Like everyone else trying to write, the battle for our time includes a surplus of great activities. I see it in my daughters household where ongoing urgent needs surround her and I see it here in Canada.
I will not learn to write if I do not spend the time.
My grand-daughter, two grandsons and I spent an evening with popcorn, drinks and the Disney movie Ratatouille—the animated story of Remy the rat who loves great food. But who would allow a rat in the kitchen? The plot follows along as Remy forms an alliance with a busker boy to fulfill his culinary dreams. Remy is inspired by a famous chef's cookbook called “Anyone Can Cook.”
I will not learn to write If I do not spend the time.
As Remy overcame obstacles, (he was gifted but lacked opportunity) he convinced the stuffy food critic that anyone could cook, including this rat. When I took a creative writing course at University of Calgary, we were told that writing was a craft, and anyone could develop the skills. Anyone could improve their writing. That was an encouraging point.
I will not learn to write If I do not spend the energy.
We were assigned to read Betsy Warland's essay Sustaining the Writer. One of the things that haunts me and most of the writing people I know was addressed in her piece:
“Their [writers] inability to write, however, is more about their self-doubts and nascent discipline than it is about time;” She also mentioned that writers often undermined themselves by their own “harsh misguided self criticism.”
When the doubts assail, as they routinely do, especially when I have been away from my writing for various reasons-visiting grandchildren is certainly one of them-I refer back to several key scriptures:
Isaiah 48:6 You have all this evidence confirmed by your own eyes and ears. Shouldn't you be talking about it? (The Message) God has given me a challenging grief story. He has also given me His consistent strength and grace in the journey. I have experienced it, I should be talking/writing about it.
Galatians 6:4,5 Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don't be impressed with yourself. Don't compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for being the creative best you can be with your own life. (The Message) We are given the freedom to avoid getting caught up in the comparison game, and the challenge to do our own creative best.
But I need to spend the time and energy in order to learn to write. Yes, Remy—anyone can cook and anyone can write.
Jocelyn blogs at: http://whoistalking.wordpress.com