Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Madonna



For some odd reason I will never forget what I heard about Madonna. I don’t know where or when but it stuck with me. In a room full of decision makers, supporters, producers and all those other music fanatics- if just ONE of the many said something negative about her work- it was all she could focus on. Even if everyone else was raving about her work, that ONE person would stay on her mind. That always hit home for me because I always felt that way, too. The past 4 years I have been a crazed writer with a mission, I had started my first substantial blog Even the Sparrows and the idea for my book/blog Half Written was born. Fast forward 3 years, I felt like I had this writing thing down. I was on fire with purpose and people actually could relate to my work.  I knew I still had some tweaking to do as a writer and that I needed a little more polish; but I started to feel great about what I was sharing. Until one day, I heard the words “ your good, but not great”. You might as well ripped out my heart and soul. Tears instantly peaked out at the corners of my eyes and anger welled up inside me. It was as if all this time I was believing a lie-I already thought I was more than good, I thought I was great! But the person I asked to critique my work (because I wanted his advice) thought I had some work to do. It’s like believing that you’re a natural at something, born to do it, but then someone squashes your big ideas with a huge reality check. It was a humbling experience to say the least and it meant I was back to the drawing board. Any of the praise I had received in the past became void, his direct words were like daggers that would not soon be forgotten. But his words were pivotal for me as a writer.



Writing became more of a challenge in a good way and I learned to hone in on my message. I was beginning to really find my voice and what I believed in. I began to welcome criticism  and I pushed myself towards being the best writer I could be.  I went through hundreds of revisions writing Half Written. I sought out others to read my work and waited patiently (not really). It was like sitting on pins and needles as I checked and re-checked my email waiting for their critique. I began to submit my work to magazines and waited. It was so silent and dreary for the longest time. I truly felt like a bottom feeder in an ocean of majestic creatures. I doubted my message from time to time. I wondered if my voice would be heard and taken seriously. And then it got to be too much, I was back peddling- into my old ways of insecurity. I felt like the awkward girl again with frizzy hair and braces ( and headgear). Instead of rehashing my old ways, I tweaked  the thing that has stuck with me about Madonna for all this time. I began to think of that one person in the room whose opinion mattered the most to be Jesus. And I looked into my heart of hearts- was I doing what I was doing for Him-after all He was the sole purpose I began to write so passionately. Did it really matter if I ever got published if it wasn’t for the Kingdom? Did it really matter if I ever made a difference if it wasn’t for the glory of God. No it didn’t. But after revisiting my heart, I realized I was do things for the right reasons but with the wrong attitude. I was focusing too much on the people who might not like my message or not being liked at all- I was muddling in the muck.  I was focusing on what I couldn’t control- nor wanted to control.



I slowly began to soak in two truths (and still absorbing )- I can’t worry about what I can’t control and if I believe in what I’m doing and doing it for the right reasons- that is enough. I may have to revisit things (or revise things). I will be met with resistance. I will not always write something amazing. I will sometimes take steps back and not everyone will see the message in my mess. And that is okay. In fact, its imperfectly perfect. The one thing I can control is focusing on my sole purpose, do my best to grow towards that goal and continue sharing with an open heart. My encouragement is that you gorgeous (and handsome) creatures will do the same in your beautiful endeavors.



XOXO

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