The other day, after I finished my entry on “Of Shepherds and Wise Men” I sent it as an attachment to the director of volunteer ministry at my Church. We used to be able to post articles on our Church’s website. I wasn’t sure how to do that since the format had changed so I just told Wende to use it if she could.
Last night was choir rehearsal. As we were moving from the choir practice room to the sanctuary to finish practice Pastor A stopped me and told me he really liked the piece I sent Wende.
Now let me stop here and insert some confession. After I sent the piece to Wende I started having serious doubts about what I wrote. Some of the doubts just come naturally, but these were mostly based on the lack of feedback that I received. I’m not looking for any right now so don’t hear that. It’s just when I write something I feel strongly about (and I did that piece) it usually meets up with positive review. So either in the past you’ve just been overly nice or this piece wasn’t hitting you like it did me, or it was as stinky as the shepherds. So, I was wishing that I hadn’t sent it to Wende.
Then Pastor A walks up to me and tells me he really liked it---and he wants me to read it in one of the Christmas Eve services (7:30 or 10:00, I don’t remember which). Shocked. Surprised. Ready to ask, Are you kidding? I could tell he was not. So I went home and read it to Beth. She thought it was cute. While I read it I found a couple of rough spots and corrected those. Then I went to my bedroom, where Nelson had already headed to bed but wasn’t asleep and I read it to him. I found a few more things to smooth over.
So, boys and girls, what did we learn today? Audience and need. Lack of response in one arena doesn’t diminish value, it just means that the right market hasn’t been found. This is a writing for life principle that I need to let sink in to my brain.
In the past I’ve devalued my writing because I put it out wrong. Does that make any sense? I mean is it understandable? And I guess that the reason I need to get a grip on this is that in my heart I know I’ve got a book screaming to get out. I just need to stifle the voice in my head that keeps telling me I can’t or I don’t have anything anybody would ever want to read. Do they make duct tape for voices that go off in your head?