Hopping onto the laptop, and typing out words for this blog, my traitorous brain asks me: what is there to say? Is it new? Is it good?
That same brain loves to answer: not much. Probably not. Nope.
My brain can be an unforgiving terrain to navigate.
On my walk this morning, still dark and cold outside, and listening to a podcast, while wondering about my own blog, the interviewer reminded her audience, her interviewees, a group called She Reads Truth, launched a new podcast today.
Currently I have about 10 podcasts I subscribe and listen to, forgive the pun, religiously. The topics range from: 3 shows featuring interviews with modern-day Christian writers, actors, podcasters, chefs, and more; a political show between two women of faith from different political perspectives; 2 shows on the Enneagram, each by believers; my Dolly Parton’s America; a writing podcast; and the be-all-and-end-all Jamie Golden and Knox McCoy’s The Bible Binge, with some dabbling in their The Popcast with Knox and Jamie, when I need a laugh (cue applause and cheers for these folks).
You notice a theme, right? Jesus, real life, creativity, personality types, and humor, with just a touch of politics for a spicy take. That’s where my interest lies these days.
Some of these podcasts broadcast once a week, some twice, some a few times in a month. Assume they average out to an hour a week, once a week. That just took up 10 hours of my week.
With that in mind, you bet your bottom dollar, I’ll fit in another hour for a She Reads Truth podcast. I’m thrilled honestly. More good words on subjects that matter to me! Woot!
You know what else I’ll do? Scroll through the You Might Also Like list Apple offers, and play something new from that.
Because I’m hungry for this info. Give me artistry and funny parenting and marriage stories and case studies on us as people, all wrapped up in the Lord, or give me death! To paraphrase that American hero, Patrick Henry. I want as much as I can get. Steep me in these subjects, Apple Podcast! Give me as much as I can take, and more after that!
Am I reaching? How often do you say something like, “I love this topic, and now there’s one piece of information on it, and I’m completely satisfied with that. No more, thanks.”
Yet I wonder how often we’re each of us telling ourselves this exact lie.
Someone else already wrote the beautiful piece of music.
Someone else already created the most delicious pumpkin pie.
Someone else has already done this thing my heart longs to do, and now what I have to offer isn’t clever enough, good enough, special enough.
My brain did this trick on me this morning. Not much to say, and what there is to say, isn’t new enough, or fresh enough, or exciting enough.
There’s one great thing to say, and someone else already said it.
Do you remember musical chairs? For those of you who didn’t grow up during or before my youth, here’s a quick rundown of this cutthroat game.
It’s a game of elimination, as Wikipedia entincingly describes it. Children bumble around chairs in a circle, usually while some boy-band pop music plays in the background. Initially, there are enough chairs for all the children there.
However. As the music plays, the grown-up running the show removes a chair. The music stops, and a death scramble to put your butt on a hard surface ensues.
Some one loses. That kid, head hanging, Charlie Brown-walks to the sidelines. The music begins again, and the fun continues, until all but one kid is eliminated and that kid is crowned winner, before a small, but bitter audience of children who’ve had to sit and watch a game be played without them. I’ll add here, if you want to see a death-fight, watch the behinds of those last 2 kids left, as they work to tush-push each other off the chair. It’s not pretty, y’all.
Welcome, to 2013 and Dorothy’s 5th birthday. I did a few googles (maybe used Pinterest? It might have been a thing then?) and found a musical pillows game.
Same set-up as musical chairs, but with pillows, and a new motivation: get everyone on the last pillow or everyone loses.
So begins a hilarious game, but in a different way, of watching a handful of young kids scramble on top of each other. They work to fit together on pillows until there’s just one left, and some kind of modern art sculpture emerges in the shape of giggling 4 and 5 year old’s attempting to maintain a human pyramid.
It’s awkward. Some kids (the ones on the top of the pile) are clearly in a more comfortable position than some others (everybody else). But it works. They want it to work. Its far more entertaining, encouraging everyone to fit, then to send each kid off, one by one. Working together, there are plenty of pillow to go around.
Creative work, I’ve begun to realize, is the same. If today you’re looking at a blank sketchpad, or uncarved piece of wood, or empty computer monitor, and telling yourself, “there’s no room for one more fill-in-the-blank-thing I do,” allow me to say, you’re wrong.
There’s lots of room. Lots of canvases, lots of wood. Have you noticed we haven’t run out of room on the internet? Maybe good blog names, I grant you, but there’s still plenty of room for all the blogs.
Please don’t let the amount of your particular brand of talent already in the world stop you from putting your exact particular talent into the world.
Look at The Gospels. Now, as we have previously discussed, I know little on this subject. Little. However, what if an early Church father, someone in the know, read through all 4 Gospels, and said, “you know, I like this Luke’s take. He’s got this figured out. I mean, do we need 4 Gospels when they’re all basically talking about the same person? Wouldn’t Luke’s be enough?”
Or what if Luke, Mark, and Matthew weren’t big fans of John? What if they put their heads together and said, “man, that guy. I am DONE with hearing about ‘Jesus’ favorite.’ Maybe. . . we forget to put his version in?”
Oh my gosh, I wish we could have hung out with the disciples. I mean, just imaging a scene like this in my head makes me long to know what that day-to-day disciple life looked like.
That’s not the point here.
We need all 4 Gospels. They each speak to us in different ways. We relate to them at different seasons, for different reasons. They convey similar messages, and they have the same hero. But we need them all.
And, friend, we need your work. Please don’t hold back on us. Please don’t let that same idea said 1 time, or 100 times, or 100,000 times keep you from saying it too. If your heart is crying out to make something, someone here on this earth is crying out to see it.
I want all these good podcasts. I need all 4 Gospels.
It’s quite a different world for creating than even when I was little. The payoff is almost certainly less these days, and your field might be overflowing.
Yet look at all the new ways and forms you have to share your own brand of creative. Look at how we can share, and manage, and find all the good work that exists in the world.
If you feel a calling, and you’re hesitating due to a fear of oversaturation or redundancy, don’t. If I like your message, I want to hear it in as many ways, from as many places, as I can.
Remember, there are 4 different ways to read the one story of Jesus and they’re all beautiful.
The time of musical chairs is over. Join the folks who kicked this off, put your work out there, and find your place. There’s so much room on this pillow.
What are you feeling called towards right now? Is there a desire in your heart to create that you’re struggling to fulfill it? Please share, and we’ll see if we might find some encouraging words for you!