Saturday, January 7, 2012

I always reach this moment in my writing where I have to push through or give up. I tend to give up. It’s not good enough. It’s not exactly what I want it to be. People will think I’m trying too hard. They’ll think I’m not trying hard enough. As if everyone is magically a writer from day one with no practice, no rough drafts, no failure along the way.

The other day, it happened again. I wrote something; I didn’t like how it was turning out. After a long hour of trying to revamp, I gave up. Didn’t even save the draft. Then the next morning, I was browsing through my RSS feed to find that someone else had written the post I was planning on writing. Not that I believe that all of my writing is completely original, and particularly with blogs, subject matter is covered similarly across a variety of places. But it was just an acute reminder that my fear and uncertainty can cause me to miss out. I can and maybe will still write that post, but instead of following through, I gave up. There’s now the risk that I look like I’m copying someone else’s idea. Even though the idea was mine alone, I’ll probably want to give credit to the person who actually put it out there to a wider audience first. It won’t be what it should have been the first time around.

This is truly a minor issue. What does it matter in the long run? We’re just talking about blog posts, right? I started thinking about it, and maybe I’m not just talking about blog posts. Is this indicative of my life in general? Does my fear of failure, my anxiety over quality, my tendencies toward perfection, or my worries over what others might think hold me back? The same things that stop me from writing are the same things that stop me from taking other steps forward in my life.

I listened to Francis Chan speak to college students this past week. He talked about the Israelites entering the Promised Land. They sent spies on ahead to see what the land was like. Twelve went, but ten came back scared. They told the rest of them not to go. Bad stuff is there. We’ll lose. We’ll fail. We’ll get hurt. Only two said go – Caleb and Joshua. That’s it. Just two. Two men who weren’t held back by fear. Two men who were confident of where God wanted them to go and what God wanted them to do.

Am I a Caleb or Joshua? The first to say, “Here’s where God is moving. Here’s where God is taking us. Let’s go now!” Or do I let my fear hold me back? I don’t want to be the last in to the Promised Land. I don’t want to be behind the curve when it comes to the movements of God. I want to be the first to follow. The first to say, “Yes!” I want to go where He wants me to go, do what He wants me to do, yes, even write what He wants me to write. When He tells me to do it. Right then. Fearless.

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