It’s Friday night. I’m sitting at home, battling the cat for access to my laptop. Stevie Ray, for some odd reason, has taken a liking to watching the cursor move on the screen as I direct it with the mouse. He’s entertained, but it’s awfully hard to type with a fur ball pawing at the screen.
The truth is I’m having a little trouble deciding what to write. Oh, I have a thousand ideas. But I’m wondering just how much can I actually say without crossing the line?
A blog should have a purpose. I could write a blog that interviews other writers. But as a freelance writer that’s what I do. That’s how I earn my paycheck. Oh, I would write for free—don’t get me wrong. But there’s a sense of accomplishment in being recognized as worthy to be on the payroll. Plus, other bloggers are already doing a great job of incorporating interviews on their blogs. I do have a few amazing writers lined up for the future. I don’t want to miss out on a opportunity to learn from them as they tell me about their craft, but again, others are doing a great job with this approach. Why should I duplicate?
I want to encourage others to find what it is that makes that little light within them glow. I’m not talking about their love for Christ. Only He can make that little light shine.
I’m talking about that other little light, the one that makes a person’s passion come alive. All good things come from God, so I have no doubt that God puts that passion within us. My little light, of course, is music—and writing. I gravitate toward people who have the same light because we speak the same language.
I want to encourage people to do those things that make their lights shine. Pushing an emotional button seems to help. Make ‘em laugh, make ‘em cry, make ‘em feel something.
Most of the time, I prefer makin’ em laugh. It’s good medicine. But there is a limit. One story after another fills my mind, but I can’t print them. I could be blackballed—or, even worse, arrested.
Many years ago, I took a mass communications class at MTSU. The We all shared the same vibe, the same little light. We were all professionals in the world of mass communications, musicians, writers, journalists, etc. I was low man on the totem pole, just a lowly stringer, a freelance writer.
Awwwww no! I hate confessionals. I didn’t want to spill my guts in front of strangers. One girl, a young journalist who worked for a popular country music magazine at the time, confessed to attending a Ted Nugent concert and jumping out of her balcony seat and swinging out onto the stage. Of course, security whisked her away. But whoa…what a story.
When it was my turn, I recounted my tame story of naming my child after a celebrity. (But my parents named me after a singer too!) I hadn’t really done anything too bizarre. It was almost as if my classmates wanted more. The lady next to me turned to me and said with a compassionate voice, “You know where he lives, don’t you?” Several other professionals sitting in my area turned around and looked at me.
Spurred on by a roomful of professional paparrazi, I thought, “Hmmm. This could be fun.” So I spoke up with hope in my voice. “No, no, I don’t.” I waited.
The lady then drew me a detailed map to his house. My other classmates told me where he usually hung out. My cartographer friend was a close relative of a well-known name in the music biz, so I figured she knew what she was talking about. I wasn’t so sure about everybody else.
But the point is, I can’t give you the details. I can’t give you the directions. I can’t even name names. If I do, I’m in trouble. What’s a story without the details?
Maybe if I can’t ignite the fire, maybe I can at least fan the adventurous flame that burns within my visiting readers. Life can be routine and boring–if we let it. What’s wrong with tweeking a few variables to get a different outcome?
Stevie Ray has grown weary of my laptop and has found something better to occupy his time–a nap. As I watch him snoozing, I’m reminded of what they say about curiousity and the cat.
Writers thrive on an adventurous spirit, but we also need a little common sense to go with it.
André Gide once said, “It is only in adventure that some people succeed in knowing themselves – in finding themselves.”
So is it with writers.