Everything you read today about blogging, writing, creating, and marketing indicates the need to make it easier to read. You are supposed to make it easy to scroll your way through and get to 5 easy steps, 7 reasons why, or some other form of bulleted lists. My book, Beneath Broken Machines (hopefully releasing in Fall 2016) has no bullet points or lists, and here is why.
not so pleasant review
what lead to my reading Dr West
"These are not easy questions. Who am I? Why am I here? They're not easy questions because the human being isn't wired to function as an individual. We're wired tribally. We are wired to act as part of a group." - Stephen Pressfield [The War of Art]
"What we don't know is how to be alone. We don't know how to be free individuals."
So the question becomes: To what tribe will I connect?
2 opposing tribes are of The Artist and The Fundamentalist
"[The Artist] believes in progress and evolution. His faith is that humankind is advancing."
"[The Fundamentalist] cannot find his way into the future, so he retreats to the past."
"The difference is that while the one looks forward, hoping to create a better world, the other looks backward, seeking to return to a purer world from which he and all have fallen."
In 2010, which tribe do you wish to attribute your identity to?
Several incessant friends have all but demanded that I write a book, and I have always had excuses why I wouldn't do it. Primary excuses revolve around not really knowing the right process to actually getting a book published, but I suppose the more exposed reason is that I worry whether I am actually capable of writing a book. I wonder whether I am an adequate enough writer to produce anything worthy of being read. Do I really have anything sincere enough to offer?
I wrap myself so tightly in excuses and self-evaluation that I never even consider writing anything. I self-evaluate myself out of any movement at all.
I have come to find I do the same thing with prayer.
I have never considered myself much of a pray-er. I am certainly a far cry from a "prayer-warrior". Though I realize and believe prayer is an open communication with an infinte God, I still find prayer to be far too sparse in my inner journey. Much like writing a book, I often look at prayer and self-evaluate myself out of movement.
I often convince myself that I cannot pray well (if at all) due to my different excuses. I am not an adequate pray-er. Am I being 100% authentic in prayer if I were to start praying right now? Is it just empty words that will bounce off the ceiling and return to me tauntingly? If I don't pray correctly, would I even know? Do I trust in prayer enough to pray? Are my pale attempts really going to connect with such a phenomenal God? Are my prayers too rehearsed? Does God get tired of my redundant ramblings and stale Christian cliche prayers? Does he get tired of me closing each sentance with his name? Do I have enough faith when I pray? Do I sound the way I should? I really like the way so-and-so prays; I WISH I could pray like that. DO I REALLY CARE! AM I being wierd; do other people think I'm wierd; this feels wierd. Will God actually respond; When? Soon enough? Am I doing this right?
I remember a good friend, Andrew "The Robe" Young telling me once about writing a book that he has found you just have to start writing. Don't worry about publishing! Don't worry about whether you sound or write perfectly; just start writing.
Emilie Griffin once wrote: "the greatest obstacle to prayer is the simplle matter beginning, the simple exertion of will, the starting, the acting, the doing...an abyss of our own making separates us from God."
I cannot speak (or write) for anyone else...so...I know that I can excuse, doubt, and self-evaluate my way out of movement in most things, and it commonly happens in prayer. I have created an abyss between God and I, and that abyss could be closed if I would just start praying. I need to forget about the questions, the doubts, the wonders, and START!
The more I put it off, the more bound I get in the wondering. Then I get to a point where I'm asking myself, "WHy don't I pray more often?"
Sometimes the only way to BEGIN praying is to do exactly that.
LISTENING TO: "Over and Underneath" by Tenth Avenue North