In these days of rampant technology, writers are being advised to build a platform. This platform, according to the experts, should include a blog – written daily, or at least weekly; and Facebook, Twitter, instagram and some other “presences” I don’t recall the names of, posted with even more regularity; as well as speaking on the subjects about which we writers write. (Do you know how long it takes to prepare to speak?) I believe this platform-building steals the hope of good writing, especially for those who wish to improve their writing over the course of their lives. There are, after all, only twenty-four hours in one writer’s day, and we all do have to get the dishes done or take out the trash.
Interesting that I’m wiritng this in my blog–kind of an oxymoron in progress. No, not really, though, because it serves to clean my brain of a rant. I’ll just add this. When I was writing nonfiction, research was my biggest “distraction.” Time-consuming, but far less than my current writing life, then I could spend a fraction of my time on platform.
Now that I’m trying my hand at fiction, there are so many skills to learn, skills that build on each other and require neverending practice. This polishing of a writer’s writing should take priority over platform building. If it doesn’t, my writing stands a good chance of being lackluster, ill-conceived drivel.
I know, because I have read others’ who I imagine spent the time they could have polished their fiction — you guessed it, building platforms.
So what to do? Publishers want the platforms so that readers will be drawn in. Makes sense. Perhaps they should consider helping authors create and maintain their platforms. Or maybe agents should assist with that job? Or perhaps the frequency doesn’t need to be daily or weekly. I’m just advocating for putting the most, best time into the writing.
More frequently these days my brain flits from one subject to another so fast I can barely keep up. What’s up with that? I can be thinking about dusting the living room, when suddenly my brain wants to go to Hawaii. Or maybe I’m deep thinking on the subject of balance and my brain switches to ignorance. That is not to say that I become ignorant, but that I consider the possibility that I really know nothing about anything. I guess that is the definition of ignorance, though, isn’t it. So where am I going with this? Looking for cohorts, I guess.
I do begin to feel like there’s a storm forming in my cranium sometimes. And add someone else talking to the mix, and I am whirling, honest. So I wonder, is this because I have learned so much that my brain isn’t sure which thing to pick? Or could it be the beginning of some weird disease? Or is it that I have a lot of interests? Or do I need a shrink?
Maybe it’s the human condition. No, I don’t think so. I didn’t do this until this stage of my life. Wait, what about those times when three kids were all clamoring for my attention at the same time? Yeah, I had forgotten that. Or what about the days I had to study for tests in three classes on the same day. Yeah, there was that. Or what about the images that played in my mind when I waited for Christmas as a child. Holy smoke, I’ve always been like this! How about you?
I like the concept of blending grace and truth. Favour you can’t do anything to receive, it just is — and the reality at the bottom of everything. I like it, but I’m not sure I’m very good at it, or maybe I should say I’m not sure I even understand how to keep them both at work. I think I may lean hard toward grace, and let truth go begging. That’s probably because I shrink back from assuming I know the truth sometimes, and I shrink back from the possibility of it hurting someone’s feelings other times.
Sooo, I also suspect that my novels may be developing a pattern of exploring concepts I’m not quite sure about when I start them. The last one played around with fear. Whew! That sounded like an oxymoron if I ever heard one. The next one is going to dabble in grace and truth.
Now, if you’ve read this far, I’d like to ask a favor. What do you think about grace and truth? Do you have insights or experiences that have clarified the whole thing for you? If so, please share them in the comments. I’d love to hear them, and thank you very much.
Depression is weird because sometimes you know you feel depressed and sometimes you don’t. When you don’t, you wonder whether you really are and just don’t realize it. When you do, you don’t give a big rip, about that or much of anything else, like brushing your teeth or combing your hair. Why did I pick such a joyful subject?To remember, I guess.
There are a lot of definitions of depression. I’ve heard that it’s the time when you feel like you have no control. I’ve heard that if you take a step in any direction you can relieve it. I believe that could be crap because depressed people are not likely to take steps without help, chemical or counseling, or both. If the help is chemical, get ready, you’re on it for at least six months. You may not want to be, but you may find when all is said and done, that you needed to be.
Once a depressed person accepts help, they’re back towondering whether their depression is over, or just masked. It’s a bit of a Catch 22. However, it isn’t insurmountable. Prayer and the Psalms are as important as chemistry and counseling, maybe more. Writing a psalm in your own words allowsyou and God to think over your circumstances. Prayer before that may not even happen, but after the writing the depressed person has an inkling of what the issues are, and therefore what to talk to God about. Once God directs, you can begin to crawl out of the pit however He indicates. That is what I know so far. Sorry about the words that run together. My computer is nuts. It’s not me, honest.
Have you heard the saying, “Want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans?” So what’s He laughing about? Our inability to do what we know we ought to? Maybe. Our inabilty to consider the rocks we may encounter in our paths? Maybe. Our inabilty … Maybe.
On the other hand, have you heard the saying, “You aim at nothing, that’s what you’ll hit?” I think that thought pattern may be where New Year’s Resolutions came from. You may think, based on the title of this blog, I’m one of those slugs who parks on the couch, moving only to replenish the potato chips. I’m not. Unfortunately, I’m seriously goal- oriented, sometimes to the exclusion of actively loving the people I’m supposed to love. Can you relate?
I’m actually this odd conglomeration of motivation and laziness. Some days I find myself puffing because I focused so hard on what I wanted to get done that I paid no attention to my body crying for rest. Other days I’m weary, and I don’t care what doesn’t get done. Some days I’m committed to losing the ten pounds I gained during the holidays, and others I don’t understand why calories have to count or my body needs exercise. One thing I’m sure of, I’m tired of guilt based on whatever.
What’s a person to do?
Build our houses on the rock – Jesus. Let Him share our yokes. Follow Him. Stop orbitting ourselves, since we are unable to plot the course anyway. Sunday school language, you say? What does it really mean? Guilt should be like a cop’s ligths in the rear view mirror. When we feel it, we’ve started doing our own things again. So we stop the action. We hunker down and pray, which doesn’t mean we do all the talking. We listen, and His small voice will plot us a course correction. Or we pull out the Word, find a word in the back that matches what’s bugging us, and flip around until the words give us His answer. Yep, simple, but marvelous at the same time. Here’s a way better saying: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.” Prov. 3:5-6 So, who needs resolutions?