Thursday, December 6, 2012

Writer's Shot-block

I was in middle school the first time I realized that I loved writing. I don't remember the topic, but I was composing some sort of persuasive essay. I was really getting into the grammar groove, when I suddenly found myself tragically lacking an appropriate adjective. I wanted to convey the idea that this something or other was the best of the best. However, I instinctively knew that I couldn't just say it was the best. That was far too low-brow. I wanted a word that truly communicated this idea in an unparalleled way. So, with nothing coming to my teenage brain (except probably images of Cindy Crawford...she floated around quite a bit in those days), I turned to my new-found friend - Thesaurus, that dinosaur of diction and delight. Flipping through it's tyranno-pages, I found just the word I was looking for. What better word to express the quality of being superlative in every way - than a French word. Yes, French is always better...than thou, oui? There the word was printed in all its italic glory, communicating confident flare with that typographic slant. The word itself embodied exactly what I wanted to say, what I wanted it to stand for - tour de force! 

As a writer, one of the things that most concerns me is offending those closest to me. I'm not afraid to tackle difficult topics, or to write about embarrassing situations. However, one of the things that I wrestle with the most is whether or not a post will touch a nerve with someone I'm close to, a friend or family member, who is especially convicted or put on the defensive by that certain topic. In some ways, this is a healthy fear. It keeps my tongue text on a leash, keeps me from saying typing things that are truly hurtful or stupid. On the other hand, this fear is also, at times, paralyzing. There have been times, in which I've written a great post, full of conviction and inspiration, a post with the potential to really influence someone's life...but I've held back. Why? Because I'm afraid that same post has the potential to hurt a friendship or to alienate a family member, or to push someone further from the Kingdom. 

I call this writer's shot-block. It's not the inspiration that is lacking. It's the courage.
Like I said, sometimes this is a healthy fear. Other times, though, it's just that - fear. I've got one of those blogs in the chute right now. I think it's a good one. It raises some good questions, and criticizes some common cultural ideas which, I believe, could do with a bit of interrogation. It's like insulting a turkey on Thanksgiving, though...or bad-mouthing Susan B. Anthony on Flag Day. Like Texas, there are some things you just don't mess with...and I'm all up in its bidniss. 

So, the question is, am I not posting out of fear or love? Am I not posting because I fear the repercussions, or because, out of love, I don't want to hurt anyone unduly? If I do post, am I doing so out of love for the Kingdom, the Church, my friends and family?

The world may never know...

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