Kari Diane Pike
My life is in an interesting place right now. Not a cross roads exactly, nor a bridge, but a place where many things are changing, but are still the same. I know that made very little sense. Hmmm...Perhaps my place can be described better as a change of season. It is still summer, but it is late summer. Many of my children are grown, but there are still a few left at home who need further nurturing and aren't yet ready to be harvested. The demands on my time are changing. I find myself once again pondering on the choices before me. Should I look for a job outside the home? Should I finish school? (I'm sooo close!) Am I really a talented enough writer to pull off writing a book? Even if I have the talent, do I really have anything worthwhile to say?
I have been trying to write a book for about 8 years now. I completed quite a bit of research. I created outline after outline. I even wrote a few pages and shared them in my ANWA chapter. I received some fabulous feedback-- some encouraging, and some painful. I put the book away, believing that I needed to do more research and finish school before I could be qualified to write my book.
When the Wasatch Writers chapter successfully launched, I felt new energy and a greater than ever desire to write. When the lessons in my current class kept repeating over and over the need for good men and women to speak out and speak up in defense of marriage and families, I knew the time had come for me to start raising my voice. In my enthusiasm, I said some things publicly (i.e. facebook) that pushed some buttons. Then I made an unkind comment in another forum. I didn't mean it to be unkind. I just didn't think first. The facebook incident created fear. The other incident created embarrassment. Both are negative emotions and I did not like it at all. Now I find myself back in that place of doubt and wondering, "What ever made me think I should be writing in the first place?"
Today, a friend reminded me that anything that's worth doing, is worth doing wrong. You have to start somewhere. I didn't learn to ride a bike or skate without accumulating some scrapes and bumps along the way. Each time I fell, I got up, dusted myself off, frequently shed a few tears, and then tried again. Sometimes it took me awhile to get up the courage to try again. That's okay! When I was ready, I did it. So, am I ready now? I don't know. Maybe. I'm scared of falling again...of tripping over carelessly placed words, either my own or someone else's. No matter how well I write, I know someone out there is going to disagree. I try to avoid confrontation. I like being the peacemaker. But we live in a time where we need to stand for something. You can not take a stand without ruffling a few feathers.
It just occurred to me that confrontation is not the issue. Contention is. We need to confront the adversary (whoever that may be) with love and respect and integrity. The things we write should be clear and exact, and full of love. We should never create contention. We have a responsibility to teach and encourage others to live a life that is " virtuous, lovely, or of good report, or praiseworthy." We also need to remember that everyone has a slightly different definition of what that means. There is a difference between culture and truth. Everyone has their own place in life. That place is always changing. Maybe, one of these days, I will pick up my manuscript, dust it off, and help someone else find their place.