Tag Archives: creative

Why I am So Afraid of the Finish Line

Photo by infomatique (Creative Commons)

Photo by infomatique (Creative Commons)

I am just going to come out and say it – finishing scare me. To the core of my being. Whether it’s a project for work, writing a book, or hiking to the top of a mountain – it’s the end I am afraid of more than anything else.

This fear has risen to the top of my mind lately, because I have been in a season with a lot of finish lines. I just sent a short book on hope to my editor (details will be forthcoming). I have a presentation for a major client in two days, and a key milestone for another client two days after. My wife and I have decided to stop sitting on the sidelines at our new church and start serving.

Everywhere I look, there are finish lines. And I tremble a bit inside. I don’t think I am alone in this fear.

Why are we afraid to finish?

Our work becomes public. When we are in process, nobody sees what we do. How we operate. What our process looks like. Everything changes once we finish. We can no longer hide what we have toiled over. Our finished product is now available for all (or some) to see. This is the root of the fear.

Other will judge our efforts. Others will place value on what we have done. Good or bad, we will hear the commentary about our efforts and the end results of those efforts. We don’t want to be judged, so we stop before we cross the finish line. Or we crawl forward slowly. Inch by inch. When we have the stamina to sprint.

We assume the worst. Once we give audience to the voice of fear, we can become paralyzed. The worst case scenario suddenly becomes the most likely scenario. We actually start to believe publishing our book will result in the fall of the modern economic system worldwide.

My advice to you, and to myself:

Cross the finish line with bravado. Rejoice in the process. Be proud of your art. (You can tweet that)

Learn from your detractors, but don’t take them so seriously. The economic system will still be running tomorrow. You will still put your pants on one leg at a time tomorrow.

Then get back to creating. As my friend Tim Gallen once told me: Shut up and create!

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The Reason I Write

Photo by emagic (Creative Commons)

Photo by emagic (Creative Commons)

Why do I write? I get up at 5 am most days and spend an hour pecking away at my keyboard, so that maybe 100 people will read it. Why not sleep in, enjoying the body warmth from my beautiful wife? I have to start with why I DON’T write.

I don’t write to be famous. Fame is a fickle mistress – adored for a moment, and then yesterday’s news. I am not interested in being the ice cream of the month.

I don’t write because I feel better than others. If you read my blog regularly, you already know this. I share my weaknesses and my shameful moments as much as my triumphs. I have no artistic arrogance that leads me to believe my blogging makes me a better human being.

I am not writing to get a book deal. If am ever able to write full-time for my career, that would be amazing. Truly, my dream job. I would not say no if I had the opportunity to walk away from my CPA license to be a Creative all day. But this isn’t why I write.

 

I write to find myself. When I write, I learn more of who I am and why I think how I think. When I write, I force the busyness of life to slow to a simple rhythm, the sound of letters on a keyboard. CLICK-CLACK-CLICK. There is peace and clarity from the simplicity of the moment.

I write to connect with others. My greatest hope is my words will extend beyond me and touch another person. It makes my day when my words inspire someone to be creative, or live courageously. Not because I am great, but because I have been the one crying out for help. Some days, I still am.

I write because I am called by God. This is no mystical experience, but rather a deep knowing in my soul. When I write I am aware of being in the center of God’s will for my life. I don’t have a good sense of where this journey will take me, but I am walking the path God has laid out for me.

Why do you create art in your life?