The title describes it all. The biggest challenge to me in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge was believing that I could come up with something meaningful to say in one hour’s time.
That was it. One hour. Oh, I have another blog in the Challenge of posts I pondered on for a good two weeks before finishing and setting side to use on the appropriate day. But I wanted this one to be a writing exercise of sorts, and so gave myself one hour to produce a post and publish it, come what may (or may not)!
It’s not the way I normally write. I usually wait for ideas to come to me. Now I’m going off in search of them; a scavenger hunt of sorts, a list of letters in hand and a time limit in which to find ideas that match.
A writing coach told me once that writing would remain just a hobby for me as long as I looked to market pieces I’d already written instead of developing the ability to write on subjects as editors suggested them. At the time, the latter seemed way beyond me, and I told myself I was content with a good hobby. But the Challenge brought to the surface a nagging wonder and a willingness to try to go a little farther in my literary attempts.
The real challenge is finding something worthwhile to say. And I find that I struggle with the same thing verbally that I do on the keyboard. When having a meaningful discussion with somebody, I often find myself at a loss for a way to express what I’m feeling. It’s only after the conversation is over and some time has elapsed that I finally come up with the words I’d been searching for earlier. By then the opportunity to speak them has been lost. I usually chock up the matter to experience and tell myself, “Next time that subject comes up I’ll say this…” Yet it seems that I never land in the same spot twice, and just accumulate a bunch of coulda-woulda-shoulda-saids that never actually get a chance to come out of my mouth in time to make a difference.
The situation is even more frustrating when the subject at hand is one of spiritual importance. There’s nothing worse than being given the opportunity to speak into somebody’s life and miss the chance to pass along the hope, help or encouragement they seek. More times than I can count I’ve felt that I’ve messed up a spiritual assignment completely, yet lately I’ve come to realize that those thoughts don’t come from God, but from the one who would keep our mouths closed with thoughts of inadequacy and failure. The Bible says that out of the heart, the mouth speaks…and surely the pen writes…meaning that as our lives move closer in union with His our thoughts and words will line up as well. I need to trust that if God wants me to speak into somebody’s life on His behalf, then He will give me the words to say…even in just 60 minutes or less.
"...make the most of every opportunity. Let your speech at all times be gracious (pleasant and winsome), seasoned [as it were] with salt, [so that you may never be at a loss] to now how you ought to answer anyone [who puts a question to you]."
(Colossians 4:5-6 AMP)
(Colossians 4:5-6 AMP)