~ Day 7 ~ THE CONCEIT OF WRITING ~ Chapter 5 ~
I have to say reading this chapter and writing on it has left me feeling a little uneasy. Why? Because its about conceit.
Cecil puts it this way, "I'm so full of myself I think the world can hardly wait to read me".
On one level Cecil says that's true. He also goes on to say,"That doesn't mean it's painless or easy. Nothing I've ever done has tormented me more than writing."
Cecil goes on to say, "At times the stress level has become almost unbearable, especially when I've faced a self-imposed deadline. He admits even his blood pressure will be higher than normal when he is uptight because the writing doesn't flow, or the words gush out but they're crooked and tangled and different from the way they sounded inside his head."
I can really relate to what Cecil is saying. Sometimes the words just flow onto the pages and I can hardly keep up with my witty mind and other times I just can't seem to get my thoughts to make any sense on paper at all. I guess it's part of being a writer. And here I thought it was just hormones!
But despite the torment, Cecil has made a living at writing for nearly thirty years and he says,"I can't think of anything I would rather do, even if I lived to be 150."
As I read the back cover of this wonderful book I was amazed to read that Cecil has been a New York Times best author and a international speaker. He has also written or co-written more than 120 books, including the bestseller 90 minutes in Heaven (with Don Piper). Now in my book I think that's something to brag about or better yet, be conceited about!
But I think Cecil is to modest to let any of that go to his head. You see, he makes sure to mention the negative side. He says, "If I write badly and everyone knows it, I lose face. And for some of us, that's the worst punishment--being ridiculed or rejected by our peers."
As I reflect on Cecil's comments it brings back some painful memories myself. It's one of the reasons that I took time away from writing and being involved in any formal kind of ministry. I know the pain of rejection and ridicule, both as a writer and as a editor. It's hard when you feel you have done your best in making important decisions and you have the best of intentions only to find out people want to assume the worst of you or pass judgment on you without giving you the opportunity to defend or explain oneself.
But thankfully through it all I have found healing and the desire to write again. I am discovering that what we do we do for the audience of one, the Author and Finisher of our faith!
Cecil brings the chapter to a well rounded conclusion.
He writes, "I would like the words of this book to help, encourage, exhort, and entertain you. I yearn for all writers (including you) to accept their ambition and conceit, and I want to help. In the process, however, remains the deep-seated search to know who you are and to be more aware of your motives and attitudes."
"From my perspective", Cecil says, "there are few problems with writing. Anyone of normal intelligence can learn the craft. The problems are human. Much of what writers may refer to as "writing problems" are problems within themselves. They think to highly of themselves, or they see themselves to lowly; they fear being honest, lack courage, or are unable to face what they might learn about themselves."
All I can say to that is ..."touche Cecil ...you're right!"
The Aphorism for today is: "I am conceited enough to write. I am enthusiastic enough to believe I have things to say.
Aphorism #5: " I am conceited enough to write.
I am enthusiastic enough to believe
I have things to say"