I might be the world's worst blogger (except for those who don't blog at all). But I'm back, and there's no point in lingering over regrets of lost blog-pportunities.
I still cannot figure out how to post my pic onto this darned thing. It seems so easy, but when I click to upload the picture I get some error message. Surely I'm smart enough to figure this out. Apparently not. It's good to find ways to stay humble.
Tonight I'm angsting over the whole accomplishments deal. I've taken note that several of my Christian journalism peers have published multiple books under their own name. I, at this moment in time, have published zero, nada, not a one. As I ask myself why (not withstanding the fact they might simply be better writers), I try to look for consistent threads that unite each of them, and I discover this:
They have kept writing. Consistently. Full-time.
I've never stopped writing--but it's always, ever since I left full-time journalism to attend seminary in 1997, been an on-the-side sort of deal. I've done a ton of freelancing during the past decade, but it has never been the center of my work. There's always been some other full-time gig--seminary, church ministry, financial services, and now organizational development.
My choice. My careers. My life.
I've always loved to write. It's what I've always done the best. It comes almost as natural as sneezing. And I've often told myself that if I ever took the risk to do it full time--whether articles, books, marketing copy, scripts, or a combo of all or more of these--that I might do quite well.
But I've never taken that leap. Maybe that's not such a bad thing, with two kids to raise, health benefits to enjoy and a certain passion for helping to shape organizational life in the various sectors of the economy.
But the life I've always craved, as long as I can remember? Creative writer, writing the stuff I want while visiting interesting places and spending time with interesting people. Not sure if anything else will ever suffice quite the same.
Which leads me back to where I am tonight. On the edge of 39 years of age. Living in the midst of Central Florida suburbia. Decent paying job in corporate America, doing work that blends together much of my talent and experience, with a promising career in the field of organizational development and the speaking and writing opportunities that accompany it. A co-writer on a couple of books, one of which is published and one of which is coming out soon. A writer of an unpublished memoir manuscript that is nowhere near being ready to market, and is evolving into a study of the search for vocation.
It's not a bad life at all. It holds many blessings, and I lose sight of them when I compare myself to others. Sometimes I just need to vent.
It's hard to know the long-term impact of the choices you make as you make them. What experiences would I give up to go back and choose differently? That's hard to answer.
The simplest answer seems to be that if I want to continue to be a writer, I should continue to write. And write the best story I can, as Hemingway told his friend F. Scott Fitzgerald.
And so I keep at it, even if it's part time, because the writer who lives within me has been full-time since I was a child.