“Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self.”
I love writing, my work and other people’s work. But I like my work the best, not because I think it’s better than other’s work, but because I get to participate in it. I am very glad to be here. Except for the soft music that’s playing, everything is very quiet. I am extremely grateful to be alone with my Muse. I am so privileged and writing seems like the greatest privilege of all. There’s really little else I’d rather be doing. Here’s the weird thing. It’s not just being alone that I like. It’s being with my Muse. I could be reading comic books or playing a game, but this feels much more peaceful and restful.
Peace and rest are two of the benefits of Purpose. Yes, there’s work involved. Yes, it takes effort, vigilance and perseverance. Ultimately, however, Purpose is a peaceful undertaking. It’s peaceful in the present because it gets me focused on the moment, in the now. It’s peaceful in the future because it gives me something to look forward to, an accomplishment or the end of a difficult struggle. It’s peaceful because I can look back on the work I’ve done.
In addition, I find Purpose to be a very introverted undertaking. Perhaps this is just the nature of writing. But I think it may true of anyone’s Purpose, even those that manifest in front of others, such as public speaking, acting or architecture. Even there I think it’s between the person, the Muse and God as to what gets done and how it gets done. This takes time in solitude and reflection.
Years ago I did a brief stint as a stand-up comedian. The days of the nights I performed were often spent alone, writing and practicing my material. I would spend hours doing something that lasted for 15 minutes. It was a lot of work and often I was a nervous wreck most of the day, but it was worth it. I really believe some of my best jokes came from God and my Muse…and from the time spent alone.
Despite my sometimes-extroverted personality, I don’t mind being alone. Often I prefer it. It’s not that I dislike people; it’s just that I sometimes think I serve the world better by doing what I do here – writing. I’ve said it before: I think I could spend most of my days alone with my Muse.
Of course, life doesn’t usually offer me this luxury, so I have to make time. Sometimes I have to leave people or places I love so I can write. Sometimes I find that I don’t enjoy time with others as much if I haven’t written enough for the day. Maybe this is wrong. I don’t know. All I know is that when I don’t write regularly I feel irritable and frustrated, as if I were missing an important opportunity. So here I sit, alone and happy and feeling privileged.
The hardest part is sitting here not knowing what to write. It’s also hard staying focused. Honestly, there are times when it seems that I have nothing to say. I’m only doing this as an act of self-discipline, something I’m not very good at maintaining. That’s okay though. Writing nearly 350 blogs may have developed that part of me.
That, by the way, is another benefit of Purpose: it brings out our true selves. But this is also a cost. Being our true selves is dangerous, because it means we can no longer hide behind our excuses or our phony personalities. We have to be who we really are. To be in Purpose also means we have to do what we really are, the person who best expresses specific and unique gifts.
Writing seems to be one of the ways I best express my gifts. And maybe that’s why I like to be here so much. It’s one of my ways to worship God, by offering back to Him the gift He has given me. Also, when I’m here, I don’t have to pretend in the least. I don’t have to impress. I just have to write. That’s why I like this. I don’t have to pretend. I just have to write. I don’t even have to do that. but I can’t think of anything better to do, other than to Get Started and to Keep Going…and keep writing.