The Clock is Ticking

Last night I had an interesting conversation with Hubby over a great big bowl of cheese dip.

We talked about my writing and my love for creative things: I made a scarf I found on Pinterest the other day (I finally got tired of just looking at it and thinking, "Oh, that would be so cute!" But I was right...it IS cute). I'm also knitting a scarf. I love music and you can find me singing pretty much any time of the day. Fashion and style are ways I express myself and turn an otherwise crappy day around. Cooking is rapidly becoming more than just a box of macaroni and cheese at our house.

The point here is that I have many creative interests. I've posted about this a good deal recently (sorry if you're tired of hearing about it). I've always been good at whatever I try to do, whether it's sports, music, school, crafting, singing, or putting an outfit together. But I've never been the best at anything.

Except writing.

Now, let me clarify and say I know I'm not the best writer in the world. I don't think such a thing exists. The written word is like beauty: it's in the eye of the beholder.

But it's the one thing I've excelled at consistently. And it's the one thing I'm both great at AND have a passion for doing....a passion that never wavers.

In fact, writing is the only thing I can do and get totally lost in. It's the only thing in my life where my confidence doesn't take a hit when things don't really turn out the way I thought they would. I've been rejected multiple times, but I barely feel the sting. I know one day someone will want to publish what I have to say. Most importantly, I know that writing is my ministry. I've spent many hours in prayer over this little passion of mine, and I feel the Holy Spirit guiding my heart. It's like He's in agreement with me whenever I tell Him what I love about books and telling stories. It's like He's saying, "I know. It's why We made you that way."

I don't blame you if you think that sounds a little strange. I understand. But I know it's the truth, and I'm grateful that my heavenly Father sent His Spirit to help me along when things are a bit confusing.

I said all of this to Hubby last night at dinner. He listened quietly, as he always does, but I could see his wheels turning and I knew a strong opinion was on its way. When I was finished with my little monologue, he said simply:

"So why don't you put your full effort into it?"

This is why I love being married, even if sometimes the truth is not exactly what I want to hear.

I sat for a moment in silence. Then I just sighed and said, "I really don't know."

We talked a little longer and I realized I invest so much more of my time on the little things that aren't too risky. It's why I never truly excel at anything. It's why I'm always good but not great. I don't dive in head-first into what I'm passionate about because it's simply so much attention to one thing. I'm not scared at all; in fact, the thought of making an impact on someone's life with my writing is so exciting I think about it all the time. But it's like I have a little bit of creative ADD. I'm kind of all over the place.

And perhaps I'm a little bit more of a dreamer than I am a doer. And that's hard to admit, especially since I'm married to a man who is most definitely a doer.

When he was in college, Pierce was involved in every sports club and event you could imagine. He read every book by every general manager, coach, and player he could get his hands on. He even read biographies on Teddy Roosevelt and FDR. He wanted to know how to be a great leader. He wanted to know what choices these men made to become the successful people they were...in fact, it's one of the things I love most about him.

After college, Pierce was offered a university internship but turned it down because he knew- if he waited long enough- he could get an internship with a professional team.

He was right. He got an internship with Atlanta Spirit, LLC (which owned the Atlanta Falcons and- at time time- the arena football team Georgia Force). He networked and schmoozed and prayed. He worked extremely hard. But finding a job was still a difficult thing to do.

After we'd been married about 6 months, Pierce heard about a combine in Atlanta that was to be hosted by the Atlanta Hawks. It cost $300 and we used some of our tax return to pay for it. Pierce went for a few days, networked even more, and had an interview.

He got a temporary position with the Hawks/Thrashers/Phillips Arena. He worked there for almost a year. It was tough because he had to go to every home game and, since he was technically employed by all three of these organizations, that meant Pierce had to be at every basketball and hockey game, plus many of the events held at the arena. If you know anything about those two sports you know they have multiple games a week. There were many days when Pierce would leave at 8 a.m. and not get home until 11 p.m.

Unfortunately, as one might expect, Pierce was very unhappy. He was working too much in an environment that was not conducive to employee satisfaction. It was highly competitive and more than a little cutthroat. Pierce was looked over for jobs he deserved more than once.

And still he kept going.

Later, Pierce was offered a temporary position by the Atlanta Falcons. He loved the whole organization and was ecstatic to be back there. He wanted to stay and be hired on permanently. We weren't sure if it would ever happen.

But it did. And it was a good day. One of the best we've ever had together.

I'm telling you all of this because my husband is proof that determination, hard work, and attention to the leading of the Spirit can- and will- take you to the places God has put on your heart.

Last night, Pierce really made me sit up and take notice of what I haven't been doing about the thing that- supposedly- I'm most passionate about. I wanted to punch him in the face. And then I wanted to kiss him (but since we were sitting across the table from one another I didn't do either).

I thought back to what author Elizabeth Musser told me at her reading last summer. She told me that going to  writer's conferences would be the best thing I could do for myself as a writer. I would be able to meet with agents one-on-one and get critiques of my work. I would rub elbows with some very important people who might one day remember my name.

When I said this to Pierce he reminded me of the combine he attended. That event had been the catalyst for all that came later. It was a huge blessing for him. And for us.

So...I'm just going to jump right in. I've signed up to join the Atlanta Writer's Club and I'll be attending the Atlanta Writer's Conference in May. I'll get to do everything I just mentioned and maybe- just maybe- it will be the catalyst for all I've been sitting around dreaming of...

Either way, it's time for me to get off my ass.


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