Sunday, February 28, 2010

Where my desire meets the world's need

I had a flash today. A very vivid and chilling flash.

It's no secret that I have been working on a book of words and images, culled from my journals over the last ten years. It's what makes my heart sing and where God calls me.

The one has spilled into two volumes of prose, poetry and paintings as I stumble through life authentically seeking my way. I know it has power.

Well, mostly. Occassionally that nasty critic kicks in and I lose sight momentarily.

The manuscripts are completed and cleanly edited (enough to begin sharing if my perfectionist side will relax). I am still working on matching paintings, filling glaring holes and fitting them with the text. I have titles and a vision for covers. That they will be separate small paperbacks, but one hardbound set encased in a beautifully covered box. Maybe even a high-art set I create in limited number and sign.

Last week, I began to research the publishing world as I am uncertain about whether to self publish (hum ... use my design and marketing skills ... although it's always easier to promote someone else) or begin soliciting some of the big guys. There's also on demand and a bazillion options, which is good, but daunting.

As a part of that exploration, I visited Barnes and Noble to see what new titles are out there, which publishers may be prime targets and where my book(s) may fit. I even noted specific editors of periodicals that seemed similar in tone to mine (the old reporter at work).

I found absolutely nothing like what I am creating. And that was affirming, which is not the reaction I might have expected. Sitting across from a section of books where I could see mine resting, I opened my canvas satchel and gingerly pulled out the green and orange school folders holding my words, my heart, my wisdom, my life.

A bolt of energy sizzled through me and a flash of knowledge that these volumes – my work – belong here. There is a place for it ... the place where my deep desire meets the world's great need.* And that is the place for which I have been mightily and wearily searching.

*Paraphrase of my favorite Frederick Beuchner quote that vocation is "the place where your deep gladness meets the world's deep need."

• What drives the creative life?
• My creative life?
• Am I ready to share myself with the world?
• How will the world respond?
• How will I?
• Can I keep God in my pocket as I make this journey?

The day I searched Barnes and
Noble's shelves for a
book like mine.

The day I opened my messy
manuscripts in orange and
green school folders in
the spiritualty and religion section
of the book store.

Then, I was certain not
only did my book have
a place here, but there
is a real need for
my words, my heart,
my experience.

This is where my deep desire
meets the world's great need.

Thank you!

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