When We Write Like Fireworks
I spent this 4th of July the same way I always do: With a quiet, at-home celebration with family. Whenever there is a family event or holiday, I always try to give my writing mind a day off, take a break, and not think about it for at least a day.
It never works.
Before long, my mind is wandering, and I end up with a new article, blog post, or even book idea. (As a matter of fact, it was during the last holiday celebration that I first had the idea that eventually became “The Hidden Soul”.)
Yesterday was no different.
As a writer, everything comes back to writing. Everything can teach us something, or be used as an example. Even fireworks.
We all (well, most of us anyway), start writing the same way, with the same mentality: It's new, it's intriguing, it's awesome. We pour words onto pages, we think about it all the time. We spend our days dreaming of our characters, our books, and how far we're going to take the whole writing thing. And we wonder how we could ever get sick of it.
Until, that is, we get sick of it. Then we hit the fork in the road, and have to make a choice: Should we stick with it even when we don't want to, or just shrug and say “Oh well, I had a good run. Guess it isn't for me.”
Too many of us choose that second option. And that's when we write like a firework.
A firework is spectacular. It gets everyone's attention. It's exciting, different, and amazing. It lights up the sky, and has an impact on all who see it.
For about five seconds.
Then it dies down, fizzles out, and the crowd disperses. You can only keep up the fireworks show for so long, and eventually, it stops.
Writing can do the same thing.
We start out with a bang, and we may or may not have an audience for a time. We can be legitimately talented, passionate, and dedicated, but when we write like a firework, it will eventually fizzle out, and leave us with nothing but the memory of what we wrote.
Why this happens
Writing like a firework is one of the biggest mistakes a writer can make, because it is something that is impossible to keep up with. Sooner or later, our spectacular, dazzling words are going to run out. Sooner or later, it's not going to be as glamorous as it once seemed, and you're left with the hard, grueling work that nobody told you about.
You can't keep up a fireworks show forever.
But what you can do is this: Write consistently.
Write like a candle
Whether you started writing years ago, or last week, you're going to face that fork in the road – Again and again and again. You're going to reach the point where you want to douse flame out and say “enough!” But that's exactly when you shouldn't.
You aren't writing to dazzle – you're writing because you were called to. You're not writing to bring attention to yourself (like a firework) – You're writing so that you can shine a light that illuminates and brings attention to Another (like a candle).
If you started out for your glory, then I'm telling you right now, you're going to fall hard, and you're going to give up. Because there is no satisfaction or sense of accomplishment in writing for yourself. Because it's not about you.
But if you're doing this for God, through Him, and because of Him, then you have something that most writers (those who aren't doing it for Him) don't have. You've got a divine editor. You've got the God of the universe behind you. He called you, and as long as you put your trust in Him and give Him the glory, He's never going to let your candle burn out.
And instead of a five-second fireworks show, you'll have a life-long fire burning within you, giving you the strength (Through Him) to continue on when you thought you'd fail. And that light is shining on the One who made it possible.
Like a candle.
Do you write like a candle? Have you reached that 'fork in the road' yet? Share your thoughts below!