I first met Jim on Substack as a fellow writer. Substack is a secular writing platform that many Christian writers take advantage of. It is a mission field in and of itself.
It didn't take long to realize that Jim and I were brothers from different mothers. Honestly, Jim is probably one of my most supportive co-writers on the platform. While his ministry background is in music, we came to realize that the creativity our Lord gave us is the same.
Today, I want to share a post he recently wrote regarding a reality most creative people suffer - loneliness. I hope you are blessed as much as I was. - Stephen Phinney
Are writers lonely?
Writers, musicians, painters, artists, and many other professions, require isolation in order to accomplish their masterpieces. Masterpiece? Well beauty is in the eye of the beholder, after all. Distraction is the enemy of creativity. Just ask any student cramming for an exam. Although I have been told the soothing, ordered cadence of music can be of great benefit amidst their informational infusion. Isolation gives the mind an opportunity to focus on the task at hand. Rest assured that once said task is completed, fellowship with loved ones and friends is essential to recharging and reconnecting, while waiting patiently for that next burst of creative inspiration. And we writers hope it comes quickly.
The experiences and nuances of life can make for some fantastic non-fiction. Unfortunately, not all those who live compelling lifestyles know how or care to put pen to paper in a coherent fashion. I’ve previously asked one or two famous musicians you may know to write down their journey through the years. Perhaps they will. I hope so. Neil Peart of the rock group Rush has written at least six books of his adventures on the road and on tour. Of course, he’s a skilled wordsmith who developed and refined his craft over the years, exercising the muscle of creative word smithing. Likewise, there are other musicians and noteworthy folks whose story is usually told through a third party, thus lacking the passion and attention to detail required for a genuine, heartfelt account. Not everyone was meant to be a writer. And that’s ok. I say pursue the gifts God has given you and through them you will find great joy and creativity.
Some of the best writing emerges from the trials and tribulations of a writer’s personal experience. But that’s often where the reader finds comfort, in the opportunity to relate to someone else going through exactly what we’re presently enduring. We feel a bond with another person we’ve never even met. And if we ever do find ourselves in their presence by chance or choice, we feel like we’ve known them all our life and are comforted that we have discovered someone with whom we can relate.
That old dusty book on the shelf when I was a child became life to me as a young adult. When I gave my life to the Lord in 1991 after a careful reading of the book of John, it was exactly like a veil has been lifted from my eyes of understanding. Passages which previously threw me into confusion or a lack of interest, suddenly became crystal clear, relevant, and quite life changing. The following verse was especially profound to me: I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. 1 John 5:13. The fact that I could know and be assured in my knowing, permeated the entirety of my life. Since that day, I no longer fear death and will continue to embrace life to its fullest. What a gift eternal life indeed is!
As for me, I write for my own therapy hardly considering myself polished or refined. I simply allow my stream of conscience to guide my pen, er keyboard while happily enjoying the journey. Hope you do as well.
And yes indeed, I gladly accept hugs. For they also provide a burst of therapy and bonding. No mask required either.