Threads

This week is a unique one on a few fronts. Carter has two days of school, then he’s off for spring break. We are rounding the turn on warmer weather. Baseball, professional and youth, is on the horizon.

Summer seems just over the hill.

Easter is at the end of the week. In terms of Biblical history, Jesus has arrived through Palm Sunday and cleansed the temple.  Soon he will be arrested and find his way to the cross, rising again in victory.

It is a time of resurrection for us as a family. We’re moving towards new things, situations, times and experiences. On Saturday, I drove to Delaware to visit my dad and, driving home I started thinking about the threads that carry us through from past to present and future.

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Our pastor on Sunday said you can’t separate Christmas from Easter, the birth of Jesus from his death and return to life. The experiences of the past speak to our future.

The children we were influence the adults we are.

We throw down gauntlets with every painful experience, internal promises we make ourselves to avoid the same issues decades later. They can have positive or negative results. We tell ourselves we will never ____ (fill in the blank). It can drive us to obsessive levels of perfection or success.  It can also cripple us with doubt.

Every writer is scared of rejection. If I could go back and talk to myself as a kid, I’d tell him that it will be okay. All the struggle will amount to something. The people who have cycled in and out of your life all had their reasons and it was nothing against you. The first publication will feel as good as the first big one.

It takes birth and growing up to face loss and resurrection.

I’d tell myself to make the most of the years because they will pass too fast and you’ll find yourself sitting in front of a laptop typing a blog post while your own kids sleep in their beds. That the dreams will keep coming, the calling will get louder and more clear, that you will make a difference and the words will count for something in the end.

That it is never over, so many years later, and the fight is worth stepping into the ring even when you don’t have the energy to leave the lockers.

~Matt

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Set It Free

We all have stories.

There is a voice inside straining to get out.  We find ways to do it in a variety of forms.  Artists create written and concrete expressions. Teachers engage and light up their classrooms. Business leaders create the next great product and change society.  In 2015, there are still new things waiting to be found.

So why do we hold on to the old ways?

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I remember going through English class in elementary school, Lit class in college, and graduate writing courses.  You start with rules, expand your horizons, and finally realize that the great ones break the norms whenever possible.

It creates an interesting dynamic.

Writers tend to eat their own. We play lethal comparison games. We brag. We look at younger writers and tell them to do it our way or else find yourself working the menial jobs while half-novels sit crowding up your hard drive.

Amazon allows anyone to publish a book, in digital or hardcover forms, for free. Do some searching on Amazon and writing and you’ll find a litany of protests from established authors: Don’t do it, they say. Go our route. Play the roulette game of submitting to agents and maybe you’ll get lucky.

Just don’t cut into our profits.

It is time to set our work free.

Consider this your permission. Forget the old way. There are numerous resources for self and indie publishing. You can do the work to build your audience. You can publish. You can get royalty rates much higher than anything a commercial publishing house could provide.

You can write, publish, and get paid for it.

As I sit here tonight, I wonder.  How many best sellers are sitting on computers right now? How many novels have made the rejection rounds to end up in the physical or digital recycle bin?

As Pressfield asks in The War of Art:

Which is the bigger fear, that we may fail or that, one day, we will succeed beyond our wildest dreams?

~Matt

As a reminder, you can get my e-book: Your First Step for FREE at the following link:

Just Click Here

Check it out and share with anyone needing some hope in their life.