In the book Creativity Inc, By Ed Catmull at one point he talked about the importance of protecting the new. He then quoted the amazing monologue delivered by Anton Ego in Ratatouille.
In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little, yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to
our judgment. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and
to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face is that, in the
grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is probably more
meaningful than our criticism designating it so. But there are times
when a critic truly risks something, and that is in the discovery and
defense of the new. The world is often unkind to new talent, new
creations. The new needs friends. Last night, I experienced something
new, an extra-ordinary meal from a singularly unexpected source. To say
that both the meal and its maker have challenged my preconceptions about
fine cooking is a gross understatement. They have rocked me to my core.
In the past, I have made no secret of my disdain for Chef Gusteau’s
famous motto: ‘Anyone can cook.’ But I realize, only now do I truly
understand what he meant. Not everyone can become a great artist, but a
great artist can come from anywhere. – Anton Ego
I have always been an innovative person who learns through iteration, trial and error. I find however as I grow older that I more easily stick to what I know because I know it works. The beauty of age is experience. The danger of age is becoming critical of the new. I meet many people who talk more about what they have done than what they are doing.
Being a critic is much less costly than being an artist. Left to ourselves we slip into the criticism of the new rather than become a friend of the new.
In my desire to lead well I have very often asked the wrong questions over the years. I tend to lean toward asking how and not Why. Because how seems like it will get me where I want faster. At times this is true. The problem with asking how is it very often can short-circuit the process that sustains the very things I am desire to obtain.
I never saw this in myself until a kids pastor I respect greatly said “Sam, when you have a platform what are you going to say?” I had honestly never thought of that before. What am I going to say? I had never thought anyone wanted to hear what I had to say.
Writing is difficult. I often get asked how do I get started in blogging, and with so many blogs out there why should I blog? First of all everyone has something of value to add. The trick is learning how to unearth it yourself. People often know what they want to say but often don’t know how to say it. Here are a few statements that will help you get started and push through.
- Be yourself – Find your voice, write what you know, be transparent but not-self absorbed. The reality is that if you are learning or wondering something there is a good chance someone else is looking for information on the very same thing. There are others that have yet to face what you are facing now that you can be a voice to help them when they Google whatever is vexing them. For me the motivation to start my blog was the idea that I wanted to be for others what I wish someone was for me when I started in ministry. This has become my personal mission statement in every area of my life I try to be to others what I wish others were to me.
“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”- Oscar Wilde
- Be consistent – Consistent trumps frequency – The Aesop tale of the turtle and the rabbit is the best illustration of how people blog. Many are Rabbit bloggers who start strong and blog in spurs that are often months if not years apart. The turtle bloggers pick a spread and stick with it. For some people that speed is three times a week others it’s once a week. The goal is pushing yourself but setting a speed you can maintain. People get used to the amount of posts you do. I generally shoot for 3x a week. I don’t always hit that mark but most weeks I do.
The biggest reasons people stop blogging is they run out of ideas to blog about. The best way to overcome this is to use Evernote and keep a rolling blog post note where you add random ideas as they come to you then try to come up with new topics when you sit down to write. If you can’t think of anything consult your rolling blog post note and take an idea off the list. What I have found to be true is the more I blog the more I find to blog about.
- Be Generous – Give more than you take. Give away your best idea. I have met bloggers who were full of amazing insight and ideas. I was really impressed I then went to their blog only to be less than impressed. The reason is they were afraid to put their best ideas out there. I am not sure why but whatever the reason it hurts you, your idea and your potential readers. When writing, or creating, whatever you do give your best ideas away.
Do not hoard your best ideas. Good ideas are like the flu the more you spread them the further they go and the faster they come back to you. I have found that working through my ideas in a public forum has helped me refine and clarify my thoughts. It’s not until I commit my thoughts to paper on a consistent basis that I see for myself what it is that I am thinking about. Blogging or writing regularly in any way allows you to get out of you the things you think about more than you should. Once you see them and others see them you can tell what sticks and what doesn’t.
“No one has ever become poor by giving” – Anne Frank
Honored to be going to David C Cooks Tru Gathering again this year. I will be doing a workshop and will be part of the blogger team there. I so enjoyed my time at The Gathering last year the heart and the vision of the conference is so clear and so compelling.
Met tons of people for the first time last year and am looking forward to re-connecting with those people this year. If you are looking for a spiritually rich, intimate gathering of people obsessed with kids and family ministry I hope you will join me in May.
Logos is well-known for their incredible bible software. I have mentioned in other posts how easy it is to do a word search in Logos. The speed in which you can search commentaries and original languages is simply amazing. One of my favorite features they offer is the ability to get a jump-start in your study process by entering a word or scripture and Logos searches all your resources to give you everything you need to get started. Often times it’s that jump-start and clarity that get you going.
Something Logos offers that you might not be aware of is bible classes complete with video, additional reading, and notes that allow you to follow along. For the purposes of a review on my blog Logos graciously gave me a copy of Elyse Fitzpatrick’s , Gospel-Centered Counseling on Logos Bible Software
Elyse delves deep into the importance of and practical aspects of Gospel Centered Counseling. No matter where you serve in your local church practical and spiritual this mobile education course in counseling and personal and professional development—build the fundamental character principles every growing and learning Christian must have. Elyse Fitzpatrick brings over 24 years’ of biblically-focused counseling to your education, helping you understand the importance of a rock-solid identity in Christ, and teaching you methods for imparting this knowledge to others.
I have listened to several of the videos already and have found them encouraging and practically helpful. Elyse not only gives you practical teaching she walks it through with you by discussing case studies.
Here is a short video of Elyse talking more about her class on the Logos Mobile Education platform.