Monday, December 15, 2014

To live is human

"to write is human, to edit is divine."
-Stephen King, On writing: A Memoir on the Craft

Writing is tough.

For me, writing is one of the most difficult crafts. I have all these thoughts and ideas that sound good great in my head but once I try and transcribe them onto paper (computer screen)...

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You know what I mean? Last week was finals for all you college students, I'm sure those who had written ones can relate to the difficulty of this art. Instead of writing, we try to convince ourselves Segway crash compilation YouTube videos or the trending pancake art videos must be viewed immediately. Me laughing takes precedence to me writing this mediocre [insert writing assignment here] and I will stop at nothing to comply to my laughing needs. I know at this point you definitely know what I mean (And if you took a break from this blog post to look up these videos, I am not offended. In fact, I would be offended if you didn't...this is where you go look up these videos if you still haven't...).

Editing is a whole other world. The other day, a friend of mine asked me to review a communication paper for her, to edit the paper. By no means am I some English wiz but I do talk to people on the daily so I figured I had the communication part down. I said yes. Stephen King said it best:

" edit is divine."

I didn't know what I was doing. I spell pretty well (dotted red lines*right click, select correct word*) but Grammer? (See what I did there?) I was out of my element but I did my best. Let's just say I'll stick to writing; to write is human.

The stated Stephen King quote has been stuck in my head and I can't stop thinking about it since discovery. Writing is putting pen to paper, finger to keyboard and just writing. Don't worry about perfecting the content, that's the editors job. Just write. I came up with my own Stephen King-esq quote and here it is-

"to live is human, to live perfectly is divine"

I think my biggest struggle in writing is the beginning, to just start writing. I think it has to be perfect the first time around so I allow fear to prevent my thoughts to form into sentences. That being said, I think my biggest struggle in life is starting, to just start living. I feel I must live life perfectly all day, everyday. To live perfectly is divine. We should strive for perfection* but understand it is a process to perfection that is orchestrated by God. Let's not be the editors of our own life and let's not try perfecting ourselves without God. Allow God to edit us, making corrections and revising the structure of our lives to guide us toward perfection.

In my high school years, I had a very foul mouth. Jonah Hill in Superbad may be a good representation of both what I looked and acted like in high school. It wasn't good. One day, I said I was going to stop cussing. I woke up every morning telling myself, "Today is the day. Not one cuss word." I would spend the rest of the day thinking over and over,

        don't cuss don't cuss don't cuss don't cuss don't cuss don't cuss don't cuss 

I would make it only a couple hours before the verbal poison leaked out and by the end of the day, it was gushing. I would wake up the next day and it would happen all over again. I'm just as bad at editing actual papers as I am editing my own life. When I finally handed the red pen over to the Big Guy, my language began to change.

"God, I'm tired of trying to stop cussing. How come I can't stop?"
"Because that's all you think about all day. If you want real change, start thinking about Me."

I learned two lessons from this short and sweet conversation. One: If I think about not sinning all day, I'm thinking about sinning all day. The don'ts do not change the subject of my focus and what I focus my thoughts on has an impact on my lifestyle. I should focus on God because He will edit out what needs to change. Two: If God can start sentences with "Because", then it must be okay to do. Because He is all knowing.

Perhaps the point isn't to stop sinning. Maybe the point is to respond to God, our life editor, when He makes corrections. A writer's work will only become better if they are obedient to their editor. And the next time the writer puts pen to paper, his work will reflect his obedience.

"to live is human, to live perfectly is divine"

in His grip,


*"Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect."

-Matthew 5:48

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful."

-John 15:1-2

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