So while I was away visiting my Mom last weekend in Tulsa, The Wild One and The Director had something up their sleeves. When I came home, I found that my office/studio had been totally redone. Curtains hung, walls painted, clutter put away (thankfully not thrown away, ‘cuz you know, just because it’s messy doesn’t mean it’s junk), furniture moved around–they just made it a really nice haven to work, study and create. A great surprise, and it really meant a lot to me.
Along with this remodel came a nice new Ikea bookshelf that hadn’t been there before. And on the bookshelf were…books. The Wild One and The Director had gone into some of our boxes that had remained packed since the last time we moved, and found a bunch of books I wanted to save from the season when I was in the throes of my deconstruction, and was devouring everything I could find about new ways to think about church. These were many of the books that fueled the origins of this here blog. And there, on the shelf along with the other books, was my copy of Donald Miller’s Blue Like Jazz.
I had spent a lot of time in those pages a few years ago, but it had been stuck in a box now for several years. I’d been meaning to revisit a few of these books that had stood out to me, so a couple of days ago, while I was sitting in my studio, admiring it–I decided to open Blue Like Jazz.
I once wrote a blog post about how I wished I could write like Donald Miller. I had completely forgotten about that post. But as I read through those first few pages, and looked at the creative, artistic way he conveys the most basic feelings and thoughts, I was like, Dang, I wish I could write like this guy. How does he come up with these colorful ways of putting things? I totally wish my brain worked like that.
I pondered that for awhile. I thought to myself, I should totally write a blog post about how I wish I could write like Donald Miller. That would be so original and cool.
And then, through the fog, it occurred to me that somewhere, sometime, I’d been here before.
I searched my blog archives and found it. Dang.
So the best I can come up with at this point is that after all this time, I still wish I could write like Donald Miller.
This all began with a desire to write a book about my experiences in deconstructing from the institutional church, and instead, this blog sort of became my book, something I wrote as I went along. But in the meantime, my new writing “career” has really taken off. One of the reasons this blog has slowed down so much is that I now pretty much write full-time for other clients, lots of web content, blog posts, and the like. I have to admit, not all of it is very creative or rewarding–a lot of it is just rewording and rewriting. But it pays well, and I apparently do it well, because the clients I work for keep coming back for more.
That said, I think my skills as a writer have improved quite a bit since the days when I first started blogging. And every once in awhile, I get a project that really does stir my creative soul. I wrote a short e-book for indie musicians about forging a career in the new musical landscape; it was a lot of fun to write, and it seems to be going over well with the musicians who’ve read it. And now, I’ve recently been tasked to ghost write my first book. It’s a daunting prospect, kind of intimidating, and something that I never would have felt comfortable accepting a few years ago. But I think I’m ready for it now.
But as I re-read Blue Like Jazz, it still haunts me a bit. I’m still like, Man–it would be so cool if I could write this book Donald-Miller-style. Just saying.
There’s no real point here– just rambling–and no, I’m not being jealous or covetous, just inspired. I write how I write, and I’m comfortable with that. I just think it’s sort of funny and ironic how a book tucked away all these years could still affect me in pretty much the same way when I come to it with a fresh set of eyes.