Tag Archives: Rick Warren; publishing; Christian; Christian publishing; Christian books; writing; passion; purpose

Reality Check #2: You Aren’t Original

Just FYI, the woman who brought hand cream on a plane is in custody tonight, so you can rest easy tonight. Come on! Ladies, quit jerking around and just give up the lotion already!

Okay. Sorry. That’s done. Originally, this began in my hard drive as a post on creativity, how to be creative and cultivate it and all that. But honestly, I’m not so sure that’s quite The Full M-to-the-onty on what’s really stacked against you in your publishing program, if you get my message.

Now this isn’t an idea that will sell you a lot of books. And it’s not going to make you all warm and fuzzy inside, either. But the fact of it is, creativity is largely irrelevant because, I’ve got to tell you, YOU ARE NOT ORIGINAL. I’ve been noodling about this recently, and I think one of the reasons truly inspiring people are published is that many of them have given up this idea that they’re so creative and unique. Certainly, there are examples of authors who are confoundingly obsessed with being creative and unique (like those who print their proposals on purple paper…I mean, who doesn’t recognize that pure genius?). But most big CBA names aren’t published because they’re so original.

I mean, they’re just not. You think Kincade is unique? How about Jenkins and LaHaye? Or maybe Frank Peretti. Ted Dekker? T.D. Jakes? Joyce Meyer? Phil Vischer? Michael W. Smith? Mr. Jell-O-steen himself? Sure, they’re great. But they’re not original. Was Jesus original? Even he was a few years behind those earlier messiahs. No, the sage was right: there is nothing new under the sun. Okay, I’ll give you Rush Limbaugh. There will never be anyone as creative and unique as Rush. But that goes without saying. And he’s it. Okay, and maybe Jakes. And Dino. But that’s it!

Christian writers, get past this idea of being different and original. I mean, be special, but not because you’re so creative or original, or whatever. Are you smarter, funnier, better-looking, more deserving than others? If any of that was the criteria, we’d all be up stinky creek. None of us measure up. Not only would we have to be constantly changing our identities to stay up with the times, we’d have to rely on the hope that no one prettier, smarter, or funnier came along. And someone always would because the world is bigger than Colorado Springs, at least according to Mapquest. Some people do base their worth on a false sense of specialness, sadly, seemingly unaware that the secret to being special is not any of these superficial things. It’s…well, it turns out Rick Warren was right! It’s purpose that matters. It’s not what you do or even so much how you do it. It’s what comes out of your God-given passion that matters. The piece of him he gave you to share. The sharing of Him who gave you that peace.

You’re a conduit. Yes. That is all. That is enough. The device for transmitting the divine. So forget the false confidence and hyping yourself up to believe something you’re not. Charisma sells, yes. But that charisma needs to derive from your core passion, whatever that is. And don’t accept any less—from anyone. If you really want to change the world, start there.

Alright? So I’m thinking this should apply to the way we view the world, this broken, twisted-up, decaying piece of rock hurtling through space. We need more Christians who understand this, their specialness that’s not about uniqueness. Use your piece of the eternal to affect the present. And when you write, think about the effect you’ll have on generations in the future of your dedicating not to what’s unique, but what’s everlasting.