Reasons To Chose to Write or Not to Write

Writing on the iPad
Writing on the iPad

So this is the typical blog away from blog post that seems to grace the pages of almost every blog I have ever read. For the first time in the 10-15 years I have been writing on my blog, I took a year off. Though I did stop writing here for a while, I never stopped writing off-blog posts in my DayOne App (the best journal writing app ever by the way) or on Twitter and Facebook. I had wanted to take this break for a while, to get some perspective, and I did. After being away for so long I kept wondering if I would ever come back, what the purpose is/was, and why it even matters if I ever write another word here in a world already filled with so much noise as it is.

When it comes to choosing not to write, I tried find reason behind these statements.

  1. It takes too much time.
  2. There is enough noise out there already.
  3. No one wants to read every thought that crosses the mind, ever (that’s still the case).
  4. Ultimately, who cares what’s “not created” by a writer.
  5. I had lost the freedom of speech on my own blog.

I doubt those questions have answers for the most part, and it is the stereotypical question and response of everyone who wants to start a blog but never does. Ultimately, what’s worth doing is worth doing, even, or especially, if there is no recognizable audience at the time. Blogging is somewhat like doing life together with the rest of the world. It leaves you open to ridicule, criticism, trolls (see a great article ‘Your Opinion is Obsolete‘), and oblivious objecting observers, when not writing removes those negativities. But the easiest thing to do is not to write.

I was somewhat inspired to get back to writing here after reading Roger Angell’s “Five Seasons” this past off season, the start of the Auburn baseball season, and the honest reflections of another sports writer who recently lost his job. Then for some reason, I became responsive to that inspiration after reading Joe Posnanski’s post about what was on his book shelf. It had nothing to do with the list of books he calls great (which was great), but by his opining about his office and how long it took him to come to the point. Great writing is like that. It’s the journey to the finishing point that creates the pleasures of wading through the details. You almost want the writer to slow down because you know the end is in sight.

As a writer (that is the act of writing something original… I make no claims to be on the level with the likes of Angell or Posnanski), the one on the list that bothered me the most was the last one. Once you start writing to please, or to not offend, the writing becomes less real, contains less of me. I still haven’t figured this one out. I admire those who have found the answer, or have ignored the question all together and just plowed ahead.

In the end, I hate being just a consumer of material. I read countless blogs, news articles, books, and other writings where the authors’ purpose was only fulfilled long after it was written. The purpose of the written word is, to be read, by somebody at some time, even if the knowledge of that purpose is never know by the writer himself. So… I write.

To Honor a Local Artist Cindy Massey and Her Murals

Murals by Cindy Massey at Cornerstone Church

As with all things, change is inevitable. Change is actually the one thing that actually stays constant, and this week we began an extensive remodeling process that would bring the vision of Cornerstone Church together. After more than a year of planning, in February 2012, Cornerstone opened its first off-site location, called our Cornerstone Church at Lee-Scott site. The leadership of the church envisioned a multi-site church, a single church with multiple locations, one where the worship experience, the DNA of the church, would be the same no matter which site you visited. To accomplish this, among many other things, it was decided we needed to remodel the kids area to match all other sites, present and future, which brings me to this post.

Back in 2005, a few years before Deb and I arrived, our local church started to execute plans for a new building. As you can imagine there were so many different aspects of planning and visioning that went on among the staff and executive council at the time, and one of those areas was what we call Kidztown (our children’s area). A vision was put together by the then youth and children’s director for what type of environment would greet the kids visually when they came into the Kidztown area. This vision included a fun themed design of murals with different shops and stores for each room.

Once the theme had been envisioned the hunt was on for an artist who could make this vision come to life. Cornerstone Church decided to hire a local artist, Cindy Massey, to make this vision come alive on the walls of the kids area, and she did. The amazing part of the story is how God works through the church body because after she finished painting the walls of this new church building her family started coming to Cornerstone, and they were some of the pioneers who started the new Lee-Scott site! For about seven years now the kids have walked through the halls of her artistic work, which covered just about every inch of wall and window space we had.

So, here, to honor the work of an artist we hired to cover the walls of the church with beautiful murals, I present a small sampling of that work. Please keep in mind, this is one artists rendition of another artists work (kinda weird), so, along with the thousands and thousands of kids who graced these halls, this is what I will remember about her work. I know Cornerstone appreciates and values the work she did, and I’m glad I can showcase a bit of that here. Thanks Cindy!

Jacob Blount Debuts at Eighth and Rail in Opelika :: Photos

Jacob Blount Opens at Eighth and Rail

Jacob Blount Opens at Eighth and Rail

Jacob Blount Opens at Eighth and Rail

Jacob Blount Opens at Eighth and Rail

Jacob Blount Opens at Eighth and Rail

Jacob Blount Opens at Eighth and Rail

This past Saturday I did a live performance photo shoot with Jacob Blount at Eighth & Rail in Opelika Alabama.  This was Jacob’s debut performance and he combined it with an art show and an all around creative evening time.  A local artist, RC, hung painting, drawings, and photographic prints and dubbed the night “drink-n-draw”.  Each table was supplied with a sketch pad (most of which had a few pages of completed sketches from RC) and guests were asked to draw or sketch as they listened to the music from Blount.

It was interesting to hang around with so many creative and talented people and I enjoyed the evening very much.  Several of Jacob’s friends and family came for the opening and it was nice to see so many people there in support of Jak but even if you just walked in not knowing anything about the plans for the night you would have enjoyed a great performance from a local band.  Below are some of my favorites from the night (click the link at the bottom to see all 6 in this blog post).  To see the entire shoot visit the Jacob Blount gallery.  (To see all 6 images in this blog post just click the continue reading link below.)

Something I really enjoy about live performance photography is that it is always a challenge.  The lighting is always bad changing and you never know what to expect (although it was pretty good Saturday thanks to Dan King), plus you can’t really get any predetermined compositions or portraits.  Even the lighting and the sound in the same venue can vary greatly from day to day, but as I told someone recently, 80% of photography is “showing up”.  I was certainly glad I showed up on Saturday.

Jak is still working on a website and myspace page but if you would like to check out some of his music you can bookmark these pages jaknoise and http://www.myspace.com/jaknoise, thanks for a great night Jak.

Coming Up

I still have a few edits left from this past weekend.  One, the Spurlock family, is next on the list and then I have a series of posts from the Catalyst Conference which will include an incredible act of worship with worship painting from Caitlin Beidler from Redemption Art and live performance photos from Aaron Keyes, Franklin Graham with Samaritan’s Purse, Jeff Foxworthy, and several others from Catalyst08.