Editors note: This blog post was originally published February 5, 2016 on this website
“Damn,” has become one of my top five words lately.
Not because it’s profanity. I like profanity. But I work on not liking it as much.
Not because it’s a short word. Sometimes I’m lazy with language. It isn’t often, though.
“Damn,” is a favorite because it’s become my exhale for something real hitting me hard in the head or the heart.
While drinking through my lunch break yesterday I exhaled hard at something simple but raw.
My friend Chance told me why he had been writing so much on his blog even though he's not confident in all of his work or free to write much of it.
He’s a married man, just graduated college, works full time, and is in the process of moving to Oregon to serve a church plant. He’s been a friend and a mentor for three years.
I didn’t expect much from our lunch conversation because I really just wanted someone present to hang out with for an hour. I didn’t think anything would leave a lasting impact.
Then I brought up his work. Some of it has been good. Some of it hasn’t been great either. I really liked his post that morning. He talked about the power of reading through scripture with your church. He talked about the power of making scripture reading a habit.
All of this was done in less than 400 words and fell short of a script for a Youtube sermon snippet by one bad analogy.
When he closed, though, he pulled a Don Miller quote out on me.
Chance said amateur writers write when they feel comfortable, good writers write all the time.
He went on to explain he set out to write one post a week this year. If he fails to prepare it the weekend before, he’ll slam something out the night before or the same day it’s due. His punishment is knowing he published a piece nowhere near his best work. And it only makes him better. It only makes him prepare more.
I set out with the same goal this year. But I get caught up so easily with other things I stopped posting after five weeks. I didn’t think my writing could be clean enough and I had no time to edit my own photos for the posts.
But Chance, through the paraphrasing of his own work and Donald Miller, made me realize I need to stop making excuses and just publish.
So yesterday, I exhaled “Damn” as Chance’s wisdom hit my head hard. And today, I’m exhaling “Damn” as my heart lifts a little bit knowing this last minute keyboard rambling is going to evolve into something greater.