Saturday, January 20, 2024

Finding Philemon: Lessons Learned


One of the things I've always desired to do in my career as a writer has been to publish a blog post or to record a video of the lessons I learned throughout the writing process and how those lessons impacted my life, whether it be in the spiritual sense, the emotional sense, or even the educational sense. I have to be honest here, I fully intended to have this post up last week. I failed to put the time aside to do that though. I am glad though, because it gave me more time to reflect on all the things that have taken place in 2023.

Everyone reading this knows that I am not one to shy away from my failures and that I am also not one to hold things that truly have spoken to me. In truth, I had a great deal to learn before I could finish Finding Philemon, but also a great deal to accept about myself. Every step of the way, as I poured over the previous version of the Journey Onesimus took,  I found things that I could develop on a deeper level. The adventure I was re-creating was, in all honesty, a Journey for myself as much as it was for my characters. I found things, good and bad, about myself as a person, and as a writer, that impacted my core being. 

I won’t pretend that this story is going to be a bestseller someday, but for me, this story is the best I could have developed with the resources I had and the beautiful people that were helping me along the way. I do not want to come off prideful here, but I am very proud of this story and everything that was birthed (or re-birthed) out of it. In more ways than I can even convey at this point, I am a completely different person today, than I was when I first came up with the idea behind Finding Philemon. I am so grateful for this because the story people are reading today is not the same story it was when this all began several years ago. It is much deeper than that. It is, in some ways, a reflection of my own journey in faith. 

Well, now that I’ve poured my heart out to those who read this, let's dig into the lessons I learned over the last year. 

General Lessons About Writing Your Story:
  • The story you start with is not always the story you end with and that really is okay. 
  • Your life is likely to find its way into any story you create and that is what makes the story you develop believable.
  • Sometimes the story you need to write is not necessarily the story you want to write and what matters more is that you keep writing it.
  • When it comes to finally putting your story down on paper, there are always going to be distractions, you can overcome those distractions though.

Lessons In Faith That Will Remain:

  • There is a Spiritual War all around us, and we need to accept that in our daily lives because it will eventually overpower us if we let it.
  • We are loved and empowered to do great and mighty things, but what really matters is the day-to-day actions we choose to accept and embrace.
  • God can speak through the worst parts of our lives regardless of whether or not we accept Him, and he is always there to guide us through that darkness.
  • Good and beautiful moments are all around us, and when we fix our eyes upon Jesus we will find them even in the most unexpected places of our lives.

Some of these lessons may seem trivial, but they all have a purpose. As a young adult, my drive to write was mostly about finding my way into the world around me, but what I found was a pathway to the world that had been given to me to share with the world around me. One thing for sure is that there is so much more to come and I can’t wait for what’s coming. It has often been said that writers sometimes get lost in their own little world, and I can honestly say that I understand that saying much better today than I ever thought I would. I tend to think back upon a scene in one of my all-time favorite movies, The Last Samurai, where one of the characters says to Nathan Algren “Too much mind.” That's how I feel, and not in a bad way by any means, but The World of Kedoshim is everywhere. 

I see it in the actions of my kids or through the gestures of a friend. I see it when I lose myself in the woods on my regular walks on the walking trails in town. I see it in my own life when I least expect it. One thing for sure is that, while in the past, I would have lost the desire and passion to complete any project, new thoughts about Kedoshim are coming every day. Honestly, I am still not certain how much more my mind's eye can handle, but for now, I am finding my way. If there was any singular word I could share right now, it would only be that there is purpose in the chaos manifesting in the lives we live. There may be a point in which you simply just have to let go of your dreams to work through that chaos, but never give up hope, if it's in the pages of God's plan for you, that dream will find its way back to you.  

Thanks again for visiting "The Gathering Room,"


PS (You can find all episodes of Finding Philemon that are currently available to download at this Affiliate Link. You can also follow my author hub, Writing the Journey,  on Facebook.)

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