First, an apology.
Years ago, before anyone (meaning: everyone) had ever heard of Donald Miller, I was killing time in a Podunk used book store, browsing the “Oprah Picks” shelf, when this purple spine with yellow letters caught my eye. It read: Blue Like Jazz. And it kind of spoke to me. I really liked jazz a lot. And blue was favorite color. And it was piled in there with all those contemporary literary novels.
So I bought it. And thus the apology.
Because Mr. Miller did not make a single penny on that purchase. So, Don…if you’re listening, I’m sorry. (if it helps, I did however pay full retail price for every other thing you’ve written, including that one title I didn’t like very much that was released under two different titles AND 1,000,000 Miles… in both hardback and audio. So, you know…we should be all square at this point.)
Recently, I saw this quote and found it particularly meaningful. So here goes…
“Of course, the point is writing is hard. To write is to struggle with your sanity, at times. And there will be bad days and you will feel defeated. This work is more difficult than climbing a mountain because you are doing it in the dark. I want to urge you to keep going. You matter and your words matter. By writing, you are saying to God I agree with you, you gave me a voice and the gift was not in vain. By writing, you are showing up on the stage of life rather than sitting in the comfortable theater seats (there is a time for both) and are casting your voice out toward an audience who is looking for a character to identify with, somebody to guide them through their own loneliness, no matter how transparent or hidden that loneliness is.
And so if you find yourself on the floor of the kitchen (…despondent) please know you are not alone. So many writers have been there. And the ones whose voices continue to echo through the theater got up, went back to their desk, and prayed again for words. May they come to you. And may they be gifts to us.”
I’ve said the same thing many times over the years, just not quite so eloquently.
So thanks, Don. I’m pretty sure I still owe you.