I was sitting on my sofa, laptop in front of me. I could feel the heat from the radiators behind me warming up, and hear the sounds of the street through my window. And my laptop. This had been the scene of so many struggles, questions, and a world full journeys. A doorway into exploring my heart and mind, and the space I share it with the world.
It was Easter Saturday, and everyone was triumphant. They were speaking and acting like Easter Sunday had already come. And my heart was tightening at the thought of it. I could almost feel the adrenaline coursing through my body.
As I discussed the topic with friends online, it became clear what I had to do.
I wrote a piece on the subject within about half an hour. I was brutal. I was honest. I poured out my heart into this post. No holds barred. My heart was pumping the whole time.
And then I shared it. I put it up on my blog. Normally, I plan and edit and schedule, but not this time. No, this time I was entering the battleground without armour. Not caring about the reaction. I had something on my heart which I knew had to be shared no matter what.
So share it I did.
And in that moment, I felt free. I felt alive. It was like all the words burning inside of me had been set free. Released to the world. And there was joy in my heart.
The message had been shared. It was out there.
And nothing else mattered. Not the words of any other person or any stats anyone could show me. Not the impact it could have of anyone’s opinion of me.
This message had boiled up inside of me. It had been birthed and grown, and now it was free. Like a baby, to face the joy, the criticism and all the world could throw at it. And like a parent, I had to simply let it go.
Only then did I realise just how imprisoned it was. It was as if the message had been bound up inside my whole body – and now it was free, the tightness was gone. Life flowed from my heart again and coursed through my body.
I couldn’t help but smile. Pure joy.
I was reminded again…this is what I was born to do. My body and soul were uniquely shaped for this. And the joy which came from loosing what was inside of me was pure.
No malice. No cynicism. No selfish interest.
At times when I’ve written, I’ve almost been mechanical. And there was even stiffness in my body as I wrote. A sense of formality. Of duty.
When this happens, my mind is split. I am desperate to share my heart with people. To free the bear inside of me. But at the same time, I want this to reach as many people as possible.
I’ve heard so much about building platforms – mostly by wise, intelligent leaders who I respect. And what I’ve heard is useful, helpful and important.
But I never want to sacrifice the purity of creation at the altar of platform. It was said by a wise man once that none of us can serve two masters – and if I try to serve my heart, my craft but also try to serve platform building, there is no doubting the outcome.
My craft will suffer. And as a result the message won’t impact anyone.
I want to give birth to great writing. I want more messages which course through my veins like blood until I pour them out into the world. I want to reach deep into the untold depths of my soul for the messages which truly matter. I want to grow in the art, the craft of writing.
Of course, I want to grow my platform. I would love more people to read my work. Some ambition can be healthy.
But I am determined to never again surrender my craft for the sake of a numbers game. I don’t want to give away part of my soul away to the idol of status.
And no one who truly loves their craft ever should.
James Prescott is a writer and author from Sutton, near London, UK. He blogs regularly at JamesPrescott.co.uk. He recently released his first e-book, ‘5 Steps to Encouragement: A Manifesto for Changing the World’ which can be obtained free here.