Secret Writer Man

The act of creating is incredibly daunting. There’s the chance that someone won’t like it and chew you out. There will always be that person you can’t please, because your writing might not be for them. And that’s okay. Every creator sets out with an idea that seems absurd or not entertaining.

I once spoke about a character who had his own book in the Bible named Nehemiah. Nehemiah was the cup-bearer to King Artaxerxes of the Persian Empire. Artaxerxes had already sent another individual from the Israelite nation named Ezra. Also has his own book in the Bible. Nehemiah has just heard that the city of Jerusalem is undefended due to the lack of a city wall.

Artaxerxes sees him one day and asks him, “Why is your face sad, seeing you are not sick? This is nothing but sadness of the heart.” Artaxerxes sees that his change in mood is not illness (which would have been a big deal since Nehemiah tested the king’s drink for poison by drinking it before he did), but a deep sadness for his fellow Jews struggling.

King Artaxerxes hears Nehemiah tell him how broken he is because the “place of my father’s graves, lies in ruins, and its gates have been destroyed by fire,” (Chapter 2, Verse 3). He then tells him he wants to go and rebuild. He asks the king to write letters for the people that would be able to help him achieve his mission. These are people like the keeper of the forest for timber, and the governors for safe passage to Judah.

Nehemiah tells no one else about this. He inspects the wall by himself, and only until he is ready to start the work does he tell everyone about it. Even if you don’t identify with the Christian faith, I think this is a key message. When you have that story or picture of what you want to make, don’t share it with everybody you know. This is extremely difficult with social media demanding that we share everything we ever do.

If I come up with an idea, I only share it with a few people. An idea is an extremely vulnerable thing. Ovid said, “A new idea is delicate. It can be killed by a sneer or a yawn; it can be stabbed to death by a quip and worried to death by a frown on the right man’s brow,” which paints a pretty clear picture of the vulnerability of an idea. But once an idea is built upon and strengthened with the help of the people that will help you get to where you want to go, that idea becomes unstoppable.

There is one thing stronger than all the armies in the world, and that is an idea whose time has come.

Victor Hugo
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