Why Writers Must Practice Resurrection
It’s almost Easter, which is a pretty good time to get reborn, if you ask me. Especially if you’re a writer. What do I mean by that?
Every writer as a creative entity “dies.” And every writer, in a manner of speaking, must be resurrected. If you choose to ignore or avoid this fact, it could be mean the end of your art and even, possibly, your life.
Let’s unpack this a little.
Every writer dies
To create is to suffer. Just ask any mother. It is a painful, grueling task of bringing new things into existence. This is why, among many reasons, there is an unmistakable sadness to most creatives, even God.
And this is also why writers commit suicide, why painters cut their ears off, and why actors go through serial divorces. Creativity is a hard business.
There is an inherent frustration to it. And if you don’t know what to do with the inevitable pain, it could be the end of you. (It was for Hemingway.) Ironically, those who destroy themselves never learn to die — they don’t know how to grieve loss and let go of past seasons.
Every writer must be reborn
When you write, you share a piece of you with the world. You put your very soul on display for all to see.
Sometimes, the world doesn’t reward creativity. Sometimes, it stones prophets and crucifies saviors. Sometimes, the world scowls at genius and scoffs at insight.
Every creative has critics, and every critique is an arrow. There is no getting around this. Creating is painful, and every writer gets wounded. In order to move out of wounded-ness (“My God, why have you forsaken me?”), we must face the injustice of unfair criticism, and heal.
We must get reborn and become whole again.
The art of practicing resurrection
This is the season in which we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. Even in non-Christian contexts, the earth is teeming with rebirth. It’s hard to ignore.
Trees are budding. Flowers are sprouting. All of creation is collaborating to share one message: New life is here.
I struggle with these cycles — the ebb and flows of the seasons. My creative self wants to camp out in the wilderness, to to sulk in its travail. It’s been hurt, and it wants to wallow in its pain. It’s scared of trying again.
Currently, I’m coming out of a season of death — of letting go of what once was familiar and beginning to walk in newness of life. But I’m taking these first few steps slowly.
There is grief that needs to happen — losses to be mourned, disappointments to be acknowledged. We must grieve before we can move on. We must acknowledge what was before we can welcome what will be.
Death before life
We writers must acknowledge failure. We must come to grips with death. And we must practice resurrection. There is hope beyond the story of a tragic hero. There is health. There is freedom.
If this describes you (and it might), I hope you can move out of the pain of dwelling of what’s been lost and start creating beautiful art once again. It begins with honesty — with acknowledging the rejection you’ve experienced without excuse or justification.
As an exercise, try writing it all down. Then, if you’re comfortable, give it to God. Receive healing. And welcome a new day. Like I said, this is a great time to get reborn.
What do you think about this idea of practicing resurrection? Share in the comments.