No Guts No Glory

Pink Think: “Gold medals aren’t really made of gold. They’re made of sweat, determination, and a hard-to-find alloy called guts.” – Dan Gable

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Something’s come up, and I’m still reeling from it.

I have been working on an article for a newspaper for the last few days. After the family postponed the interview in October, I finally visited with them two days ago. I spent two hours talking to them and went away with an inspiring story. I wrote my notes on and off from that afternoon until six in the morning the next day. I condensed 1500 words into 600 words, edited it, then sent it off yesterday.

The short of it is, I got an email this morning saying the family doesn’t want the article to run. To please cancel it. They are concerned about privacy for their kids.

This is the first time in my freelance journalism career that a subject has asked the story be cancelled after I wrote and submitted the piece.

I am not dwelling on the hours I labored over this. Because even if I had to do it for free, I would have still done it.

And I totally respect the family’s decision.

But gah, what a bummer.

*update* The story is ON!! More details later.

To end on a positive note:

This week I will be playing Christmas carols at my mother-in-law’s and nieces’ birthday party.

Yesterday, I wrote a poem called “Christmas Feast Countdown” for our local paper’s holiday writing contest. It started out a Hallmarky short story that quickly morphed into a silly poem that I had a blast crafting.

At a songwriter’s holiday party, I gathered the courage to share my song which I wrote when I knew only three guitar chords. I didn’t get signed to a Nashville contract on the spot, but I did it! I sang my song! Some people hemmed and hawed about getting up, maybe waiting for them to feel like their song could be perfect. Or some had lyrics but said “I don’t know how to play the guitar.”

And that is when I started thinking, you know, some things are a life commitment, but this isn’t one of those moments. A casual “concert” at a holiday party for seasoned and aspiring songwriters isn’t life or death.

Opportunities knock on our door and we should seize them when we can.

We tell ourselves, “I’m not ready!” Are we ever? We need to have the faith to make that leap. Only in doing it do we know what we are capable of.

Admittedly, I don’t have songwriting skills down pat yet. But I proved I can write a song. And I have the guts to get up and perform it and not fall down dead from stage fright. I could have sat there and just listened, and waited until I have something perfect to share. Another day. Another holiday party. If I ever work the courage to do it.

In life, whether it be with song, story, article, if we do our best with the talents and opportunities God has given us, we will have few regrets.

Do I regret spending hours and hours over the article that will never see the light of day? Or the novels that might never see the light of day? Or songs that might sound amateurish? Or poems that might not win a holiday writing contest?

I don’t.

Friends, let’s keep crafting and putting ourselves forward. No guts no glory!

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