How To Drive a Writer Crazy

Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also                                     to the interests of others.                                                                                                                                                                                   Philippians 2:4

Recently Marty and I finally saw “Yesterday,” the movie about a singer/songwriter who is one of the only three people left on the planet who remembers the Beatles. Once he realizes that not even Google has any recollection of the musical geniuses, he began to pass off their songs as his own.

In one scene, he is sitting at the piano, wanting to share “his new song,” “Let It Be,” with his parents. He starts to play it but is interrupted when they tell him to start again, they weren’t quite paying attention. Then there are other interruptions – a cell phone call, someone dropping by, conversations while he’s trying to sing, until finally he “loses it.” The others in the room look stunned. What is he so upset about?

While Marty may have found that scene amusing, and the songwriter a little neurotic, anyone who has written music, poetry, or stories can relate to the situation and will want to yell at the rude people along with the young man. But what we (writers) have to realize is that the distracted people have no clue why their undivided attention is so important to us at that moment.

Songwriters, poets, storytellers – anyone who puts their thoughts and feelings into words – do it because we are passionate about something. We have a message that we long to share with the world, and if the world (or at least our world) shows little or no interest, it wounds us. When those people are more interested in other things at the moment, as hard as we try not to take it personally, their inattention causes us to question our creation.

If you know a writer, and that writer one days tells you, “I wrote a new song [or poem or story] today,” the proper response is not to say “How nice” and change the subject to the weather or your latest project. I can’t explain why writers are such impatient people, but the moment we finish “giving birth,” we want to show our “baby” to someone, now.

If the writer asks, “Would you like to hear it? Or would, you like to read it?” the right response is not “Maybe later,” or “Not right now,” or “… How long is it?” Granted, you may be busy, but if the writer is someone you care about at all, try to take the time. Who knows? You may have the privilege of being the first to hear or read a masterpiece. (If the person is a random stranger on the street, feel free to say, “Sorry, I’ve got to be somewhere. Good luck.”)

I’ve had the experience of trying to share my latest, or even someone else’s that I’ve just learned and think is awesome, and heard the mumble of conversations that caused me to cut the performance short.

Then there was Karen.

Karen and I were acquaintances whose children played together. I’m not sure where our kids were that day, or why she was in my home, but I do remember having just finished writing what I considered (and still consider) one of my best songs. I had been inspired while on a plane, staring down at the city and realizing that God knew every one of the people who lived there. I had been gripped with an emotion that was unexpected – His deep longing for each of them to know His love. The last line had eluded me until that day.  It had come as I was reading Isaiah, and I couldn’t contain my excitement. I was aching to share the song with someone, and Karen showed up …

We were standing by the piano, and I asked if she’d like to hear my latest song, and (Bless her!) she said “Yes!” with enthusiasm. I sat down to play it, expecting at any moment to be interrupted by our children, or something she just thought of to tell me or ask me, or any number of other things. But she sat in an armchair and listened to the whole song without saying a word.

When the song was over, there was a brief silence. Then quietly Karen stood up, walked over, and hugged me.

“That’s beautiful,” she whispered. She had tears in her eyes, and I knew she had caught the meaning of the song and that she shared my passion for what it was saying.

So … would you like to read the lyrics? (If you have more important things to do, don’t tell me, I don’t want to know. )

 

I Wonder Who Will                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Staring out the window at the city far below,                                                                                 I see endless rows of buildings full of people I don’t know.                                             Though their malls and mills and mansions look like pebbles on the sand,                            My Father knows each one of them; He holds them in His hand.

But I wonder, which ones know Him and which ones never will?                                              Which homes ring with laugher, and which ones are cold and still?                                        And I wonder, who is hungry, and which ones have their fill?                                                  If we don’t share the Bread of Life with them, I wonder, then who will?              

The Lord knows me inside and out, every hair that’s on my head,                                           And He knows the things I’ve done and felt, every word I’ve ever said.                                    And He knows the days ordained for me that He wrote down long before,                           And it amazes me that in that way, He knows millions more!

But I wonder who is crying, and which ones need a friend                                                         And where they’ll spend eternity when their lives are at an end …                                           And I wonder, in a world of darkness, who will help them see?                                                  Lord ….                                                                                                                                                    Here am I …                                                                                                                                                         Send me.

(Ann Aschauer, copyright 1989)

 

Prayer: Lord Jesus, who stepped down from heaven into our world, help us to care for others the way You care for us. Help us never to be so wrapped up in our own lives that we miss an opportunity to reach out to others, even when reaching out involves just a listening ear, in Your name. Amen

69 thoughts on “How To Drive a Writer Crazy

  1. Oh, how I can relate. First of all, I loved the “Yesterday” movie. In fact, I would watch it again. However, I was expecting a cameo by Ringo as an Uber driver. (After all, what might Ringo have done outside of music?). We artists are very sensitive. It comes with the package. The best thing about it, God knows it and understands it. That is good news for those of us who were built to create. Your lyrics are terrific & very well thought-out with stirring depth without going over the average listener’s/reader’s head. I wish I could hear the melody. In the end, we know that we have the ear of the One Who Created first. Nobody else equals that truth. Write on, dear Ann. -Alan

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I wish you could hear the melody, too, Alan. It haunted me until I got it recorded. Maybe when I’m not so “technologically challenged” … :/
      Yes, I’m sure God understands it, the way we so often let our cell phones and other distractions keep us from enjoying HIS creation.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Incredible song. Well done. Thank you for sharing.
    And you are spot on about people not having time, or interruptions – it’s very hurtful to ANYTHING that we are passionate about. It might even be something that happened to us that day. Something that we would like to share with someone else. We need to sharpen our listening skills.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I totally get it, Ann! Sometimes I wonder if we couldn’t identify in a way with Jesus when He said, “a prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and in his own household.” Sometimes that goes for writers, artists, inventors, and scientists also.
    I love your song! It’s beautiful! I wish we all had more Karens.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Reblogged this on Mitch Teemley and commented:
    My Feature Blogger this week is Ann Aschauer of Seeking Divine Perspective. With her writing, songwriting, and theatre background, I relate to Ann on many levels. But most of all I relate to her heart–one that can never get enough of God, or of making him known to others.
    Ann’s current post speaks of the hunger every writer has to be truly heard. Insecure? Sure, we’re human beings. But driven, too, because we tell tales that needed telling…
    And therefore in need to be heard.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Thanks, Linda. I’m going to have to figure out how to get the recording posted. The melody came to me as the lyrics did, and it haunted me until I could get it recorded.
        PS You might want to check your spam folder every once in a while. I sometimes find blogs there that I wouldn’t have wanted to miss.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Mitch, thank you so much. It is indeed an honor to be featured on your blog – one I rarely miss. You may remember, it was getting my first “like” from you (I couldn’t help noticing that you had thousands of followers.) that kept me from quitting blogging early on. (I love God’s timing.)
      Blessings to you. Keep telling those tales, and I will, too. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Storytelling often saved my life as a teacher. If I sensed I was losing control of the class, all I had to do was say, “Did I ever tell you guys about the time …?” and I had their attention. If not, someone would invariable say “Quiet, guys, she’s gonna tell a story!” (They usually didn’t realize I was teaching – they thought they had successfully sidetracked me. 😉 )

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I love your song! Beautiful! And I love your post because I can relate to everything. I was just lamenting to my husband: Why does someone forward a picture of a taco and it gets 50 likes, but I spend hours writing a short post, agonizing over every word (loved your giving birth image) for five likes?! Haha!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I loved this! Well done, both the post and the song.

    There is a famous writer whose name I cannot remember (don’t tell him, he’d be crushed,) but he gave an interview once where he confessed that his wife and grown children never read any of his work. They weren’t in the least bit interested in what had supported them all these years. That rattled my cage, made an impact on me, but it was good too, comforting to know. Even if you are rich and famous, even if you have great success, sometimes those closest to you are still going to be, “meh, that’s not really my thing.” They shouldn’t be like that, but they often are. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  7. There is such a powerful display of love to be found in the words that were brought together to form the lyrics of your song. My attention was fractured as I tried to read the body of the post, but the moment that my eyes came to the first words of the song, tears came to my eyes. I was feeling the emotion of the music without even knowing the melody it was singing. Still in this moment, without even remembering the specifics of the words of the lyrics that I read, I am still brought to tears recounting my experience with reading the music of your soul.

    Truly you put something special together because without written word or lyric or sound to be heard, I could feel the love and perspective that you pieced together. Such a beautiful experience to witness. Thank you for touching my heart so and thank you for loving God so beautifully. Humanity is better for your perspective and love of God.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Alura, this is one of the most beautiful comments I have ever received. I’m so glad you caught the vision. I suspect you were touched by the Holy Spirit, and that would mean my prayer was answered. I do love God, although I will never love Him as much as He deserves – not in this life, anyway. But even reaching for Him has its own reward. Hence, “SEEKING Divine Perspective.” Blessings to you as you seek Him, too.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I am so thankful this was received positively. I do felt I was moved by the Holy Spirit. My spirituality is profound and I feel a deep connection with the One Above that moves me in ways that go beyond simple explanation. God is alive in my soul and his love of humanity was deeply touched by your words and your attempt to see things through his eyes. I think more than anything God loves when his children try to have their Father’s perspective in their simple mortal existence. It’s like a child choosing Mom or Dad as their role model and dressing up like they do when they go to work.

        I understand the sentiment of not being able to love him as much as he deserves. My ever loving drive is to create a love within me profound enough to move the heart of God solely in the direction of healing. Which is a crazy thought because why would God that is Perfect need healing?

        Well the truth is that he doesn’t but I want to love him so well that he heals himself of something that wasn’t even a problem before I started loving him so much. I want to help his heart grow even bigger than it already is giving him room to love even those who need to walk apart from him so he no longer hurts when people can’t understand his ways.

        I’m crazy but I’m crazy about God and I simply don’t care to be any other way.

        I hope your day is going well and that you are finding many blessings along your path to the end of the day. I find much pleasure and enjoyment in recognizing the blessings that appear before me. I hope you find peace in the same passing of time.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. My understanding of God is that He is an endless supply of love and healing. I don’t understand why He chooses to share in our suffering, but then there’s a lot I don’t understand about Him, and as we can see from the Cross, He HAS chosen to suffer with us (and for us) – “for the joy set before him.” (Hebrews 12:2) Thanks so much for your input. Have a blessed day!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I am completely in the same belief that God is an endless supply of love and healing. It is from his Perfect Love and Consideration that we ourselves know how to love and think of others. And though I’m in the same boat with you as to why God chooses to suffer with us, I feel deep in my heart that I would love to relieve him of his suffering. I appreciate his concern and caring but I don’t care to have him hurting on our behalf. And so if it is possible, I hope to love the hurt out of our relationship with him. I hope to relieve God of the need to have his Son on the Cross for our Salvation. I guess in my mind I hope to help people stop needing a Cross to save them and start acting in God’s Best Interest (or in other’s words, following God’s Will).

        Thank you so much for the sharing of words. I love interacting with others and I deeply enjoy sharing a profound love of God with others. I love those that are out there professing how much God moves them – it just makes my heart soar. Thanks for being one of those bright spots in the interweb for people to find and light a spark within.

        Liked by 1 person

    3. Jesus has already suffered for us, so that’s a done deal (and I’m glad He did, or we would all be lost. We do not have the goodness or the power to erase our own sins). Jesus told us that when we feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, welcome a stranger, and visit the sick and the prisoner – when we relieve the suffering of others – we are doing it for Him. So our work is cut out for us, isn’t it? 😉

      Like

  8. I’m in an unusual position. I have a deaf friend who has written a few songs. You read that right. She recorded them and I have to transcribe them. She doesn’t process vibrato like you hear on the radio, she hears it as the sound cutting out so she imitates that in her songs. Her voice is really scratchy. Her lyrics are pretty good though. It is taking me quite a while to do this! I’m not sure it will ever sound right. What would you do in a situation like that?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. How interesting! Are you transcribing just the lyrics, or the melodies too? Are you planning to pitch them? I don’t know where you are, but when I was doing more songwriting, I contacted demo services in Nashville. They recorded my songs with professional singers and musicians. Later I went to Nashville and did the singing for a few demos. I haven’t done it in a while, but that’s what I would do if I were in your situation.

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