Tamara, I forgot to mention a few thoughts I had about your proposal, the original reason for writing. Four thoughts about good proposals/prospectuses:
1. Keep it clear: Do people understand clearly what you're saying and what you're asking/inviting them into?
2. Keep it simple: Less really is more. People get inundated with written material, especially from the internet, and the shorter we can say things, the sweeter. I have been known to commit sins of wordiness and I'm trying to repent as quick as possible.
3. Keep it helpful: Do people understand what's involved practically? Also, is there an opportunity to educate and inform your audience by what and how you say things.
4. Inspire: Do people catch a sense of your own excitement for the project/event? Do they see the vision? Are their hearts stirred?
And that's that. It's an unscientific series of thoughts off the top of my head, but they've generally worked for us.
Thanks for this epilogue!
I realized we hadn’t discussed this when I went out to the kitchen to meet my family for dinner and my husband said, “So? What’d he say?” Oh, yeah…the prospectus. : )
1:40 am –sitting in front of computer screen, small desk lamp lit in dark house, drinking a Mich lite, listening to William Ackerman on acoustic guitar
I can not sleep.
Brian asked me what it was I was feeling.
The only word I could think of –
Poor guy had almost gotten to sleep, too.
“This whole – what’s the right word? – issue seems so daunting. It’s huge. It’s way too big for me. I can’t play at this like it’s a game, but the reality we’re living in every day ministry . . . . is so opposite of the thoughts and ideas and conversations I’ve been having and reading and hearing that the tension between the two (ideal and reality) seems overwhelming. I know I have to live in reality…I can’t play at this like it’s a game, but I feel like I’m all alone. No one else seems to care nearly as much as I do about this – what’s the word? – concept.”
My back story:
*I grew up a preacher’s kid – oldest of six kids – poor. Parents spent all they had to send us to Christian school where we got a lousy education – especially in the arts. Most exposure we received there (other than the choir and Christmas program) was the annual play put on by Bob Jones University. ‘nuff said.
*I married my high school sweetheart 2 years into my college career. We planned for me to complete my degree in journalism/public relations, and did not plan for our first child to be born nine months (almost to the day) following our wedding.
*I do not have a degree; I am not even what you could call an amateur artist.
*I am a part-time employee with a $3,000 annual budget for creative arts and my major task each week is to make sure the services happen in 75 minutes or less and that the pastor and the worship team know what each other is doing during that 75 minutes
*I love the arts; I love people – especially the church; I cannot stop caring about the arts in the church (the artists in the church?)
I am realizing that so much of my energy in this – what’s the word? – arena has been motivated by a profound grief over the lack of classical training I received growing up. No great literature. Only the briefest, perfunctory explorations of the historical eras. Not even meaningful lessons in theology. The feeling that “Wait a minute! I’ve been robbed.” has driven me the past 5 years. I’m beginning to think that God wants me to be motivated in a more proactive energy now, but can’t decide what to call that. What’s the word? Calling?
Tamara, thank you for sending me your journal entry. It was very beautiful. I want you to know, you're not alone. There are so many folks who share the exact same feelings. We're with you; I'm with you. For what it's worth I've received no formal training as an artist.
But keep going. What you're doing is important. Keep your eyes on Jesus and keep reminding yourself of the vision He's given you for your life and the place of art in it.
And . . . here's a wild thought. How would you feel about letting me post your journal entry (edited if you wish, but still in its raw state) and then my response here. I say this not in a self-indulgent way but to say that I think a lot of people out there in blogland might be really encouraged, sympathetically, empathetically. Feel completely free to say no. Not a worry. It just strikes me that others might receive comfort from your brief self-disclosure.
Let me know.
(PHOTO: Sam Beam and David Beam)