There is a great blog over at www.michaelhyatt.com. You may recognize that name from Thomas Nelson Publishers. He’s now writing, blogging and speaking about writing, blogging and speaking. He recently hosted a guess blogger, Todd Henry, founder of Accidental Creative who introduced the concept of “dying empty.” Here’s the gist of it from http://michaelhyatt.com/why-i-hope-to-die-empty.html:
I was in a meeting in which a South African friend asked, “Do you know what the most valuable land in the world is?” The rest of us were thinking, “Well, probably the diamond mines of Africa, or maybe the oil fields of the middle east?”
“No,” our friend replied, “it’s the graveyard, because with all of those people are buried unfulfilled dreams, unwritten novels, masterpieces not created, businesses not started, relationships not reconciled. THAT is the most valuable land in the world.”
Then a little phrase popped into my head in such a way that it felt almost like a mandate. The phrase was “die empty.” While it may sound intimidating, it was actually very freeing because I was suddenly aware that it’s not my job to control the path of my career or what impact I may or may not have on the world. My only job—each and every day—is to empty myself, to do my daily work, and to try as much as possible to leave nothing unspoken, uncreated, unwritten.
This phrase hit me hard. The challenges of my life (husband’s cancer) along with the uncertainty in the world cause me to cherish the blessing of each day. I want every day to count. I want to be able to point to blessing others each and every day I have left.
I’m not getting any younger. At 55, I look around my writing room and see SO MUCH STUFF. So many saved ideas and articles. More dreams to chase than I will ever have time to pursue. I have vowed to myself that when I go, my dreams will be fulfilled, my books will be written, my masterpieces created, my little spot on the web will be fully developed and my relationships will be reconciled. (More on that in the future. God is so good!)
So I bought a really neat desktop scanner (Fujitsu ScanSnap S1300) that enables me to scan all the pieces written on different computers, digitize the books that have gone out of print and basically help me go paperless. My plan is to share/give away/charge a ridiculous low price for the stuff I have created over the years. (And yes I’m still writing new stuff. More on that in the future. God is so good!)
A few years ago, my friend Virginia Vagt and I created two ebooks – Seasonal Savors and Accidental Learning. She is a whiz with editing and design so these first two ebooks are quite spiffy.
She got busy with life and since then I’ve created more ebooks – Homeschool Spice, Managing Multiple Ages, What to do when mothering is a mess, and Quibbling Siblings. They aren’t nearly as spiffy as the ones I wrote with VV, but they are full of great info! My plan is to have a new one as a giveaway each month. If you’re on my mailing list, you’ll automatically receive it. If you’re not on my mailing list, jump in! Then it will slide off into the store to be sold for a few dollars.
Are you a student studying computer graphics or design? Would you like to work on design projects that you can then showcase in your portfolio? If yes, contact me. I’d love some help making my ebooks more beautiful. I would be a great reference for your future career!
So, I’m emptying out – my files, my to-do lists, my brain, my idea bank.
What are you holding close that you need to give away so that you will die empty? Sharing our ideas, our dreams, and our experiences is like an exhilarating swing on a beautiful day. Will you miss the thrill?
Don’t leave those dreams unfulfilled. Every life tells a story. What’s yours?
We’re all enriched when we share. Do it now.