Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Sad (07/26/07)
TITLE: What A Challenge!
By Deborah Engle
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The page comes up, revealing what I am looking for, but my enthusiasm is suddenly dashed. The reason? This week’s topic is “Sad”!
Sad? I have to write about Sad? I’m startled! Isn’t this supposed to be fun? How can this be fun? Sad is all about things nobody wants to think about. Sad is broken hearts and suffering, disappointment and hopelessness.
“Okay”, I tell myself, “if that’s what they want, let’s see what I can do.” Brainstorming might be a good place to start. First things first - what does the word mean? The primary definition of the word is unhappy, sorrowful, downcast. Other words that occur to me are disappointed, miserable, and discouraged. And there’s a second meaning - grievous, pitiful, or worthless. Next, what do I know about “Sad”? Everybody becomes sad sometimes. Being sad affects your countenance, as well as your perspective. Some people cry when they are sad. When you’re sad you might try to hide it but deep down you’re still sad. Others might try to cheer you up but it doesn’t always work. Oh my, this is getting depressing, I better move on.
What kind of approach should I try? A first person account? Let me think about that – hmm... no lack of material there. A childhood story about playing Hide and Seek and being the only one that nobody bothered to look for comes to mind. That’s pretty sad. What about the night when I saw my mom wheeled out of surgery after she suffered a fall down the stairs. That’s even sadder! Yes, I could go that route, but how many sad tales can a judge tolerate? Besides, by the time I finish the writing, I may need therapy, and I don’t have time for that.
How about the obvious - a spiritual application. A friend told me that sadness builds character so does that mean we should embrace it? Is it okay to be sad? What does the Bible say? What did Jesus say? What were the things that made Him sad? Is there a solution for sadness or a way to avoid it altogether? This is beginning to sound like a possibility, but can I do it without sounding “preachy”, or worse, coming across as hypocritical? Somehow this approach seems to demand excellence that I’m not sure I’m capable of. What if my pathetic attempt at writing doesn’t communicate the right message and someone misunderstands? And then again, it does seem like the obvious and who wants to be predictable? I’d prefer to come up with something unique.
Maybe I should go with an inspirational story - something that starts out sad, but in the end turns out to be happy. I can get into that. Tragedy, grief, struggle, hope reborn, and finally triumph! I know just the thing - I could write about how my earliest attempt to play baseball resulted in a terrible bloody nose, an eye that would not look normal for a month and one very sad little girl, but how I never quit trying and one memorable day made a very impressive play that even my coach acknowledged, then after many years was finally able to earn my way to positions on several all-star teams. That sounds good. In fact, I can’t wait to read it, but knowing I tend to get a little wordy, maybe I should hold off on this until word count isn’t such an issue.
Wow! This week’s Challenge is turning out to be quite a lot of work and I haven’t even gotten started. My original enthusiasm seems to have diminished. How come they made it so hard? I wonder where I ever got the idea that I could do this? Maybe I’m not really up for this writing thing after all. Now that possibility really makes me sad!
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