Since the beginning of the year, I’ve had… well, I dare not call it a “writer’s block” because I feel that one has to be a good writer to experience such things.
So, lack of inspiration? Lack of dedication? Too much apathy, not enough passion? Meh.
But, I have lots and lots and lots of half written posts lying around and even more one line thoughts and ideas stored on Evernote.
I get excited about the things that are floating in my head. Then I start typing. Then I stop. Then I read what was typed. Then I get… I don’t know. Bored? Disinterested? Or, I just don’t know where to go next. So, I just stop and move on to a different project.
More recently, I notice that I do that with books, too. I have more half-read books lying around than unread books. I start reading. I get excited about the new thoughts that the author proposes. Then… I don’t know. I get bored. Or something. The TV seems to be more alive than it should be. Or there’s something shiny that gets my attention.
In fact, I almost half-wrote this post about half-finished posts and books. And, this time, it really was because I saw something shiny outside. It turned out to be just a glare from someone opening their car door (currently sitting at Starbucks.) But, you know, once the head and eyes are no longer fixated on the screen, there are so many things to look at, assess and ponder. Like people. So, I start people watching. Sometimes coming up with a narrative for them. Other times just wondering about them. What do they do for a living? Why are they here? Work? Rest? Caffeine fix? Where they gonna go after? Why was she so rude to everyone? Why is he in such a hurry? Why are those two adults talking about Twilight?
And why is that person looking at me looking at him? Uh oh. How long have we looked at one another now? Do I look away first? But, it’s obvious that I got caught looking at him. Do I smile at him? Would that make it more awkward? I should just look away. But, I don’t want to lose this game of staring chicken that somehow we got going here… Geez, I better look away first before I’m obligated to buy him a drink… Now where was I?
My friends, that is a glimpse of my weird, awkward, and a bit neurotic mind.
People have written and shared that one should just power through in times where inspiration or motivation of writing runs dry. Write first — critique later. You know, kind of like the slogan from a very obscure apparel company: “Just do it.”
So, I did — with a book first. I received a copy of Who Is This Man? by John Ortberg. I told myself, even if this book is horrible, I’m going to read the whole darn thing.
Fortunately, it was not horrible. I thoroughly enjoyed it and gained lots of new and different insights from Ortberg’s writing. It also helped that the second half of the book was read on a boat on the Caribbean Sea. And, I would recommend it (the book. Oh, and the cruise) — though not to people of my congregation because there are some things and ideas that I want to “borrow” for my sermons and I don’t want them to hear those ideas in a more eloquent and sophisticated and better (and original) way than I have to offer.
I also intend to finish all those half-written, unfinished blogposts one of these days. Well, maybe not finish all of them, because some of them really don’t deserve to be finished or given a second thought.
I intend to continue writing, not because I want to attempt to make a career at it, or drive visits to the blog, or because I think I’m good at it (I’m not. I think I live up to my name in that I’m just average. In almost everything. Except being awesome. That’s one area where I am not an average Joe. I exude awesomeness. Just FYI).
But simply put, it gives me great joy and relief, even.
When I preach, I don’t want to preach for 40+ minutes. (I can take my voice for only so long…) But there are so many things I want to address that doesn’t fit in to the sermon or doesn’t help the sermon flow. I have an outlet for moments like that — the blog.
When I have something I want to get off my chest — I have the blog. When I really have something I want to get off my chest, I have my personal journal, where names are written down (kidding. I don’t use names, but adjectives. Heh).
My prayers? I write those down, too. No particular reason why. I like writing my prayers down. And I like visiting them months and months later to reflect on my prayers. How they were answered? What made me pray such prayers? Have I grown? How? If not, why? And so forth.
Having this blog for about 6 or 7 years has been a healthy outlet for me. It’s given me enough of an ego boost by being a small soapbox for me to stand on. It’s also kept me humble knowing that only a handful of people are gracious enough to take time and read my blog. And even more humbled that people are gracious enough to actually take time and read the things I write.
So, here’s another year to updating this blog (if for no other reason, I already shelled out the cash to keep my domain name with wordpress for another year).
See you sometime next week. But I’ll leave you with a thought:
There are 2 secrets to success:
1) Never tell everything you know.