Keep On Keepin’ On (Writing and Reading)

If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that. – Stephen King (from On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft)

I was mindlessly going through Instagram stories when a colleague shared a picture of Stephen King’s book On Writing in her story.
I don’t know why — but I was really intrigued. I’ve only read a handful of his book (but thoroughly enjoyed them).
So on a whim, opened the Amazon app on my phone and placed an order for the book (then questioned the wisdom of having the Amazon app on my phone…)

It’s been such a good read. And it got me thinking about writing (and reading).

I remember just how much I despised writing and reading through high school to seminary.
So tedious. So boring.
Even my creative writing course I took in college brought forth little joy.

But then my school career ended (thank you, Jesus). And to my surprise, I actually really enjoyed reading. To my even bigger surprise, writing was no longer tedious nor boring.
Guess for me, school had a lovely way of making me hate things I didn’t really hate. I think being told what to read and what to write then being graded/tested on the things I’ve read/wrote — great way to suck out all the fun.

I started this blog in 2006. That was after starting and stopping (then deleting) several blogs. I remember one of them was called “The Daily Planet” and it provided daily (albeit pointless and boring) musings of my life. The one right before this blog (previously called PRESSING FORWARD before going with the more simple josephyoo.com), I called Mind Bloggling. Because I thought it was a clever word play on mind boggling and blogging (narrator’s voice: It was not).

The blogs gave me an outlet to just write about anything and everything.
I don’t think I’m a great writer. (I don’t do so good with grammar and stuff. And I’m sure that this post and all other ones is chock full of grammatical and spelling errors. That’s after I’ve read them two or three times to check for errors.)
And I’m okay with that. Because at the end of the day, writing was more about me than anyone else. I like it. It’s something that gives me life — which is why part of my days off is spent sitting at a coffee shop writing.

Of course there were (are…?) aspirations and dreams of taking this venture of writing further — like a book or something.
Perhaps, I’ve hit my apex with this blog and a few guest writing spots here and there and with (shameless plug) the two Bible studies that I had the privilege to write (first one here, second one here.) And let’s not forget the weekly sermons that I get to work on. Oh: and this new project that I’m working on.

I am content with that.
I am content with the joy it gives me.
I am grateful for the other opportunities that come here and there to write (and get compensated for!!!!!)

But I do want need to read more.
For the past few years, I’ve set a goal to read 24 books and only once have I met that goal.
And I do want to write more.
Back in 2006, I had a goal of 3 posts a week. That didn’t last long. Neither did 2x per week.
In the recent months, even once a week had become difficult.
Part of it is busyness.
Part of it is laziness.
Part of it is insecurity — like have 15 posts that haven’t gone live. Some because they’re too revealing — meaning that it’s going to get me in the kind of trouble that certainly is not worth it. Majority of them are sitting in the ‘drafts’ section of wordpress because they’re crap and I don’t want to be associated with them. Maybe I’ll revisit them and see if they’re salvageable.
Also — I think I’m going to really work on writing 1000 words a day. Somedays, those words will come easy. Most days, it’ll probably be jibberish.

But here’s to me being more diligent in writing and in reading (I have 7 physical books on my to-read list and 20 on my kindle — but I’m still taking recommendation).

And here’s to you: do what you love; do what gives you life; do what you enjoy while giving the proverbial (or literal) middle finger to the haters.

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