I write all the time.
My simplest writings, of course, are text messages and Facebook and Instagram posts. These are produced almost as effortlessly some days as breathing.
Emails are exchanged frequently.
Scholastically, I’m producing content at high rates in order to achieve my master’s degree.
Theologically, I write sermons, I write Sunday School lessons, and even devotions (you can read some here as eVotions on the Cumberland Presbyterian denominational website).
Once upon a time, I wrote small stories about sports and activities and individuals that were printed every day, and people paid to read them.
I chronicle and reflect. I note my life’s goings on in my Bullet Journal and make lists. Each night before I fall asleep, I reflect on all the positive, beautiful things of a day, and write down my Favorite in journal I keep by my bed. This writing is the least pressure-filled as I don’t intend to show these writings to anyone else.
There is never a day I don’t write.
Then there’s the creative side of my writing, and writing that I produce specifically for an audience — this blog, and you, the reader.
This blog is a demanding mistress, crying for attention and requesting my affection. Some days it is a source of pride and release; other days, it’s a source of stress as I work to satisfy its solicitations.
I have blog entries started in various email drafts folders, on my phone, and on my iPad. They eventually are finished and find their way to your screen. You’ll see a few of these languishing posts this summer, I’m sure.
I know my limits as a writer, and things I want to improve on: I’m rarely going to wow someone with my witty quips, I stink at metaphors, and my poetic phrasing is in desperate need of help. Looking forward to a career in the church, I wish I could take a class on writing beautiful liturgies because such things are simply not in my wheelhouse.
But as a trained journalist, I can spit out meaningful observations about an event, person, or location, and I can tell you a poignant story simply.
Sometimes, sitting down to write is painful. Exhausting. I don’t want to do it!
Anne Lamott has many great quotes about writing (oh, the shitty first draft!), but this one helps me:
“Almost all good writing begins with terrible first efforts. You need to start somewhere.”-Anne Lamott
This summer I will continue to start and start again.
My goal for this season is to finish a story I started long ago. It has chapters, and a plot, and funny characters, and a conflict, a climax, and a hero. In fact, it’s done — it just needs fresh eyes and a hard, honest edit.
It’s not blog fodder, which means if I’m absent for a while, don’t worry.
I’m always working with words.