I am a writer.
I’m a writer because I write.
But it has occurred to me lately that I should occasionally ask myself why I write…
To put it incredibly simplistically, I write because I don’t tend to know what I think until I’ve written it.
It makes me wonder then — why do I feel like I need to write every day, if I don’t have anything of value to say? Why do I just spew words for the sake of spewing words? Why? Is there value in self-reflection? I would argue that there is.
The last few months, I’ve been desperately trying to garner more followers to this here blog, and I suppose I’ve succeeded in that aim, but I’ve noticed a pattern. The days I gather followers are the days when I’ve posted something that I thought up myself, or at least when I’ve taken a prompt and run in my own direction with it… not the days I’ve taken a mindless prompt and hardly given it any original thought — writing just for the sake of writing. Is that any different from talking just to talk? Should I be writing just to write if I shouldn’t talk just to talk?
This is the reason I’ve written nothing since March 7th.
This is the reason I’ve abandoned NaBloPoMo altogether.
Writing should not be a chore. I love writing. I write to think. Some things, I guess…. just don’t really need to be thought about?
I’ve been pondering something else alongside all of this…. You see, if I truly do write to think and process ~ and I believe that that’s true of me ~ shouldn’t I be using this craft for something deeper and more substantial? Could the words that spill out of me so effortlessly using a keyboard or a pen not be used to Worship and glorify my Creator when the words I speak so often get ixed mup and tangled so badly that I forget what I was talking about? I know, I know… this doesn’t happen all the time. I’m pretty well spoken verbally as well, but I find that when I pray I am so easily distracted that I’m talking to God about something and SQUIRREL! Yeah… that’s about how it goes. I teach like that some days, too…. it’s pretty fun when you have to rely on students to put your train back on its’ track.
But if my brain processes better while I write, if I focus better while I write, and if I’m better spoken and far more eloquent when I write than when I speak, why wouldn’t I talk to God like that? I must admit, I’ve never written a prayer. I know many people who have. I know many people who admit that it helps them focus, because it’s like writing a letter to a dear friend.
So I’ve abandoned NaBloPoMo, for March anyway. I don’t think I’ll go back to it for April. I haven’t given up anything for Lent, mostly because I was afraid I’d fail…. but maybe even though I’m late I can add something in. I have a blank journal beside my bed, and I’d like to pray with a pen in my hand from here on out. I’d like to see if it can add some focus to my conversations with the One who matters most, since, you know, SQUIRREL!
I’ll keep you posted. Until then, though, I hereby announce that I am no longer committed to blogging every single day, lest feeling like I’m forcing myself to do it sucks the joy and the life out of it. I will still continue to receive all of the prompts into my inbox from The Spin Cycle, Mama Kat (check out her Writer’s Workshop, too), Holley Gerth (check out Coffee For Your Heart), BlogHer’s prompts, and The Daily Post, but I reserve the right to pick and choose the ones that I tackle, if I choose to write any at all.
And who knows what kind of gold I’ll crank out now that I’ve relieved my own source of pressure?