I didn’t think it would take me another year before I wrote a blog and I certainly don’t want to wait until it snows before I write again. Writing is something that is a part of who I am, so why do I find it so difficult to do it? Stephen King said, “The scariest moment is just before you start.” Perhaps that’s why I don’t start – it’s scary!!
People wonder why I don’t just sit down and write a novel. Even though writing comes easy to me, it can be one of the hardest things to do. I can relate to American journalist Gene Fowler when he said, “Writing is easy: All you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead.” And German novelist Thomas Mann said, “A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.”
A friend of mine is an artist and she totally understands that an artist or a writer can spend hours conceptualizing before even starting a project. Maybe that’s why I have a tendency to put my writing on the back burner – because it takes more time than I actually have. I’ve realized for a long time that saying that is a real cop-out. I need to write. I need to make writing my top priority. That’s all there is to it.
Every writer tells would-be writers to write every day. I have to admit, I don’t write every day. Sometimes I can go for months without writing and yet I call myself a writer. William Faulkner said, “Don’t be ‘a writer’. Be writing.” I feel like I have failed miserably as a writer. Even Ray Bradbury said, “You fail only if you stop writing.”
Even though writing is hard, not writing is even harder. Not writing makes me feel like I’m drying up, like my brain is dying, like I’m so far away from who I want to be. Maya Angelou said it best when she said, “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” It is agony for me to not engage in my God-given craft.
A friend gave me a small journal to write a thought in every day. I kept it up for awhile, but I’ve fallen short of writing in it every day. When I do write in it, it causes the creative juices to flow and I don’t want to stop. Just the practice of writing is good exercise. I’m a firm believer in free writing. That’s when I sit down with a pen and paper or at my computer and write whatever comes to my mind. It exercises the creative muscles. I need to do it more often.
For some time now I have felt the Lord leading me back to my writing. I’ve long believed this is my purpose in life. I don’t want to stand at the end of my life and regret not writing the words and ideas that are buried deep within my heart, soul and mind just screaming to get out. I believe to do so would be tragic and in some ways a sacrilege.
Good habits begin with a commitment to develop that habit on a daily basis. I’ve made commitments to my writing many times and life always seems to get in the way. I’m tired of using that as an excuse. It’s time to take a stand. My renewed commitment begins today.