Thursday, March 8, 2018

Thinking about writing ...

I've been pondering this matter of writing, as you might expect, the last few days. (The last few decades, to be honest, but let's try to stay focused, now.) Rereading my last blog post I was disturbed because it sounds (at least to me) like all I do, ever, is sit around angsting about whether and what I should write.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

If that was the case, I would do far more writing than I actually do. The fact that most of my life is a mess of "doing" -- doing laundry, taking care of my friend's dog, buying groceries, or the many and various things I do that qualify as "work" -- means that I have this luxury of pondering time without feeling undue pressure to accomplish something. Thinking about writing becomes a fun thing I do at the beginning or the end of the day, partly because I have no pressure from an audience or any other kind of deadline to produce a written product, so I have the luxury of ideating about writing rather than doing the hard work of writing.

So after a long, busy day of work and necessities yesterday, I had an hour or two in the evening while puttering with a few other things to come back to this business of pondering the work of words. I read a little poetry (rediscovering Yeats, for one) and some online articles and a little Tolkien. You see, reading is the fuel of writing, and you have to read something with substance, I believe, to write things with substance. In the midst of those various readings I pondered more about this business of writing.

Then I set that carefully aside, because today I have a couple big tasks at work and I need to be disciplined about my time and mental energy.

A few weeks ago my daughter and son-in-law were visiting and they made a comment I've been rolling around in my head ever since. They said, "You could probably make a living writing -- but not if you set out with that as your goal. You just need to write what's in you to write and let it happen."


So this morning, while drinking coffee (of course) and reading (of course) some substantive things to center my heart in Jesus, and spending some time in conversation with him, and then revising today's presentation, and collecting my notes for the meeting after the presentation, and thinking through what doors need to be unlocked and at what time, and when will I get that big oak tree cut up, and can I get by one more day without doing dishes (probably not), all the while, along with a few other really important topics, I am rolling around this business of writing. And pondering how best to translate that into action.

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