I’ve been invisible for more than a month and I’m not proud of that. It’s incredibly frustrating…like watching grass go dormant during a drought. It’s not a creative drought though – quite the opposite. I’ve had tons of ideas. Time, on the other hand, has been elusive.
Parenting, writing, editing, consulting, teaching, ministering, and evolving all take time. So do eating, sleeping, driving, and plain old waiting. I try to wait effectively: I edit while I wait for choir practice to end; I write while I wait at soccer practice; I outline in my head while I wait at the red lights. I get the bird and a few loud horns when the light turns green and I’m still rearranging scenes in my head.
When you’re a writer, a creative, there’s so much to take in around you and so much to send back out. Stuff gets inside you, whips around, shakes you up, and changes your perspective. As the Johnny Clegg tune says, it’s a “cruel, crazy, beautiful world” and the sources of inspiration are endless.
Over the last four or five weeks, these inspirations all caught my attention like sparkly objects in the water:
- The uniqueness of the Gospel of John, and seeing what sets him apart from Matthew, Mark, and Luke as a writer
- The Wings of the Morning aviation ministry in the Democratic Republic of Congo (more on that in a future post)
- All the amazing writers – the published and those still in there swinging – I met at the Western Reserve Writers Conference in Cleveland
- Bird life in my backyard
- An exciting blog called FullOn365 by the amazing Ana Neff (I can’t recommend it enough, along with her life-calling as a Ziji mentor. What’s Ziji? Well, you’ll just have to check it out!)
What really got me moving from “shoulds” to “oh-just-do-it-already!” was a recent post from Thoughts on Theatre called “Why We Write”.
She celebrates her 100th blog post reflecting on what she’s learned as a blogger. So as I sit here completing my 50th entry, I’m reflecting on her insights, and thinking how I can apply them to build a better blog and remain consistent.
The one that spoke to me the most was “Small Messages are often the Best Ones”, which reminded me that not every post needs to be an epic work of art. We don’t always have literary genius inside us. Sometimes it’s just a quirky little observation like “Huh. Guess what I learned today…”
The next idea that pushed me to try and get my groove back was “There are Few Things Better than a Good Laugh”. True that. There’s plenty of Serious out there. But whether it’s a full-out belly laugh or just a grin, we could all use a little more levity.
The third lesson on her list was “Keep Going”…and I’m going to quote her directly on this:
“No matter what. Life will pop up with it’s surprises both large and small, but let them push you forward instead of hold you back.”
I’d say that not only applies to consistent blogging, but living. Move forward, not backward.
In the spirit of moving forward, here’s an update on my Word of the Year progress:
- Attended the Belly Flea Agora with my friends Jen and Craig, which reminded me just how magical dance can be
- Purchased two exquisite hip scarves at said event, which was part dance show and part Moroccan bazaar
- Landed a part time job as a copywriter, returning to a former employer (more on that in another post)
- Submitted a 441-word story to NPR’s Three-Minute Fiction competition for Round 8. I pat myself on the back for completing and submitting a story, regardless of win-place-show or honorable mention
- On the books to teach FOUR classes this summer at Owens Community College (look for more on that soon, too)
- My first paintball experience – I discovered I have sniper tendencies. I’m like a paintball ninja!
I think if I’ve learned anything in 50 posts – and in life in general – it’s not enough to read about what other people are doing here in the blogosphere. You have to BE. You have to DO.
So get out there and have some fun – then tell me all about it!