5/22/14

book vs. blog: the long and the short of it

This little blog has been increasingly quiet, a fact that I've tried to be OK about. In the last few years I've tried to write a book, an attempt that required new ways to think about time, sleep, and sustaining creative energy. And in the whole of it, the blog was one thing that could be set aside, that could wait until...what exactly, I'm not sure.

Writing a book has been nuts. Plain 'ol nuts. Some days I feel on top of the world, so jazzed by the whole process, so convinced that I was made to do it. Other days, I'm a wreck and it's just not working and I don't know how to fix it and it can't be anyone else's fault and I'm embarrassed that I spent two years writing a bad book. And then I cry. 

Lately, the book (which is done and in the "What do I do now?" phase) has felt like an unhealthy relationship. I love you but you make me crazy.  I don't want to be with you but I can't leave. I've invested too much to walk away. I need some space. It's not you, it's me. And you. Mainly you. You make me crazy. I am a crazy person when I'm trying to write you. But I'm also happy. And unstable. Good-bye forever. See you tomorrow.

The Sane One in all this (that would be my husband) continues to be the voice of reason, speaking louder than the voices in my head. He reminded me last week that I didn't set out to publish a book; I set out to write. And it's in writing that I wake up a little, that my life makes more sense, that I find some space in my crowded thoughts. 

Don't think so much, he said. Just write. 

I like that idea, in theory, but then the questions start rolling and I wonder Am I really going to abandon my little story? And what does that say about me if I do? Was it all for nothing? Do I just save it and move on? Work on the next story? Go back to blogging? Find a new hobby that will, in turn, drive me crazy in new and unforetold ways?

Then he smiles and shakes his head. 

Just write, he says. Wake up and write. 

So here we are. 

Good morning, world. 
Good morning, blog. 
Good morning, reader, whoever you are. 

Maybe you're like me and you're wrestling to squeeze a passionate life in between meals and errands and laundry. 

Maybe you've poured something out in a honest and genuine way, and now you're staring at it as you try to figure out what all that was for.

Maybe you feel empty, uninspired, stuck on autopilot, longing for more.

Maybe you're in the zone, in tune with who you are and the life you were created to live.

Maybe you're dreams are bigger than your hours. 

Maybe all you long for is for the longing to just go away. 

Well, maybe that's OK. Here we are, somewhere between the beginning and the end, trying to live a good story and be the kinds of people that we desperately want to be. 

In our small group last Sunday, we were talking about ministry burnout, the common experience of people who have tried to serve Jesus with everything and found that, after years, they had little left to offer. A friend offered the perspective that perhaps God was like a parent who watched his kid try something, try and try and try. And just maybe He wasn't disappointed that all the trying didn't yield something amazing; maybe He was proud of how hard his kid had tried. 

That image struck me deep, partially as I think of leaving the Boys Home five years ago, partially as I look at this 90,000 word document on my laptop. There is something in the giving, in the offering, that can be beautiful in itself. That's not to say all those things are fruitless; but to say that maybe there is more value than the fruit. There's value in the work itself, in the pushing hard and the open hands and the tear-stained cheeks. There's value in stepping into fear, in moving ahead even when afraid, in trying new things because you feel stirred and hopeful. There's even value in the smallness that comes when it's not easy, when it doesn't all click, when it only seems to add questions. But maybe the attempt itself can do things in our souls that make it all worth it.

In the end, I know these things to be true: I love to write. I wrote a book. It's a quirky book, a book that will probably not be published or change the world or go down as a great work of literature. The writing of it made silly and desperate and alive. And somehow at the end of it, I make more sense to myself. 

I won't make promises about how often I'll be posting here- those don't usually come about. But I am glad to be back writing, hope to be here more often this summer, hope you'll meet me from wherever you are. 

Thanks for reading. Thanks for hanging in there through the quiet months. 

Catch ya later. 

2 comments:

Tawnya said...

This post speaks ask to where I am Becky....So much more to write but I have to keep moving. Will come back or message you..Thank you, thank you.

Tawnya said...
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