(Another post for #reverb10.)
December 2 Writing.
What do you do each day that doesn’t contribute to your writing — and can you eliminate it?
(Author: Leo Babauta)
Aside from working and sleeping?
Well, I'm kidding.
For me, in recent years, writing mostly took the form of blogging. And the thing that has gotten in the way of it is a combination of recognizing the audience has declined and having things to write about that felt quite legitimately unbloggable. How personal do we want to get, if we're a pastor, and people from the church(es) we serve read this stuff? I set a rule for myself that the blog material ought not be anything I wouldn't say in a sermon, with the understanding that not everything I write here would be interesting in a sermon.
Really what I was saying is I would present my life to the world in a certain way.
Which leads me to confess to the first thing I do each day that doesn't contribute to my writing:
My wish to present my life to *myself* in a certain way.
The more my life diverged from the picture I wanted to present, the less I wrote.
Which leads me to the other thing I do that doesn't contribute to my writing:
I got used to an audience. And the combination of not wanting to put things in front of an audience (including myself) and the decline in blogging in general and my entire investment in doing my writing in the forum of blogging all combined to less writing by me.
In August, I started using 750Words for daily writing, and I actually met the September challenge to write every day, but I didn't maintain it after that. I liked the place to purge emotions, but it felt lonely. I missed having feedback.
Which leads me to one more thing that daily gets in the way:
The Twitter. I love Twitter because there is almost always someone to talk to, in those 140 character snippets, someone to give feedback, or if nothing else, someone linking to something interesting.
I'm not obsessed. I'm not there every single day reading every tweet by everyone I follow. But I would be less than honest if I didn't admit I like the contact, of a sort, that has moved from blogs to Facebook and Twitter.
But the truth is the more I write, the better I write, no matter where I'm writing or what I'm writing about, and I need it not just to fuel sermons but for myself. I've called it my spiritual practice, and it's true that without it I feel less connected to my authenticity (which may sound weird given the way I approached blogging). The interesting thing about writing on 750Words so faithfully is that it came during a time of great upheaval, and I felt extremely close to God despite seeing the structures of my life as I understood it in a state of some collapse. So maybe I was getting feedback. It just wasn't as measurable as @ responses on Twitter or Facebook "likes" or blog comments. That's the tricky thing about the inner life, isn't it?
So here I am, writing. We'll see how this goes.