Giving myself a time out

Keeping a blog lets me Empty my mind of the stories trapped inside

“When are you going to sit your rear-end down and write again?”  I’ve been toying with this question in various forms for the past 2 months.  And I respond…

  • I don’t have to
  • I don’t want to
  • I don’t have the time
  • I don’t have the energy
  • I don’t have anything to say
  • I don’t want to share with anyone

The excuses are easy and rarely challenged and I’m quick to log on to Netflix, flip a magazine, walk the dog or enjoy a podcast instead.  But, for the past week, my neglect for dropping a line has been hanging over me like a raincloud. First, came a brilliant post from one of my favorite authors who has a knack for calling it like it is when she tells me (obviously not me but some other poor morning scribbler) that you write everyday and it’s gonna be bad but you keep at it. And then a text from my alter ego who tells me she is dying (yes, that’s the degree quality friends will go for you) to read about our life in groovy Southern California. And finally, in my head, stories fighting for space. Long, rich tales about Lilly and her forced march from Grape Day Park or William and his midnight dance marathon. Not to mention the ghosts of 125 W 7th Street.

I’m a pretty smart chick and if I wanted to buckle down and get back to writing, I could have done it lickety-split. But it comes down to one rotten trait: I’m a control freak. A card-carrying member of the “I’ll do it by myself, thank you very much” club. After joining the staff of Crossroads Church in July, it’s been a crazy-go-round experience–first impressions, trials and errors, meetings and seminars and retreats (oh my!) all in an attempt to find some sort of balance between doing too much and not doing enough. And each new morning, I wake up thinking “here we go again!” and literally, I do it again.  And because I’m the new kid on the block, and I’ve got a debilitating need to be liked I often say, “Yes!” and “Yes!”  Pastor Mark gives me all the major league advice, the kind that people who’ve been through it all before and have learned a lesson or two about perfectionism or excessive self-criticism but manage to come out the other side and extend a hand to help pull you through.

Gradually, I’ve come to realize that something has to give. And I think it’s that pesky little contraction don’t. So I began my writing today with a little exercise. What would it be like to play opposite day with my words. And this is what I discovered…

  • I have to
  • I want to
  • I have the time
  • I have the energy
  • I have something to say
  • I want to share with everyone! A statement which rightly deserves an exclamation because that’s naturally how it feels to write those words.

Tomorrow, I’ll get up and write. Most likely it will be a mish-mash of half-formed sentences, excessive metaphors and lots of line breaks; in other words very bad writing.  But I’ll do it and maybe hang a vacate sign alerting new stories to cue up and move on in.