I Am Not A Writer

I’ve come to the conclusion that I am not a writer. I used to think I was, I used to think that some part of me needed writing (and I do), but the way I approach it is very different than the way I think most “real” writers do. And I’m sick of pretending.

I free-write as a way of processing my feelings and venting my frustrations. Sometimes I have thoughts to share, yes. Though honestly, they’re not well thought out. My writing is almost always stream of consciousness. And maybe that’s a good thing, for me, but it doesn’t help the world or accomplish some grand vision of influence.

I write because I have to, and it’s a lonely experience sometimes, though it can also be completely liberating to just sit down in a room by myself and let whatever comes out onto a page. I love that blank page, it’s a place to explore.

Most of the time on this blog, I write because I have thoughts that are bouncing around in my head, and I just can’t get it out any other way. I write because I need to, not because I want to. And I think maybe that’s where I make the distinction.

I write because it’s relaxing and it helps me better understand myself and the world.

I hate editing. That’s why there are probably often typos in my posts or overly redundant phrases and round about ways of wording things. I don’t edit. And isn’t editing the majority of the writing process? If I’m not invested in the process, then how can I be considered worthy of the title?

These are my thoughts on myself, not a judgment on anyone else or their process. And being able to finally say, I am not a writer, it’s just not my priority, has been so incredibly freeing. I will still write because I need to write, but maybe I’m done putting a barrier in my way by insisting that I edit, pressuring myself, and therefore avoiding it entirely.

I don’t know, maybe I’m a writer but not an editor. Hmm… Thoughts? What’s your writing experience like?

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Three Years

Last night WordPress notified me that I’d been blogging for three years. I can’t believe it’s been that long! Thank you to everyone who has been with me on this journey and all of you who have followed along, supported me and encouraged me to keep on writing here. I’m so thankful for all of you! 🙂

Red

I found out the other day that Red has a new album coming out soon. I listened to the 2 songs they have up from the album, and they’re good and still sound like them, but it revealed to me just how much I’ve changed, and that was encouraging.

Red used to be my go to music when I was depressed, it was often the only thing that would help me feel any better, but also allow me to just sit with my feelings if that’s what I needed to do. And I realized while listening to the new songs (it’s been a while since I’ve listened to their music in general), that I don’t need them the same way I used to.

Maybe this is a breakthrough. I’m not the person I was, but I’m still unsure of the person I will be.

Another Rainy Day – Hope

It’s another rainy, cozy day. I should be working… But I’m not. Life fills up with so many shoulds sometimes, but what about the things we genuinely need? Do we give any thought to the lives we live, or just exist one day to the next, passing time until we die?

Days like this make me want to curl up in bed with a good book and a chai latte. Maybe do some writing, but only after my mind is clear enough to allow my thoughts to wander.

I do have a chai latte, but even that is getting cold as I sit and write instead. Or, more honestly, as I stare out the window and into the wet world. Leaves are starting to turn, but not many. Fall seems like it’s holding back, not quite ready to come into the open. Muggy, humid days are still the norm.

Do we all resist change? In some ways I feel like that. Sticky and stagnant, not quite sure how to explore, not sure what’s more genuinely me. I want to move forward, but some part of me is still afraid. Why? And why do I let this fear control me?

I’ve realized lately just how much my fear and insecurity dominates my life. It wasn’t always like this, and, in some ways, I think that makes it harder to deal with. I can’t just say that this is who I’ve always been, I can’t say that it’s been a lifelong battle. And sometimes that discourages me from even fighting, because I don’t always feel like it’s my battle. But it is. Now. Even if it never was before.

Past. Future. The biggest difference is hope. I long for that hope again, I just can’t always see it through the storm. And I’m tired. I’m weary. I’m so worn down and long for rest. But He will give me rest.

Fearless Hope. That was what I wanted this year to be. Has it been? I don’t know. But I have persisted. Storms have come and knocked me down. I can’t say I’ve always held on, because I haven’t. But maybe that’s the point. Maybe hope, true hope, isn’t about seeing a future when things are perfect, it’s about knowing that there still is a future, even when we’re trapped in darkness. There is a light, even when we cannot see it. And that is what I need to hope, and trust, and believe.

Nothing lasts forever. Not the dark, not even the light, not in this world. Maybe hope is seeing through the storm, that no matter how cloudy it may be overhead, somewhere, beyond the clouds, is a blue sky and a sun that continues to shine.

We don’t see the whole picture. We don’t know what will come. I don’t have the strength to hold on through all the twists and turns, but His strength is made perfect in weakness. When I’m weak, He is strong. And He’s still able to break through and calm this storm. That is my hope. Even the worst of storms cannot last forever.

So even as the rain pours down, I will put my hope in Him. Because His light shines, even in my deepest darkness. I don’t have to do this on my own. He brings hope and healing. God uses rain to make the flowers grow. So also, He will use our storms, to heal our hearts and bring us hope.

Rest

Getting sick can sometimes be a blessing. Last week I finally let some of the pressure off, and just took a break to relax. It was a much needed time for me, and ironically, I ended up getting more done.

I’ve been so burned out lately. Random tasks seem to pile up and I can’t seem to catch my breath. Oddly enough, getting sick helped me start to heal. I think I’ve confused pressure with motivation. And I’ve had tons of pressure, but very little motivation. Some of this is external, some internal. And I needed a chance to give myself permission to step back and not do every little thing that others asked me to do.

I’ve wondered if this makes me selfish. I’ve thought about it a lot, and I’m so critical of myself at every turn, but I’ve realized that I need to time to rest in order to offer my fullest and best self to others. I’d rather offer one hour of dedicated attention, than a whole day of distraction. What do other people deserve?

It’s worse though. There are several tasks that others want me to do that I have taken the easy way out. I throw together things that really aren’t a good representation of me or of them, and just call it good enough, because I’m not invested and I don’t have the energy to care. I’m a perfectionist, and even if they don’t notice, I know that I didn’t do my best.

Sometimes our best requires that we take a step back. I’ve learned that this week. It’s a lesson I seem to learn over and over again, but it’s always relevant.

As introverts it’s important that we take the time we need to recharge our batteries. It isn’t about being selfish, it’s about giving others the best we have to offer. If someone needed batteries, would we really give them ones we’ve been using and are almost dead? Isn’t it the same with our energy and our time?

If you’re an introvert, do you struggle giving yourself the time you need? What have you learned this week?

Sick Day

I’m home with a cold. Maybe this is my body’s way of saying I need to slow down. The past couple weeks have been busy and I haven’t gotten much sleep. I’ve found myself trying to do everything for everyone, and stressing myself out over projects that are due and I haven’t really started on.

I haven’t been very good about balancing my time with others and my needed introvert time alone. I’ve had too many meetings, then bailed on a few get togethers, and still felt like I haven’t had enough time.

As much as I hate being sick, I am thankful to have an excuse to slow down and take a break. And I finally get to do some reading I’ve been putting off. Teas, warm lemon water, soup… I even took a nap earlier, which I never do!

This is what life is like, sometimes we have to break down before we can get better. We can’t sweep things under the rug, because sooner or later they will catch up with us. It’s important to take care of ourselves and honor the things that God has given us, whether that’s physical, or emotional, or something else entirely. I’m glad to have that reminder today.

What are you up to on this Monday afternoon?

Extroverting Thoughts And Feelings

I took a bike ride earlier. It was so beautiful and peaceful, seeing all the fall leaves scattered on the ground, slightly cooler weather, though summer’s still holding on. Being out in nature always makes me think, it’s a time where I reflect, analyze, and often talk to God. And It’s when I find myself to be the most thankful and grateful for all the wonderful things I have.

Our thoughts and minds aren’t always sufficient, though we’d like to think they are. So sometimes we need to process those thoughts and feelings with another. I suppose that’s why therapy can be so helpful, it forces us to extrovert our thoughts and feelings, to bring the things that have been lingering in darkness to light.

Speaking forces us to articulate the jumbled string of whatever it is that floats around in our head. Sometimes speaking it, and talking with someone else, can help untangle the mess of thoughts and feelings, and help us to understand not only ourselves, but also others.

I have an INFJ friend who is the same. I think it’s probably the extroverted feeling. Without it, tertiary loops are too easy to get into and we’re left spinning on our own with no clear way out.

In the case where another person is unavailable, I’ve also found journaling to be helpful, though there’s still something grounding about having another person to reflect things back and share their own thoughts and feelings too.

Do you find (even as an introvert) that talking with others can help bring clarity to your thoughts and feelings? I’d love to hear your experience with this.