I took up this challenge to write a new J-Blog post every single weekday of the new year for two reasons: 1) I wanted to discipline myself to actually write more, and I figured you would all serve as a pretty solid source of accountability. And 2) I wanted to get back to writing in a style that made me happy, to find my voice again with this blog.
Of the 11 week days of 2019 I have posted 7 times (64%), and 6 of those posts have put me to sleep while reading my own writing.
Now I’m sitting at home, helping to take care of the boys while Sarah’s still under the weather, and I’m trying to write. It is remarkable how much of a pastor’s life is writing. I have to write a blog post. I have to write a newsletter article. I have to write a sermon. And of course, with all of that piling up in the background, I am struggling with a case of writer’s block.
How bad is it? I think one of the biggest tell’s of mine is that writer’s block is really bad when I write about writer’s block. It’s like a plea for help, a desperate attempt to get something, ANYTHING, written down on paper. It’s a hope that you will all at least take pity on me when the next six things you read are all awful, perhaps thinking to yourself “awww, but he’s trying.”
There are factors of course that lead to writer’s block. My entire family has been sick all year (haha, that joke still works) and I’ve been the only healthy one for much of that, so I’ve been running around a whole bunch. I’ve been taking on more and more responsibility at work and in the Presbytery, and that’s got me moving and shaking. All of this boils together to make me both tired and distracted, a potent combo in the writer’s block world.
And yet, this post exists. I think there is something to be said for just sitting down, massaging the keyboard, and getting an awful piece of something out there. Perfect is the enemy of done. I have spent I don’t know how many hours trying to get that just perfect post, that out of the park sermon, that remarkable book idea to materialize. They never do. And so deadlines get missed. Opportunities wasted. Slumps extended. Sometimes, you just have to act.
Maybe there’s more to this in our daily lives than we imagine. Maybe sometimes we have to just show up, regardless of how prepared we feel. Regardless of whether we feel perfect or not. Regardless of our life’s typos or sloppy sentence structure. Just show up, and see where things go from there.
So I’m showing up today. Or at least, I wrote a blog post. I think now it’s time for a nap.