There Will Be Blog

Friday, September 14, 2012

Blood, sweat, and tears.  Today, that's what it seems like it is taking me in order to sit and write.  The question I get most regarding the blog these days is simply this:  How do you have time to write? And my answer is simple:  I don't have time not to write.  Strange and honest and all together true.  If I didn't write, I genuinely think my brain would either melt or explode, neither of which I'm willing to clean up.

Yes, that is green crayon on my keyboard
In all practicality, I write whenever, wherever, however I can.  Sometimes I start a blog on my phone while I'm parked in the car after a long afternoon out and both my girls have fallen asleep in the back seat on the way home.  Sometimes I write after everyone has gone to bed and the squeaky wheels in my brain won't quit churning until I let out some steam.  Sometimes the planets and moons align just right and magical nap fairies sprinkle their dust over my children to fall fast asleep at just the exact moment so I can steal a chunk of time, avoid the dishes, and type like the wind.

However I can get it, I'll take a break and sit and write.  I love it.  I need it.  I crave it.  But, it is always, always work.  Always.  It still takes me the same amount of effort as it would anyone else to construct a sentence or think of a word or dump out a pile of letters into a formulated syntax so your eyes can interpret it into something comprehensible.  It still takes focus (albeit, sometimes very limited focus) and energy (zzzzz, what was I saying?) for me to sit down and choose thoughts over laziness and make sure I exercise my creativity for the day.  All this to say, I don't always want to do it.

It's important to find something you love, something you're good at, something you can make time for - and it is generally important for these things to somehow collide into the same activity.  If you can find something about yourself that fulfills those three criteria, my goodness - you've got yourself a passion.

"Passion" is an overused word with an underutilized worth.  A lot of people will tell you to search for your passion, or let your passion find you, or that you should do your best to find passion in what you are already doing.  I don't really have an answer for you.  I think maintaining passion still requires a great deal of effort, and to think that you'll be passionate about something without putting forth any actual work is only a sorry and sad excuse for wanting something you aren't willing to fight for (which is futile).

It's important to carve out time for something that you value.  Something you want to invest yourself in.  Maybe this is reading, cooking, learning a language, or journaling.  Perhaps you like to paint or plant or write cards to friends or surf the web for interesting articles or ideas.  Hopefully, whatever your hobby of habit, you are finding a good use for it - allowing it to better yourself, using it to help others, or expanding your knowledge in some way.  You get the idea.  But, the hard truth is, if you actually value it and want to do it, there is only one trick:  you have to do it.

I say that "I don't have time not to write", because the reality is, if I stop doing it, I will stop doing it.  And I don't want to stop doing it.  It's not that I don't want a break.  It's not that I don't run out of ideas.  It's not that I don't struggle with the insecurity of whether I'm actually good or getting better or spending enough time at it, etc.  No.  It's that, for me, the more I do it the more I want to do it...which, is often true about any habit, good or bad.

But, we do what we want to do.  Don't we?  I mean, I like the idea of working out every day, sure.  But, evidently I don't really want to work out every day or my Jillian Michael's dvd would be in the BluRay player right now instead of gathering dust on the shelf in the other room.  I might say I want to finish that blanket I started crocheting about 3 years ago...but, I really must not want to since it is buried under a pile of toys stashed in the corner behind a bookcase.  Huh.

I've come to term with those things.  I'm okay with not working out for the time being (hello, I am caring for two little personal trainers day in and day out!) and I'm not interested in re-learning to crochet at the moment (it's too hot for blankets anyway).  But, I do want to, I write.  And, if I want to get better at it, then I have to keep it up.

The hard truth when someone asks me how in the world I have time to write is this:  I choose it over other things.  And that's how I figured out I must be passionate about it.

That little thought has been true about every single deep value I hold in my life.  I chose my husband over every other living male on the planet.  I choose time with my children over greater financial security.  I choose to love Jesus over any other idol.  And, I choose to write over chores, naps, relaxing, or whatever else I could potentially be doing at that time.  It's important to me, so I slip it into the schedule of crazy life because without it, well, I might just not be totally me!  The trick is, not to let your passion slip into becoming an obligation.  If you can't want to do it, then start with wanting to want to do it!  Pray about, think about it, pursue it.

What do you choose over other things?  What do you make time for?  What do you want to do?

Some seasons in life are more easy to interpret than others.  Some come with a grand focus (getting married, having a baby) and others blur together (did I do laundry this week?).  Allow yourself the freedom to investigate what you like.  Have fun with it!  Don't get bogged down in the insecurities of not having someone else's gifts (i.e. I wish I could sew like so-n-so or I wish I ran marathons like whats-her-name).  Hopefully this becomes a lifelong pursuit!  I hope as the months and years and decades go by that I continue to challenge myself with new goals and new passions, ever-changing and ever-deepening with age.

It's always going to be work to get out the computer, come up with new ideas, and pour my soul/brain/heart/guts out onto a page for someone else to absorb.  I have no idea where it all will lead, and I might never know who all it reaches (though, of course I love love love to hear from you!) but, I know one thing for sure:  blood, sweat, and tears...the blogs keep comin.

Thanks for choosing to stop and read this silly blog over whatever else you could be doing right now.  I sincerely appreciate it and it doesn't go unnoticed that you are helping fuel the motivation for this silly mom to sit down and rant about her crazy life.  So, thanks for encouraging my passion.  I hope I've encouraged yours a little too.  xoxo

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