I struggle to write these days. I’m out of practice. I was writing daily for a couple years and the writing seemed to flow. It wasn’t necessarily good writing. But somewhere in the daily words I churned out, there was usually something I could use. Something I considered good-enough.
Yet now, I don’t write daily. I’m out of practice. And it’s harder.
It’s harder to get started. It’s harder to come up with an idea. It’s harder to hit publish. There’s a lot of truth to the saying “use it or lose it.” I am losing my writing muscles.
Nine months ago I published a book. Leading up to that I was writing daily. Plus revising, which is a type of writing but much harder for me. I was full of ideas for this little blog space. Publishing once a week seemed easy.
After I published the book I kept writing but not daily. It became every other day. A few times a week. Then weekly. Now… even less often. Life got busy. I’d like to say I was busy promoting the book or doing something productive. But that would be untrue for the most part. I was busy with life – taking care of my family, cooking, driving the kids to and fro and back again, planning for summer, planning for fall, planning for winter. Watching all the plans fall apart and creating new ones. And so on. Life.
Writing fell by the wayside. Like a dear friend I wish I had kept in better touch with, but don’t pick up the phone to call, because I’m too embarrassed by how long it’s been since we last talked. That’s how I felt about writing. Too embarrassed to pick it up because I’ve ignored it for a bit. And now it feels awkward and uncomfortable.
Yet, if I were my own best friend, and I knew how much I liked to write, how much it made me feel alive… well, I’d have to tell myself to start writing again. Even if it’s awkward and uncomfortable. Even if it doesn’t flow, but sort of glops and glumps across the floor in lumps. Even if it doesn’t make much sense.
Pick up that thing you love. That thing that makes you feel most you. And do it. Even if you’re not very good at it. Because I don’t think the point is about being good. I think it’s more about doing it because you love it.
So, I wonder, dear reader, do you have something you love to do? Something you’ve let go and now it feels odd to pick it back up or return to it? Do you have something that makes you feel alive, even though it’s work to do it, it feels like good work? If so, I would encourage you to return to that thing you love and spend a little time there. Perhaps your world will become brighter and lighter just by returning to one little thing that helps make you more you.
And finally, imagine for a moment, if we all did that. If we all picked up something that made us more us, more full, more beautiful… can you imagine the impact that might have on this world we live in?
I can… and it’s beautiful.