I’m so happy to be back today after my intentional time away. I had about four exceptional weeks completely unplugged from social media, writing, and blogging. That time was wisely spent focused on my precious family, spending two of those weeks together in beautiful Hawaii, which I plan to share more about very soon.
While away, I reflected a great deal on why I’m writing in order to make sure I’m using my time wisely. I read a fantastic book called Why We Write by Meredith Maran. She shares the reasons of twenty established authors. They really helped me realize I’m doing exactly what I’m intended to.
I can’t agree more with the words of Pulitzer Prize winning writer, Jennifer Egan. She states exactly how I’ve been feeling over the past few weeks:
“When I’m not writing I feel an awareness that something is missing. If I go a long time, it becomes worse. I become depressed. There’s something vital that’s not happening. A certain slow damage starts to occur. I can coast along awhile without it, but then my limbs go numb. Something bad is happening to me, and I know it. The longer I wait, the harder it is to start again.”
Many people may find this a bit dramatic, but I get it. I really do, especially the final sentence. I’m there right now, struggling to return.
But I know deep in my heart, returning to writing and sharing my story is absolutely necessary. I truly felt God leading me back to this space. It’s imperative to continue sharing Him, including all He’s done for me, with others.
One of my favorite authors, Mary Karr, discusses that same thought. She felt like no one would be interested in hearing about Jesus and “spiritual matters in a secular world.” The response pleasantly surprised her:
“A lot of reviewers seemed to like those sections. To me that was a triumph. I don’t think I converted anybody, but that wasn’t my goal. My goal was to describe what a spiritual experience feels like, to re-create the emotional experience of awe when you’re not accustomed to it.”
What a beautiful and important goal! I want to bless people with that awe. The awe of Jesus. Of grace. Of unconditional love, acceptance, and forgiveness.
Life can be so dark. My past, filled with addiction, comes back to haunt me far too often. Writing can help us to understand those difficult times of our lives.
Author Kathryn Harrison sums this up so eloquently:
“When you write, endless possibility exists before you. The unwritten sentence—perhaps that will be the one that makes life comprehensible, the one that reveals the beauty and order under what can sometimes seem like a landscape of chaos and cruelty.”
Many of those sentences have emerged for me in the past almost 2 years of writing. They have helped me to understand all that I’ve been through and strengthened my faith in ways I never imagined possible.
Sharing our stories is incredibly hard work, but I think we gain far more than we give. I’m feeling immensely blessed to be back in this online space with you today. As always, thanks for joining me on this wonderful, and sometimes overwhelming, journey.
If you would like to purchase Why We Write by Meredith Maran, you can find it here (affiliate link, Disclosure):
If you have time today, check out the rest of my to be read pile for 2015: