Friday, September 21, 2012

Writing about Not Writing

I'm doing my best to write this morning, but it's not happening.  The pictures are clear, but I can't seem to ascribe words to them.  I got up this morning, took a shower, got dressed and made my way to my favorite coffee shop.  I was lucky enough to not encounter someone sitting in "my" chair, so I settled in, ready to compose something worthy of the time I invested.  I wanted to walk away, thinking to myself, "I wrote something today!  And, damn!  It was good!  BEHOLD!  I AM A WRITER!"  It's not happening.  Nothing is being transmitted from my brain, through my hands and onto my laptop. So, I'm writing about that.  I'm writing about not being able to write today.

I tell myself everyday, "Jake, It just might not happen today.  Don't let it get to you.  EVERY writer struggles with writing, probably more often than not."  In fact, Donald Miller just wrote an amazing blog on this exact subject. The 5 Steps to Writing a Book. I suppose if Donald Miller struggles with writing, I shouldn't be discouraged when I do.  He's good.  I'm worse.  "Much much worse."  (Remember that episode of Seinfeld?)

Writing is not easy.  It's much more difficult than I ever imagined, and most of the time, I hate what I write. I'm my worst critic.  My wife Kelly usually edits, and critiques, what I write. She usually loves what I write. If if were not for her constant encouraging words of affirmation, I probably wouldn't write another word.

I didn't always consider myself to be a writer.  I wrote because I enjoyed expressing myself with the written word, but never classified myself as a "writer".  What makes a person cross that threshold, ushering them into this category of identification?  I'm not sure.  The transition was not immediate for me, nor did I eagerly embrace it.  At first, I seemed to be reluctant in telling people, "I'm a writer."  I remember having lunch with a good friend of mine and him asking me, "So, are you a writer now?"  I guess I am.  Humbly, I'm a writer.

I love the fact that what I have to say matters to people, even if just one person sometimes.  I hope that I always earn the right to write for those who read what I compile.  I don't think that I have any hidden insight to the world, culture or theology.  I just seem to be able to put it all together in a way that people enjoy reading.  I see pictures in my head and writing is a way of sharing the images with you.  I hope that I'm always able to do that, and do it better as I continue writing.  I appreciate the fact that you read what I have to say.  It means more to me than you might realize.  God has blessed me with the ability to communicate in written form.  That's it.  I know it.  I accept it.  I embrace it.  I'm thankful.

So, here I am.  Writing about not being able to write.  Frustrated.  Staring out the window.  Kicking myself because for someone reason I have nothing to say.  And I really don't.  I'm writing a blog about not being able to write.  But as I find myself not being able to write, I write. Does that make me a writer or what?

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