My publisher, Authenticity Book House, maintains a blog on their website. They asked me if I had any interest in writing a blog entry about writing goals for the new year. I said sure, momentarily forgetting how much I have struggled to write much of anything for the last six months. I soon fretted over my quick response to write the entry, especially knowing I had no writing goals of my own for the coming year. How in the world could I write anything of significance to inspire others to write if I couldn't even inspire myself?
A week before the deadline, I finally pulled my laptop out and started pecking at the keys. A few words or sentences came out, only to find themselves deleted after I read them. It was more than obvious I hadn't written anything, or even attended my writer's group, in quite awhile. I finally got about 500 words, but they felt so uninspired. Empty, meaningless words on a page. Ugh.
The next night, I pulled the laptop out again to revise whatever I'd come up with the previous evening, hoping a little polishing might help. I panicked when I realized that I'd somehow shut my computer and gone to bed the night before without saving what I'd written! Great.
So, I started over. Yet this time God said, "Make it personal. What is it that keeps you from writing?"
"God, I feel scattered. My life lacks focus. All I do is run from here to there, and nothing seems to connect, I feel it physically, spiritually, mentally, and emotionally. It's the same at work, at home, at church, and even when I'm doing something that's supposed to be fun. It all just wears me out, and I'm exhausted."
Then I heard Him gently whisper, "So clear the clutter."
It hit me. My life is full of clutter that needs constant reevaluation as to what needs to go and what needs to stay--and what needs to be added to give me more of a sense of fulfillment. I say I long for simplicity, but that simplicity actually translates to focus. I need to know where to focus. As long as the clutter is there, I can't do that.
The same applies to my writing. I suddenly felt inspired and started to write the blog entry, but with the TV on and someone watching a video on the laptop, the noise was too much. I went in my bedroom, shut the door, propped myself up with a few pillows on the bed, and finished the entry in silence.
I knew in that moment that the first thing I need is a quiet, uncluttered space. My back porch is great, but not when it's 30 degrees outside. A few days later, Mike and I did some Christmas shopping and came home with the materials needed to set me up.
Today I'm so thankful to be sitting in my new writing space, in a quiet corner of my bedroom, filled with all the things that inspire me. Pictures and momentos of places I've traveled, a few little flowers, a basket of books I'm currently reading, A picture of the covers of the books I've written, a poem, a journal, a notepad, pics of my boys. and a growing list of all the things I want to write about, especially over the break.
Check out the ABH blog for that post that I so struggled to write. 👱