The truth of it all is this: writing used to come as naturally to me as breathing. I would open a notebook to a fresh page or start a new blog post, only to finish it in half an hour.
Here’s my right-now truth: a few months ago, writing became hard for me. This is totally new territory.
Honestly, I’d rather not talk about it and I’d definitely prefer not to write about it.
I love it just as much. Words run like blood through my veins and I often find myself thinking in blog posts. In fact, the Notes section on my phone has more blog post ideas than it ever has before. And yet… I spilled all my words out in a book and a 31 day blog series and the well has run dry.
I want to write. But instead of starting a new blog post or putting words to the ideas I’ve jotted down on scraps of paper, I often find myself opening a new tab and scrolling through Facebook updates. I look at Instagram photos and I meet a friend for coffee and I work hard as a Virtual Assistant. I’m making to-do lists and crossing things off because there are all these things that simply need to happen.
I’ve become a casual observer and a hard worker rolled into one, but inside I know something in me is slightly off, just a bit out of sorts.
I start to think that I am an iceberg.
There’s all this work being done beneath the surface but not a lot to be shown.
He will give the words in time. But for now, I sit. And I trust that He is working even when I can’t see.
I am writing in the margins. And there’s something undeniably beautiful about it, absolutely. But behind the undeniable beauty, there’s the honest truth that I ran out of words at the worst possible time — book release “season” — and they haven’t fully come back yet.
I’ve always been amazed at the sheer volume of how much authors blog and podcast and social media all the things in the months leading up to a book release. What I never pieced together is that, in most cases, there is a good, long stretch of several months in between the writing, the editing, and the craziness of the words being bound up and in the hands of other humans. There is time to pause. To refresh. To breathe. For many, it’s a three year process from beginning to end. For me, it was six months.
Honest to goodness, I thought something was wrong with me when the words got all stopped up. I wanted to keep writing, longed to keep writing, and yet I felt like there was nothing left to say. It seemed like I had already said it all.
In 73 days I wrote 37 blog posts and also, uh, I wrote an entire book. Not one day went by that didn’t include some sort of writing/publishing/formatting/release detail-making. There wasn’t “down time” or even a moment to reflect, pause, or hush.
I knew I needed to fill back up but I also knew the past few months would be the absolute worst time to go quiet. I’ve tried to find some sort of balance, some version of an in between, but I feel Him calling me into the quiet and the wilderness and I know better than to turn the other way now.
No one is paying me to write. No one is standing over my shoulder making sure that another post goes out or that I write and write and backspace and then keep writing instead of hitting save and waiting for another day.
No one will notice if I pause or push through.
But my soul will know the difference. I know deep inside that obedience will look like both of these paths, depending on the day, likely changing back and forth and back again.
I resolve to write only when He gives words.
I resolve to remain quiet when the words don’t come.
Today I packed my computer bag up and went to Starbucks – not because it was in the budget or the plan, but because I needed to stick my butt in a chair, open up a new tab, and write something for myself. Not about the book, not for a VA client, not for you, the ones who have so kindly put up with my “show up to the blog every now and then” attitude the past few months… I showed up because today, for me, that’s what brave looks like.
Brave is showing up and trusting that He will provide the words needed, while being okay if what is most needed it quiet.
The coffee shop is slowly emptying, the sun has set, but I’m still here.
Because when I write, I feel something inside me come alive.
Because when I put words to emotions and thoughts, I understand myself better.
Because when I write, I am leaning into my calling.
I hope the words come back and spill out naturally, like they did before. I believe with all my heart that some day they will return in full force. But I’m finding God here, too. In the quiet. In the silence. In the hush and the hustle and the in between of it all. Somehow He manages to show up on every page. I know He isn’t done writing… so I’ll keep writing, too.
There’s something so very startling and beautiful in looking at the empty seat across from me and whispering, “Okay, Jesus. I showed up and I know You will too. I’m here, I’m listening, I’m ready. Do Your thing in me.”
The words from the final section of this blog post were written weeks ago and shared on my Facebook page, but they still ring true as I finish out this post sitting at a little table in Starbucks, yet again.