I’ve been having a hard time writing for these blogs for years. Sometimes, the things I couldn’t write about were too big and nothing could squeeze past them. Or it had been so long since I’d last posted that I wasn’t sure where to begin. Or I’d start to write, only to think that whatever little thing I’d written was so not worth publishing. Then I’d wander over to my feed reader to see what others were writing, or to facebook, where very little gets said at all, and there went any time I might have had to put my thoughts on virtual paper.
I was thinking, though, the other day, about how I could make sure I write regularly, and I was remembering a time, long, long ago, when I was in high school. I had taken a creative writing class, and we would regularly spend an entire class period in an activity called free writing. The rules were simple: You had to write, and you had to write continuously for the entire forty minutes. Content didn’t matter at all. The only important thing was to keep that pen moving across the paper. If you found yourself at a complete loss for words, you could doodle, or just keep writing the same word over and over until the next one came. You just had to keep writing.
So I remembered that exercise from creative writing class, and I thought, I wonder if that’ll work for me, right now? Not one to wait once I’ve made up my mind, I set my alarm for five o’clock. That would give me a whole hour to write before morning prayers at six.
First thing in the morning, I started the coffee pot and the laundry. Then I opened up my word processor – no distracting internet! – and just started to write. I figured that I’d find something in the jumble of my thoughts that I could work on later, but at the end of the hour, I had a finished post that just wanted photos.
I’ve only been doing this for a little over a week now, but you can probably tell that it’s really working for me. I haven’t posted this much in years. And on both blogs, too!
I’ve been blogging now for ten years. Ten years! When I first started in 2005, I wrote for my deployed husband and my far-away family. As my readership grew, I began to write for you, too. And now, with David retired and home all the time, I write for these children, nearly grown now, looking for the way forward.
I write for myself, too. I love to go back sometimes and read those old posts. I love remembering the children as they were at that moment, our lives in that season, and I want that for our right now as much as I wanted it for our back then.
But the important thing is just to write.
Blogging is way down in my small circle of online friends: If you used to write regularly, why did you stop? Do you miss it? Do you long to get back to it? Also, how do you read blogs since the demise of Google Reader? Seems like readership dropped like a rock that day.
And last, but not least, if there is something you would like me to address, just send me a note. I’ll see what I can do.