That word basically sums up the essence of the past couple weeks and also serves as my de facto explanation for why the blog has been so quiet as of late. After the last post, I wanted to write something, anything. I really did, but at the same time, I just couldn’t muster up the strength to open up my computer and actually string together a coherent sequence of words that I felt would be worth reading. I’m only millimeters past that point today (the dreary weather not helping in the slightest), but I was reminded at Bible study a week or two ago that sometimes you just have to keep the fire going, even if it feels like that little contribution isn’t really going to be doing much. In that context, we were talking about faith and how you have to keep coming back to God day in and day out even when you don’t feel like it, but I think that’s applicable to almost everything else that we want to believe in and are passionate about too. And essentially, that’s why I’m writing this post today, because I’ve decided that if you’re going to call yourself a writer, you have to keep writing even if you feel like your creative reserves and literary energies are completely dry. Even if it feels like that fire inside you is slowly dying, you have to keep writing because the act of writing in and of itself will stoke the embers and coax that tiny flame back to life so that it can start to grow again.
Because the reality is that neglect kills. Neglect always kills, maybe not the most efficiently, or the most quickly, but anything that you neglect will eventually die, whether that’s a human being, a succulent, your faith, your writing, or anything else you might love. Neglect is a killer, and the terrible part is how it always creeps in whenever things get shaken up even a little bit.
I mean, just think about it. When life gets busy and hectic, what are the first things that you start to forget about? For me, it’s almost always Jesus time and then writing time. The sad part comes when I start to wonder why I haven’t written anything in a while or why I’m feeling so distant from God in that particular season of life. Well, it’s because I didn’t even realize that I was starting to neglect those things as soon as life got a little ahead of me.
And that’s the same thing that happened recently. Things got a little out of hand over the past couple weeks, with just a lot of things falling through, things not going the way I planned, and a lot of different stressors coming out of nowhere. Before I knew it, I hadn’t cracked open my prayer journal in almost three weeks and I definitely hadn’t written anything new since the first weekend in July. Once I realized that, I tried to remedy both of those things, but it’s a slow process of getting back into things once they’ve been stagnating for a while.
But that’s what this post is for, because I have to write something. I have to keep that fire going. That doesn’t mean I’m not tired or I don’t have to struggle through most of what I’m writing. No, I’m definitely still wiped in many different respects, mentally, emotionally, etc., but it means that I can’t let all of the variables of life and all the stressors define what I’m capable of doing or what I’m willing to do. So, yes, this post is all I can really work up right now, but maybe that’s good enough. Maybe you don’t always have to put out award winning work that gets rave reviews. Maybe sometimes you just need to be doing maintenance on yourself and on your work, and maybe for that moment in time, in the moments where you feel like you’re just barely dragging your legs through the mud, that’s enough.