I am failing Blogging 101 – try to post something new every day to build your audience of readers.
The past two weeks, I have not had a day that has not been busy to the brim with ministry and community outreach projects that had Christmas deadlines. There. Just. Was. No. Time.
Hemingway would have found this unacceptable, I am sure. Then again, as hard as he drank, maybe he didn’t write EVERY day either.
Yet that idea of sitting down and writing something, anything, every single day has been drummed into me from writing courses in college and later writing seminars. If you don’t write every single day, evidently you aren’t a real writer, the didactic goes.
It is not that I am not trying. It is not that I haven’t been praying to God to pave the way for this practice.
It just seems that the more things I try to push out of my way to get to this place, the more responsibility for other projects seem to fall on my shoulders. My English and journalism teachers may have been preparing me for the life of a writer. My parents drummed the need to be responsible into me, even if it was for things that as a child, I should have had no responsibility for. Like their financial situation, for one.
But there it is. The result of growing up in a home steeped in alcohol. You either become like those you live with, or you become hyper-responsible and very sober in terms of personality. I went the latter route.
Which is why it is so difficult for me to turn down those in a position of “authority” of any type, be it a boss, a pastor, or a community leader with whom I am working. And it is important, social outreach work, as well as evangelization, teaching and spiritual renewal of the Church that I find myself becoming increasingly involved.
In God’s plan, what does He want more – my words, or my deeds?
Maybe I cling to the words because they were the first things that ever brought me praise, whether it was my reading aloud in first grade to the first essay on a robin’s spring that I wrote in grade school. My writing made me stand apart from my classmates – only in a good way, not in the shame filled way I was used to feeling because of my family history.
Yet if my words stir emotions, does my presence to someone as a reflection of Christ mean more than they do? His words, not mine. His voice speaking through me, not my voice leading them to Him. The latter is my ego, I know. But why did God give me this gift if He didn’t want me to use it, if He didn’t want people to pay that 99 cents to download that book of poetry? What am I here for if not to write? It seems like that has been my raison d’etre for so long, I don’t know how to have another. And I don’t trust that the other ways carrying the same meaning. Again, my ego, not God’s will.
So please be in prayer for me that I know what God would truly have me spend my time doing. Because for the next two months, it looks like being part of large teams of people to bring special events to our community on the subject of sex trafficking of minors and to our parish on mercy so that it may be renewed spiritually after many wounds to it.
I am not sure what this makes me. I just know it doesn’t make me a writer in the conventional understanding of that word. And it haunts me.