In August I set out to get a good chunk of my manuscript written. And while I still have 1.5 chapters and a full proposal left to write, it was so, so good for my brain to focus in on one thing.
When I got writing time – which sometimes felt few and far between, because, August – I worked on the book. I didn’t think about blog posts and I didn’t think about articles. I didn’t read books for review and I didn’t work on sermon prep. I didn’t query, and I didn’t write monthly posts for She Loves Magazine and The Mudroom, and I didn’t even listen to the Beyond Your Blog podcast which over and over and over again encourages its readers to step out and write for pay.
It felt rather quiet.
There’s a funny little lie the writing world now likes to offer its word minions, and it’s this: writing is only writing when other people see it.
Writing is only writing when comments are made and when posts are shared and when tweets are like.
And essentially it’s saying this: writing is only writing when other people affirm and give a big old Internet high-five to your gifts.
But writing couldn’t be further from the truth.
And this during this time of working on just one thing, and on just one thing that happened to be just between me and my computer, it’s like I was brought back to the love of the sport. This is why I do what I do: for healing, for processing, for letting the jigsaw pieces of the story in my mind work its way to the surface. I don’t do this for the benefit of my readers, but I do this because I can’t not do this. I do this because I don’t often know what I think until I sit down and put fingers to the keys. I do this because there’s a world of memories and information and unanswered questions swirling around in my mind, begging to be put back together again, maybe for the first time, maybe all over again.
But I have missed you.
I have missed telling stories, and I have missed seeing your comments. I have missed the interaction with the outside world this slice of writing lends me, a life that would otherwise feel far more isolated than I’d ever like it for it to be.
But I don’t miss the ways in which I was able to be present over the past five weeks, with family and friends and strangers alike.
Sure, I cracked open my laptop most days. I sat down to write. I dared my fingers to type one thousand words a day (a feat that happened for the first week or two, before quickly losing steam – to the heat, to vacation, to a preschool that doesn’t start until after Labor Day). Because, as I realize every couple of months, the more I stayed away from my blog, the more I stayed away from Facebook. And the more I avoided Facebook, the more I didn’t scroll through my Twitter feed in my spare time. And on and on and on it went, and suddenly I’ve got 139 emails I need to reply to in my email inbox that I want nothing to do with.
Because I tasted the sweetness on the other side.
I remembered what it was like to do the hard work but not get sucked into the world I believe is so often worth everything – everything! – that I forget about the real, live, present universe right on my own front porch.
So, my message varies: I probably owe you an email, and I’ll write you back. Eventually. I may have said a hearty yes yes yes to you, and now that I’m starting to dip my toes back into the water of Regular Life, I’m reminded that there’s only so much I can handle …and I have to say no. But regardless, I’m excited to be with you and journey with you. I can’t wait to ask you questions and enter into the mess of life together, with a big dose of story weaving on the side.
But if you’ll excuse me, now I need to close the laptop. To be with the ones I love. To cozy up with my book. And to remember that this now is the best gift of all.
So, how ARE you? I’ve missed you! How was August for you? What’s been the biggest life lesson you’ve been handed over the past month?0