Words from a Weary Writer

house It has been a while since I felt like writing. Last night I laid on the hammock in the dark, listening to dishes being washed in the sink indoors, the light from the dining room splaying across the back yard. I squinted my eyes and tried to make the words come, but they didn't.

And I know what you're thinking right now: "but you still write so much, how can you even say the words aren't coming?" What I said is it's been a while since I felt like writing.

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I used to dream of being a writer. When I was 11 years old, I clutched my copy of Troubling a Star by Madeleine L'Engle and knew this was what I would do with my life, string words together beautifully. But any true writer will tell you writing is not about being published. To be published only is for narcissists and public relators. Writers must only write.

There are nebulous goals in front of me, always moving targets, "When this happens" or "When this does," then I will have arrived. But then I reach the nearest pinnacle and I find the finish line has moved back farther still. If it is to be noticed by respected writers and thinkers, I have arrived. If it is to be published in dream places, I have arrived. If it is to be offered a book deal, I have arrived. But nothing satisfies. Every writer who affirms me, I doubt. Every platform given me, I fear. Every offer of publishing, I second guess.

But what if it is only about the pilgrimage?

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My roommate comes into my room sometimes and crawls under my down comforter and we comfort one another with words like these: you're not finished yet, we haven't arrived, there's more for God to do in and through us, but sometimes? Sometimes we just need to slow down, be still, wait, and hear.

So I am in this place these days. I write and I write voraciously because it is expected of me and depended on from me, but the joy in it is missing these days. I do not feel like writing or saying or publishing or submitting. I feel like forgetting Troubling a Star and Madeleine L'Engle and middle school dreams, leaving words behind and being someone else entirely.

I felt I should tell you this. In case anyone else ever feels this way too.