I’ve taken somewhat of a sabbatical from blogging the last six months or so. (With the exception of posts for Rhema every now and then because I’m the student blogger.)
Writing everyday was supposed to help me find my voice. And it did a great job of developing my follow through muscles, which were disgracefully atrophied at the time.
I am truly grateful for that sweet season. It was necessary and life-giving and a ton of fun.
At almost 27, though, it seems that the journey to find my voice, my path, has me in the thickest patch of woods right now. All scratched up, running into branches and scary spiderwebs (the kind you don’t see until it’s too late).
And whenever I write, I have this habit of spinning things to show only the rosy side of life. I discovered in one of my classes this year on personality types that this trait is quite common amongst folks with my personality type.
It serves me well 90% of the time. I can’t help but see the good and in this dark world that’s a true gift.
However, when your own path is dim and you can’t find your way, tripping over your own feet, it’s hard to add a positive spin.
Not just hard but exhausting. You feel dishonest and unsure what to do with yourself and words that are rosy but not really true.
So I took some time off. This summer I want to hop back in to more frequent writing.
Still not sure what it will look like but I didn’t know the first time around either!
Thanks for sticking around and understanding. Ready for a new adventure? So am I.
My birthday (and America’s birthday) is almost here!
Hard to believe that my daily blogging commitment is coming to and end.
I will definitely keep up my blogging, but not everyday.
Right now my plan is to blog on Mondays and Fridays. The days are subject to change (the objective is biweekly posts).
This is just my preliminary planning because birthdays have always been mile markers for me.
This upcoming year I really want to become a more focused writer.
Daily blogging was only step one for me. I needed to get in the habit of writing everyday.
Now I want to get better at taking ideas and fully developing them.
I am excited! And I hope you’ll stick around through the next year. It’s going to be fun.
I have a bad habit of setting up unrealistic goals for myself.
There’s nothing wrong with setting goals that stretch you, but be careful to not beat yourself up during the stretching process.
I am working on a writing project that is definitely stretching me!
The project is helping a phD candidate in an electrical engineering program turn his research into a written dissertation.
Reading the material and translating the data takes time–which means that setting realistic goals is important.
I’ve been working on this project less than a week and I’ve already logged in 5 hours.
Setting realistic goals keeps you and your project collaborators on the same page.
There’s also no shame in being honest about your limitations and potential time constraints.
I already know that having this proposal completely finished by Friday (what we agreed upon last Saturday) will not happen.
I am working diligently to get as much done as possible, but I have also communicated this fact to my employer, the student.
What I am learning as I begin this journey is that you can never go wrong in planning and goal setting by telling the truth.
Three awesome things happened today.
1. I picked up a writing project!
This project entails helping a doctorate student in a chemical engineering program put words to his research. Don’t be surprised if I end up writing a post or two about what I’m learning.
2. I watched The Shallows in theaters.
At first, I wasn’t going to because I was afraid the movie would not be all that great.
Now, I’m glad that I did! It was epic and suspenseful and awesome.
The biggest recurring thought as I watched: Wow. Not sure I would be smart enough to outsmart a shark.
3. I saw the COOLEST truck ever in the Dollar Tree parking lot.
A Star Wars truck?!?!
I had a geek out moment…I might have contemplated stealing this truck….
Check out the light saber on the gun rack.
I circled this truck at least 5 times. I’ve never seen anything quite like this and now it has me thinking about making a comic book car.
Well, I’m headed toward bed. It’s been a great day.
I’m amazed at how much information there is in our world in relationship to how little I know.
Does anyone remember the website Stumble Upon?
In thinking about this topic, I did a quick Google search and it turns out they’re still around!
Back in my college days, one of my many procrastination tools was to check out cool new websites via Stumble Upon. It was possible to be on that website for at least an hour…
There are websites that I still enjoy today that I found using Stumble Upon. There’s no way that I could’ve found them on my own, either. Think about the amount of new content that we have access to everyday:
- YouTube videos.
- TV shows
I’m reminded of the words of King Solomon:
But regarding anything beyond this, dear friend, go easy. There’s no end to the publishing of books, and constant study wears you out so you’re no good for anything else. The last and final word is this: Fear God. Do what he tells you.
I think it’s safe to say that there’s no end to the releasing of new content.As one of my English professors put it:
The only thing that makes your writing original is that you wrote it. The various devices of storytelling and poetry have been around way before you were around and will continue way after you’re gone.
This is a topic that keeps me humble and also shows me just how big God is. Imagine what He thinks! He created everything and knows everything and sees everything.
My brain started smoking just by thinking about all of this….
While my goal is to learn as much as I can, it’s safe to say that there will always be a large gap between what I know and how much more there is to know.
Putting things off doesn’t make them easier…
For instance, take this post:
I had wonderful intentions to get it up sooner, but then decided to wait.
My evening took an unplanned turn and here I am at a quarter to midnight writing about procrastination.
I’ve read that it’s good to have 5-10 posts ready in your queue. This is sounds like heaven to me because, much like heaven, I have yet to arrive.
My favorite Christian song right now is “One post at a time, sweet Jesus, that’s all I’m asking from you!”
Daily blogging is fun.
Is it challenging?
Are there days you talk about a lack of planning?
Sometimes I can get stuck in my head…
Trying to sort things out sends me in 10 different directions, each with their own feeling.
Writing stuff down helps me capture what’s going on and shows me what areas need to be covered with prayer.
There are times when what I see is ugly. The truth is right there in its distorted, disfigured form.
As I read through past entries, I notice the moments where my perspective turned out to be wrong, which means everything else–my attitude, feelings, and opinions–were wrong as well.
The good news about perspective is that it can change!
It’s easy for me to spot the shift because my angry scribbles and stratch outs give way to hope-filled words–even if my handwriting is still a jumbled scrawl!
Most of the time I end up finding the right words to express the things I couldn’t bring myself to say before.
There might still be a hint of pain behind the words, but the joy is bigger than the pain.
The idea of someone else reading my journal is a bit frightening to me.
However, I believe that when the time is right it will all make sense to whoever ends up with my mountain of words.
He or she will say, “Yes, this chick struggled, but the struggle always led her closer to God, to seeing things from His perspective.”
Every once in a while I throw a post up about needing some help.
One of my goals this year is to improve my writing skills. I’ve even signed up for a few classes on writing through WordPress.
After only a few lessons, it’s obvious that my writing is too simplistic.
Let me back up a bit…
I approach blogging differently than others. It’s rare that I sit down and write out 5 or 6 posts in a day. In fact, I’ve never done that! Not once in my life have I been ahead when it comes to blogging.
Honestly, most of my posts are written in about 30 minutes.
Why am I telling you all of this?
Because it’s come to my attention that I need to be more disciplined in my approach. The reason I don’t do series is because my brain goes in too many directions.
And this WordPress series is kicking my booty….these people are legit!
I studied English and history in college, so I used to write 5, 10, 15 pages or more on a single topic. Though, most of the time, the paper took me a whole semester to write.
Yes, I am blogging everyday, but I have not been that focused!
Here’s where your help is greatly appreciated.
- What are some subjects you’ve been wanting me to cover, but I haven’t?
- What are some previous posts you really liked, but wanted me to get more in-depth?
Answering these 2 questions will help me focus more and grow as a writer and a blogger. I also want to use your responses to try out the new ideas I’m learning from the writing workshop.
I surround myself with paper:
- I carry a planner because using my phone’s calendar has never stuck with me.
- My desk is covered in sticky notes and scrap pages and memo pads with scribbled out notes to myself.
- I even use Evernote, which is a digital notebook.
If I don’t grab catch a thought immediately, it’s a goner.
Do you know how many times I’ve written a great blog post in my head and planned on writing it down once I got home?
Whether you’re the most organized thought catcher that ever lived or you have 10 notebooks and scrap paper falls around your feet when you walk, just write things down!
Habakkuk 2:2 says, “Write the vision and make it plain on tablets…”
The Lord was giving instructions and the first words out of his mouth were, “Write this down!”
The point of writing things down is to use that information to teach and encourage others.
None of us lack ideas.
If you’ve ever sat in a meeting, you know that everyone has great ideas–and they normally all come about the time the meeting is supposed to be over.
We just don’t catch the inspiration when the Holy Spirit gives it to us.
Grab your thoughts!
Write them down!
And then go do something with them.
Today, I just want to give thanks. Here are 5 things I am thankful for:
1. The opportunity to go to Rhema.
Being able to sit in a classroom and learn more about the things of God is an honor.
2. My new job.
Working for Wisdom Ministries is such a blessing. I am getting a lot of great experience in how administration within a ministry operated AND the opportunity to learn more as an editor.
3. My home.
I live with the sweetest couple who have done nothing but encourage me. It’s nice to come home here.
4. The Holy Spirit.
A year ago, I received the baptism of the Holy Spirit. My relationship with God is so much richer now. I’m not sure what many of you guys believe about the subject, but I know that my life has changed for the better and that God has made this gift available to all Christians who ask for it.
5. This blog.
I can’t believe that this blog is finally more than an idea in my head! The chance to grow as a writer and to document all that I’m learning as a 25 year old is not something I take lightly.
And now here’s where you get to tell me what you’re thankful for. I want to celebrate all the blessings in your life along with you.