I have a little saying around my desk that goes, “Thinking about writing isn’t writing. Writing is writing. So write.” I didn’t take my advice very well this year and ended up thinking about writing a lot more than actually doing it. Here are ten examples of how I could have written more here. These are missed opportunities, folks, learn from my mistakes.
I had grand intentions of reviewing the shows I saw (most were great), reminiscing about the fun times I had with friends (there were plenty), and doing a little self-critique of my own show (it went pretty well, if I do say so myself). If you think that’s bad, I didn’t touch upon my headlining at the Milwaukee Comedy Festival one bit. That was one of the best shows of my life.
Mostly because I only read about half of what I intended to read. I can’t say I’m surprised.
This book is great and deserves a review. I want to make that happen.
6. I didn’t finish blogging about ministry areas.
This one’s a real bummer because I often receive more comments from readers on these blogs than anything else I write. On those days when I feel like I’m writing in a vacuum I could do worse than to remember that when I actually know I have readers I’d best give them something to read.
Like numbers eight and nine, I can’t say I’m surprised. They’re still on my dashboard, half-written and waiting for my return.
Here’s where the truth comes out – I’ve had a tremendous year of stress. I’ve often used writing to get me through stress. Instead, I turned my back on it and the result is a near five-month stretch of radio silence.
3. I didn’t write about teaching.
This one was a difficult decision but I made it on purpose. I didn’t feel it was appropriate to write about my classroom experiences while teaching though now that I think of it, I certainly could have written about which texts I was using and other technical issues. Perhaps my reflections on teaching will crop up in the future here.
2. I didn’t write about getting laid off.
I taught for one full academic year outside of my MFA as a temporary part-time instructor and got an email that I wouldn’t have any classes to teach in the fall five days after my wife was in a serious car accident. I really didn’t tell anybody about this and for the last nine months or so I’ve seen surprised face after surprised face as I casually mentioned that I wasn’t teaching anymore. Can I just say that no matter how noble it is to support one’s partner and let the support others give them be at the forefront of how you handle their bad luck, it’s completely okay to acknowledge your own simultaneous bad luck. Kelly would be the first to agree with me, and it’s a lesson learned.
1. I didn’t write about enrolling in seminary.
I’m a first-year Master of Divinity student at United Theological Seminary and a candidate for ordination in the United Methodist Church. Those who read this blog with regularity in 2009 – not that there was a lot of regular blog posts in 2009, but whatever – probably put two and two together with mission trip stories, and church men’s book club selections that this was on the horizon. I’ll give this one more attention in 2010.
I’m not down on myself for any of this and don’t think this post a pity party. Rather, this is me acknowledging how I could have come up with some great writing and I just didn’t do it. I was stressed, I was busy, I was overwhelmed. Was writing there for me? Certainly. But for some reason I resigned myself to letting go of it for a while. I hope you don’t do what I did. If you have, write to me and let me know about it. And if you haven’t, kudos to you, dear reader.
If anything, it’s made me hungry to stop thinking about writing and to just plain write.
I hope to see you in 2010.