What do you love most in this world? Like truly love?
Perhaps your children, family, God, career, a hobby, maybe even writing (like me).
Okay, now how much time do you spend wrapped up in that thing you love? Is it easy to make that time? Is everything roses and sunshine, or do you sometimes scold your children, fight with your spouse, doubt God, think about quitting your job, or feel too run down to pursue your hobby?
If you're like me, it can be hard. All of it.
And if you're also like me, you may wonder why pursuing time with something or someone you love can feel like such a chore. You may feel guilty if you find yourself wishing your kids would be quiet and go to another room or harboring anger at your spouse.
This post is about all of that, but mostly it's about me and my writing. The context above is to show you that this is not an issue having to do with being a writer but rather a fundamentally human problem.
Here's what I know: I enjoy writing. I'm good at it. I consistently avoid doing it.
I've wanted to be a writer basically since I first learned how to talk. As a lonely child, books were my best friends. As a stressed student, books were my escape. And now as an author myself, books are my purpose and my legacy. I feel so enormously blessed to be able to do what I love for a living, to be able to touch people with my words, make a real difference in their lives.
And each week, I receive dozens of messages from readers–both long-time fans and those only just discovering my books. They tell me my books gave them hope, my newsletter gave them inspiration, and that they like not just my books but me as a person too. I read their words, sometimes I cry, but always I feel thankful. I stop and think, “Did my words really do that?” It's incredible, and each heartfelt note shows me I am living my purpose, doing what God put me here to do.
But then when it comes time to write, I think of every excuse in the book. I have other work to do. I'm tired. I'm emotionally spent. I can't go there. I don't want to.
Why is this? How can I love writing, love the impact it has on others, love everything about it, except actually… um, writing the words!
In talking with other writers, I know I'm not alone in this. It's something many of us do. It's something you may do when it comes to devoting time to someone or something you love too.
But why? Is it because we're afraid of failing even though we've already succeeded? Is it because we're afraid we're “powerful beyond measure” as the quote I referenced above says? Does each success raise the bar higher and higher so that we are terrified of falling off and breaking our necks once and for all?
I don't really have the answers, but it's something I like to think about anyway. Maybe one day I'll stop running from my writing and start running toward it instead. It would be so wonderful if that day were today!