Monday, August 20, 2012

13 Words or Play Chicken

     When I started blogging I wasn’t sure what I was doing. I’m convinced that the more I write the better I can be at it. Looking at my first few months of blogging is proof. It took over a year to really find my voice in what I was doing. And it isn’t just the form and sentences, which are what needs the most practice. Over a year ago Prajna suggested that I change the content of my blog and begin to tell what God is doing in my life. Make the blog more topical. Up until then I could pull any story out of my past and just write it out, give it a clever title and there was that week’s blog. When I started trying to write more of what was going on in my life a couple things happened. The overall quality of Roadwalker improved and it got a lot more difficult to think of a good topic.
     Over the past months I took a vacation and also gave my testimony. I had plenty to write about. When another hen went broody I asked Nathaniel to take a few pictures of me treating her so I could blog about that. Then things stopped happening, or at least I stopped observing things happening. I talked to Prajna about how I actually was feeling dismay about my upcoming blog. It began with me telling her that I was talking to my favorite hen, Suzie about how I get anxious about blogging lately. Suzie will sit in my arms and softly question me as I tell her that maybe I’ll never write anything good again. I confessed how I sometimes get. I just want to give up writing and blogging completely. Prajna however stepped up and diagnosed me. She told me how hard I’ve been working without much of a break. I argued that I’ve had a pretty easy week at work, and a vacation a month ago. Prajna she reminded me that the events at work and a lot of minor commitments added up to a lot. She knows that I refuel best when I can get away for a while by myself. And whenever someone doesn’t enjoy something that they normally look forward to, she said, that can be burnout.
     I didn’t think it was burnout. I thought I just would never think of anything to write about anymore. But I went online and looked at Mojave Desert Preserve and Death Valley and made up my mind to go out to Death Valley sometime in October. It’s still almost two months away, but I can look forward to it and that will help. As for my writing, I had written down a little phrase while vacuuming the other day and thought that maybe I could make something of it. Maybe it would be mediocre, but at least I would be writing and could go out and tell Suzy the hen that I pulled it off one more time. For at least one more week I wouldn’t give up.
     Last night Prajna and I were talking about Celebrate Recovery and all the potential it has. We were talking about what a mistake giving up can be. She said: “You don’t see the miracle if you decide to throw in the towel.”
     I looked at her like she had just pulled a fresh, buttery soft pretzel from the oven. I asked her to repeat it which she did and she admitted that yes, she had thought of that herself, but I could use it. I wrote it next to my computer.
     You don’t see the miracle if you decide to throw in the towel. There have been plenty of times when I didn’t give up when I should, but that was out of nothing but pride. I could write a whole entry on that. But I was reminded by Prajna’s words that if I did just choose to sleep in on a Monday morning, ask someone else to make breakfast and feed the chickens and do my laundry on another day and just sleep ‘till noon and write nothing, then what? Then I've done nothing. 
     The truth is that God works in my life every day and maybe it’s not something fascinating enough to share, but there always has to be something that I can pass on. This blog is a writing exercise and that means that even if I have a dull point I can present it well.
     So was all of today's musing of writer’s angst leading up to the conclusion that something will always step in and save me? No. What happened this week was that I wanted to give up. Then I didn’t because I was inspired to write about inspiration. And the anxiety may still be there if next week I don’t have something to share. I might be right back where I was, wanting to sit in the backyard with a hen on my lap asking what to do. But Prajna spoke 13 words that I can try to stand on and press forward with. And if they work in a little hobby like writing, I should imagine their potential in the real world.
     By the way, I don’t own those 13 words even though Prajna gave them to me. (I keep telling her that her blog could be outstanding with her wisdom.) If anyone needs to write them on a notecard and use them, feel free. If, in fact someone would rather sit and hold a friendly hen and whimper they can do that too. This week I pressed ahead. I hope if someone else needs to, they can use the words and not play chicken.

One last note. This is Roadwalker post #200. Thanks for sticking with me-


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