Faith seeking understanding #071: What I learned from skipping a day of writing… or two… or three…

Faith seeking understanding, my personal journey towards a deeper knowledge of and intimacy with God, the cosmos, humanity and myself through thoughts, words and (occasionally) images, is a series of [hopefully] daily reflections I’m writing with the purpose of publishing something on a regular basis for others to read, either here, at joncarllewis.com or among my writings at Medium.com.

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Breaking my writing streak and skipping a day of writing taught me a lot. That missed day turned into a week of erratic writing, much of which produced no writing at all.

But I’m not going to beat myself up. I’m feeling okay with having broken the chain after reflection number 70, but the most important lesson I learned from the experience is that I am happier when I write every day. When I don’t have the expectation that I am going to write every day, I found that I, simply, didn’t write. Or, if I did write, I wrote sporadically. This doesn’t make me as happy as much as writing every day (or, every night, in my case).

Nevertheless, the break in flow taught me a few things that I’d like to remember going forward.

I need to write every day

First, I realized, as I stated above, that I need to write every day. Trying to write every other day, or a few days a week, or when I feel like it, just doesn’t work. I need to face the page and reflect every day.

I need to start writing even when I don’t know what I am going to write about

After I was away for a couple of days away, I became frightened of starting up again because I didn’t know what I was going to say. Of course, when I was writing every day, I often wasn’t sure what I was going to say until I started typing nonsense and somehow, magically found my way to writing reflections for 71 days in a row. I need to trust that the muse will meet me if I am faithful and let her know where I am going to be every day.

I need to remember the connection I have with my readers

I felt a special bond with my readers when I was writing every day. I knew that there was someone there listening to what I was typing, and that was a comfort to me. Of course, some days that made me self-conscious and worried about what I would produce and how it would be received. Nevertheless, for the most part, it felt good to connect with others across time and space. I need to be faithful to my readers so that we can encourage each other.

I don’t need to write a lot

I must remember that the idea is not to create perfect, long-winded essays (can they be perfect essays if they are long-winded?) but short reflections on a variety of topics. My original goal was to write two sentences a day. Most days I couldn’t stop at two sentences. In fact, I don’t think I ever stopped at two sentences. But a two-sentence reflection is quite allowed. I need to remember that it’s not the quantity that matters, it’s the honesty.

There are other things I learned, I am sure, but I can’t think of what they are.

Suffice to say, I am back to my nightly regimen.

I can sleep well tonight, knowing that I have accomplished one thing, stretched my writing muscles just a little bit, and communicated with someone from my heart to theirs.

Because the most important thing I learned from taking time off is the first thing I learned: writing on a regular basis—which, for me, means every day—just makes me happy. I hope that reading what I have written will make you happy too.

Thank you for your time and attention.
I’d love to know your thoughts on what you’ve read.
Please comment, below, or email me at joncarllewis@gmail.com.
May God richly bless you on your journey.

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Faith seeking understanding #071: What I learned from skipping a day of writing… or two… or three…

Faith seeking understanding #070: On the necessity of obscurity for fame

Faith seeking understanding, my personal journey towards a deeper knowledge of and intimacy with God, the cosmos, humanity and myself through thoughts, words and (occasionally) images, is a series of [hopefully] daily reflections I’m writing with the purpose of publishing something on a regular basis for others to read, either here, at joncarllewis.com or among my writings at Medium.com.

Photo by Benjamin Davies on Unsplash

I am rereading Elaine Dundy’s chapter about me from the memoir that she is writing. I am reminded what a good comic writer she is; she also has a biographer’s sharp eye. For instance, she writes that while my clothes are never noticeable, Ken wears deep purple suits and Tom Wolfe’s white planter outfits are very showy indeed. They dressed to be noticed. I dressed to be invisible. But perhaps that is the difference between journalists, obliged to make a vivid daily effect, and those of us who write over the long haul, revealing, even in our clothes, the slow, dull, bovine temperament of the novelist.

—Gore Vidal, Palimpsest, p. 313.

Obscurity. It is what the writer fears most of all. Or at least most writers. Or, at least, me. Deep down, I want to be noticed, famous, lauded, preferably for my writing and, barring that, for my ideas (although I can think of few better ways to be lauded for one’s ideas than by putting them in print and publishing them). Nevertheless, as an aspiring novelist, I have come to recognize a paradox: in order to become famous as a novelist, one must spend an inordinate amount of time in obscurity.

Continue reading “Faith seeking understanding #070: On the necessity of obscurity for fame”
Faith seeking understanding #070: On the necessity of obscurity for fame

Faith seeking understanding #069: My spiritual ego

Photo by Samuel Martins on Unsplash

Faith seeking understanding, my personal journey towards a deeper knowledge of and intimacy with God, the cosmos, humanity and myself through thoughts, words and (occasionally) images, is a series of [hopefully] daily reflections I’m writing with the purpose of publishing something on a regular basis for others to read, either here, at joncarllewis.com or among my writings at Medium.com.

Inspired by Jonas Ellison’s essay; “A rant on Lutheran theology and contemplation.”

Continue reading “Faith seeking understanding #069: My spiritual ego”
Faith seeking understanding #069: My spiritual ego

Faith seeking understanding #068: Momentum supercedes my will

Faith seeking understanding, my personal journey towards a deeper knowledge of and intimacy with God, the cosmos, humanity and myself through thoughts, words and (occasionally) images, is a series of [hopefully] daily reflections I’m writing with the purpose of publishing something on a regular basis for others to read, either here, at joncarllewis.com or among my writings at Medium.com.

Photo by Joseph Gruenthal on Unsplash

Momentum takes over even when the will flags

And I am moved to write

Having just finished reading the first draft

(Actually, the first fragments)

Of my novel.

Today I return to my practice

After two days of having fallen ill

And having fallen asleep to let that illness run it’s course.

But now the sickness is gone

And by habit, I return

Thanks for being here

To welcome me back.

Thank you for your time and attention.
I’d love to know your thoughts on what you’ve read.
Please comment, below, or email me at joncarllewis@gmail.com.
May God richly bless you on your journey.

Faith seeking understanding #068: Momentum supercedes my will

Faith seeking understanding #067: The hard work means it’s real

Faith seeking understanding, my personal journey towards a deeper knowledge of and intimacy with God, the cosmos, humanity and myself through thoughts, words and (occasionally) images, is a series of [hopefully] daily reflections I’m writing with the purpose of publishing something on a regular basis for others to read, either here, at joncarllewis.com or among my writings at Medium.com.

Photo by christopher lemercier on Unsplash

I worked hard today. At my job. As a novelist. I spent hours printing out my novel’s manuscript and forcing myself to sit and read as many of the 72,000 words I’ve written as fast as I could comprehend what I was saying about what was going on. At times I had to take a breather. At times I had to pace back and forth in my office. At times I felt like I ought to be doing something—anything—else. But I worked today. I worked hard, and at several points during my work I found myself smiling.

Continue reading “Faith seeking understanding #067: The hard work means it’s real”
Faith seeking understanding #067: The hard work means it’s real

Faith seeking understanding #066: Writing envy

Faith seeking understanding, my personal journey towards a deeper knowledge of and intimacy with God, the cosmos, humanity and myself through thoughts, words and (occasionally) images, is a series of [hopefully] daily reflections I’m writing with the purpose of publishing something on a regular basis for others to read, either here, at joncarllewis.com or among my writings at Medium.com.

Photo by Artem Bali on Unsplash.

Someone wrote today what I wished I had written tonight. I will allow myself to pout a little. The author is a little farther ahead of me on solving a problem we both have—and has adopted the same method to overcome it. But he thought to make it into today’s reflection for him and I didn’t.

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Faith seeking understanding #066: Writing envy

Faith seeking understanding #065: Slogging through storycraft land

Faith seeking understanding, my personal journey towards a deeper knowledge of and intimacy with God, the cosmos, humanity and myself through thoughts, words and (occasionally) images, is a series of [hopefully] daily reflections I’m writing with the purpose of publishing something on a regular basis for others to read, either here, at joncarllewis.com or among my writings at Medium.com.

Photo by Catherine Zaidova on Unsplash.

I spent hours in storycraft land today. Most of that time was well spent, although I didn’t advance my word count (and probably decided to lose more pages than I will keep).

Continue reading “Faith seeking understanding #065: Slogging through storycraft land”
Faith seeking understanding #065: Slogging through storycraft land