Why I Quit Writing and Why I’m Starting Again

Way on back in 2012, I sat in my dorm room probably doing homework. Maybe I was procrastinating on Facebook. Who really knows?

I got a message from a sweet friend telling me that he was sitting at his work study job, which he found incredibly boring, and stumbled across my blog. At the time, I had been blogging for maybe three years and hardly had any traffic. My posts were fairly short and always spiritual. I was encouraged by my mom to start blogging (thanks, mama!) just because she believed I had something valuable to say. So I did it partly for fun and partly because it just felt right.

That sweet friend of mine told me he read half a dozen posts and found my writing “very real and practical.” He even admitted to getting teary-eyed. He thanked me for my openness and for being an encouragement to him on that mundane day.

When I got his message, I was overcome. It was the first time I ever truly felt that my words were important. The first time I believed I could make an impact on people. Which of course is what every overly-devout Christian teenager could ever hope for, am I right?

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A year later, I was just starting grad school and a whole new world of transitions were taking place. I no longer lived in that close-knit community of people who were so like me. Not to mention I was figuring out how to thrive in school when I was already feeling a bit burned out (I can only handle so many 20-page papers, y’all). Of course there was also all of the worry about finding a job that I enjoyed and a husband to share life with and a church that I could REALLY get behind.

Somewhere in the worry, I lost all motivation to write. I stopped journaling (except when it was required of me for class). I stopped jotting down ideas on my sticky notes and church bulletins. My blog fell apart.

I told myself it was because I was too busy. To begin with, I was taking classes that required a great deal of writing. I was already thinking theologically for my professors. I was busy with groups of friends and figuring out how to make a new place nice and tidy. Let’s be honest, I was also entirely fascinated with TV. I had never binge-watched anything before in my life until graduate school. Seriously, I went through New Girl, Sherlock, and Downton Abbey like my life would be incomplete without those characters.

I told myself I wasn’t writing because I was busy. Really, I was just afraid.

Afraid that no one would care to read my thoughts. Even more afraid that someone would challenge my thoughts in a harsh way. Afraid that my words would inadvertently hurt someone. Afraid of rejection. Afraid that my words are not good enough, that I could never compare to someone else.

I was afraid despite encouragement from my professors and my mom (thanks, mama!). I was given opportunities to write for my church and an Advent devotional for my school. Some people must have believed in me, but I could never quite believe in myself.

Despite my fear, I couldn’t shake the yearning to write. For me, writing is therapy. I think more clearly and creatively through writing. The simple truth is that I NEED to write. I feel it deep in my soul where all of my passions reside. I cannot go through one more day of meaningless television and cleaning and cooking without writing something, anything.

Somehow, I think that writing for myself is not enough. I believe that there are other people crippled by fear. I think many people want to be honest and have a safe place where they can express their true beliefs. I am convinced that we all need encouragement and grace in this crazy life. I pray this little corner of the World Wide Web can be that kind of place for someone. That sweet friend of mine convinced me that it’s possible. As we sat at our kitchen table last night, that sweet friend-turned-husband convinced me again.

I hope that you can breathe easy here. I want us to discover truth and light here. Let us not live in fear, but trust that there is purpose and peace through God.

Peace to you,

Anna

 

I would love for us to connect. You can share your fears and doubts here, but don’t feel pressured if you’re not ready. I am all about resting in God, and I hope you can do that here. Join in the conversation through the comments below or feel free to contact me.

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2 thoughts on “Why I Quit Writing and Why I’m Starting Again

  1. You’ve officially been bookmarked! Can’t wait to read your thoughts, Anna. Still smiling that it was Mr. B getting teary eyed over your writing. Looking forward to your next post!

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