I am conflicted about this blogging thing. I’m not sure how committed I am to sticking with it.
The problem is, I really think of myself as a creative writer. Coming up with works of fiction is what makes me happy, keeps me grounded, and helps me work out what it all means.
But it takes so much work.
I’m more of a re-writer, actually, than a writer. The first draft is a long, tedious slog for me as I essentially just work out an outline for what I want to do. It’s inefficient, but it’s the only way I can do it. Re-writing, though, fills me with confidence and energy. I am an excellent editor of my own work; if a passage or a line that I am particularly fond of doesn’t serve the story – poof! Gone. It’s my superpower. It’s the one area in my life where I feel really competent. I love chiseling away at an idea, finding the perfect way to best present it, delving into characters and discovering how they really work. I love it!
But it takes so much time.
Time, for the uninitiated, is not something you can find in spades when you have a family. Well, at least, not if you are an inefficient sort, as I am.
Blogging is a great compromise, a creative outlet that makes less demands time-wise. Every time I work on a post though, I have a creeping uneasiness that my time would be better spent on other types of writing. I have a fantastic idea for a screenplay (believe me, I know how stupid that sounds!) that I haven’t begun work on because I’ve been using my snippets of spare time to prepare stuff for this blog.
I think it comes down to this: what does God want from the need to write He has given me? Creative writing is what I am best at, and it’s what I most enjoy…..but it just sits around my computer once it’s done. I don’t “do” anything with it, partly because I don’t have the time and partly because I am sensitive to criticism.
If I write a short story in the empty woods, does it make a sound?
Am I meant to make a sound? I mention not having a barbaric yelp in my first post, but that wasn’t entirely true. I think I do have one, I just don’t know if it’s meant to be heard. Maybe I’m meant to slave over something I love without accomplishing anything, like the father with his piano in The Tree of Life. Devotion without mastery is something powerful, I think, in the eyes of our children. And the value of things that are never fully realized in this world is a theme that tends to run through just about everything I write. It’s clearly something carved deeply in my heart.
So. I don’t know. There are some things I’m interested in exploring (like why I like the Song of Ice and Fire books so much, even though the racy parts are so shocking I never recommend them to Christian friends) and that I think are worth some time and effort. Maybe I’ll keep this up, at least sporadically. Maybe it doesn’t matter, maybe this is the empty woods, too. It may be that there is where I’m meant to stay.