A little less than 3 years ago, I started a blog. 12 months and only 14 posts later, I quit. I wasn’t in a habit of regular writing, and couldn’t stay motivated. Plus, I don’t think I’m an exceptionally good writer…so why bother?
The funny thing is, I’ve loved writing for as long as I can remember. When I was a kid I would write short stories about an alien named Colad for my little brother. When I was a young teenager I almost finished my first novel. But then our computer crashed and the floppy disc malfunctioned in the same week and it was lost forever (RIP, Isaac and Andrea and your sweet love story). I think the loss of all that work crushed my motivation to write. I composed a few poems here and there, but eventually even that died out and for the majority of the past decade I haven’t written. Until last year.
I’m going to fill you in on a little secret. One that very, very few people know. My husband found out first, and I didn’t tell another soul until months later. I’m pretty sure my parents thought I was about to drop a bombshell confession when I talked to them. The conversation went something like this, “I have to tell you guys something. I haven’t told anybody but Andrew. It just feel so awkward and weird and embarrassing. Please don’t tell anyone. I don’t want people to know yet, but I have to say something to you because it’ll get weirder the longer I wait…” [insert long, tension building pause] “I’m about halfway through writing a book.” My parents breathed a sigh of relief.
Unfortunately, I haven’t gotten much better talking about it. I’ve still only told a few people, and they all got to experience the same sense of awkwardness. So congrats for dodging that conversation!
From October-May, I rediscovered a love for writing and somehow found time to do so every day. At the end of those 8 months, I had finished a 72,000 word manuscript. Novice that I am, I thought, “Great, I’ll get some feedback, make my edits, and be done by August!” I’d laugh right now if I wasn’t so overwhelmed with the amount of work left to do. Editing a book is no joke, people. Even though I’ve had generally good feedback, the amount of time that goes into fixing this transition, rewording that sentence, shortening this chapter, and adding more grace to that tone, is exhausting. Thankfully, with as much as I hate this part of the process, I know it’s making it a better. And there’s a glimpse of light at the end of the tunnel.
But what does a book have to do with a blog? I will tell you what. I don’t want to lose the joy of writing because of the tedious work of editing. And I think by having an outlet to actually produce something, however brief, will help me resist an increasing urge I have to throw my computer at the wall in a fit of rage as I rant about never finishing my book. My other, and perhaps better reason, is that this blog will give me the opportunity to cover material I wasn’t able to include. The book is tentatively titled “Equipped for Mercy” (hence, the blog name…because I’m a spring of fresh ideas), and one of the greatest challenges has been resisting the urge to cover too many topics/facets/principles. It needs to stay focused. Here I can let ideas flow freely rather than feeling constrained by the question “it this a good use of word count?”
I don’t know how often I’ll write. Hopefully it’ll fare a little better than my last blogging attempt. But at the very least, I’m thankful to have a space that will help maintain my sanity as I attempt to finish the marathon of writing a book.