I think I’ve forgotten how to write. At least it seems that way. I can write essays and historical book critiques, but I’m not sure if I can still write blogs. I had no idea that this would happen. When I signed up for school I had no idea how much it would take away from other parts of my life. But maybe, just maybe, I needed the focus. Maybe the blogs stopped going anywhere. Maybe my life stopped, too. It’s hard to say. Those who pursue Purpose must deal not only with the hills and valleys, but the plains, the flat, dry, barren plains. Plains can have their own simple, quiet beauty and life can’t be all hills and valleys or we’d get exhausted. The plain times are necessary. Maybe they help us assess. Maybe the plain times motivate us to say, “I need something new, something more scenic and challenging.”
Sometimes while going on long drives I would go through small towns and fantasize what it would be like to live there. I imagined living quietly, keeping to myself, and reading and writing. Then, after I started writing, I realized that my fantasy was a form of escape and what I really need was not to hide, but to fully engage in life, to take chances, to follow my heart, and to keep going even when it was hard. I didn’t mind the hard because I was finally on the right path. Writing showed me that I didn’t have to hide or be a hermit in some small town. Life was waiting. And I engaged in it. At times it was like climbing a mountain, writing day after day.
But after awhile I found myself on a plain again. Or maybe it was a valley. But suddenly, without warning, I was descending another mountain, one I’m still on. This mountain seems far more difficult. Before, with my blogs, I was accountable to myself. Self-accountability is no small thing. Most people can’t do it. But now I’m accountable to others. There are usually 200-400 pages of reading per week. There is also a lot of writing, academic writing, which I’m still learning. The deadlines are real and intense and not at all within my control. And I couldn’t have done this without all the writing I had done before. One mountain led to another.
So the truth is I haven’t forgotten how to write. It was just time to climb a different mountain.