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"Hard is not hopeless." - General David Petraeus

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Should I Be Concerned?

I don't miss writing.

That thought freaks me out.

In June I had to put away all my writing pursuits to focus on my health.  Other than skimming a few craft books, I have done no writing, no research, nothing to further my writing career because I simply can't take care of my health and find the time I need to write too.

But as I lay awake in bed this morning, I asked myself the question.  Do I miss writing?

I was tempted to lie to myself.  But the honest answer is no.  I don't miss the writing. I don't miss the additional stress.

Writing had become another big stressor in my life.  I can't get rid of the high stress that is my day job (the Lord knows I wish I could), but I at least could get rid of the writing stress.

But admitting to myself that I don't miss the writing is scary.  Is this temporary? Permanent?  What about the years and thousands of hours I have invested in becoming a better writer?  Was that all a waste?

This feels different somehow.  I've gone through plenty of rounds of burnout before.  When you work full time and have to cram writing in around all the other obligations, burnout is inevitable.  The rest of life is completely incompatible with a creative lifestyle.

But this time the difference is I feel a sense of detachment from writing that I never felt before.

Maybe it truly has become less important to me.  After all, if you'd asked me a year ago whether I could be 43 pounds lighter and my back (and my body) in better shape, I would have said "I'm 45 years old.  It ain't happenin' ".  But it did happen.  I now have the prospect of being able to enjoy the world around me.  To hike.  To absorb the beauty that is Arizona, God's wondrous creation.

I'm also finding that through my weight loss journey, through my pursuit of being a stronger, fitter version of me, it may be opening up opportunities to serve others in new ways.  To help them improve their lives.

Maybe writing has become dead to me while I fill up that gaping hole that was left in me for years--that yearning to be physically active--to break free of being a prisoner trapped inside my own body. 

I'm so thankful for the return to good physical health.  And it would be difficult but if I had to make a choice, I'd take physical health over writing.

Yet my mind keeps wondering back to those 12 or so novel concepts that stare back at me from the pockets of my shower curtain to remind me of my goals.  Can I stand to leave them orphans forever?  What if I wasn't meant to write them after all?

I guess as the months wear on, we'll find out.


Nicole said...

Brenda, writing isn't just a season, but sometimes it works like one. And I think the true beauty of the "summer" is when you can't wait to bask in it. (Now that's probably hard for an Arizonian to imagine) - maybe I should've chosen winter.

You've donated a large part in small increments to your writing. It's not by chance that you studied and improved your craft, have lots of stories. And it's not a chance event that you chose to better your health and adjust your stress points. All this will make not only your body healthier but your eventual return to writing healthier.

I admire you. The Lord will be leading your journey, and you know you can count on that.

Nicole said...
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Nicole said...
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