Hiatus. And a Permission to Begin Anew

I’ve been away. I know it. I didn’t intend to stay away this long, and yet…I did.

I could launch a thousand excuses as to why. Work got busy (we built a bell tower). Life got busy (we had a baby). I worried I had nothing new to add to the conversation (does anyone, really?).

But, at the end of it all is this: I simply didn’t make this a priority.

I kept paying my monthly webhosting fees, and when the domain came up for renewal a few months ago, I let it. But I didn’t do anything with this site…just let it sit dormant for almost a year.

And then, just the other day, I thought:

Dang it. Just make time.

A little over a year ago, I attended CREDO, an opportunity for pastors in the PCUSA (there’s a version for the Episcopal’s too…in fact, they invented it). As a part of the process, we’re supposed to create a “plan” for becoming healthier professionally and personally, in all sorts of ways. One of the elements of my plan was to create.

Create visual things. Create worshippy things. Create educational things. Write.

So, over the last year, I’ve been working on it. I’ve taught myself Adobe Illustrator, and now I’m working on Photoshop. I’m working on teaching myself a font creator software to expand my creative outlets.

I’ve made stoles and given myself permission to be more creative in worship (and not worry so much about it being “cheesy”).

I’ve given a great deal of thought to a number of programs that I’d like to give life to, although that got pushed off because of pregnancy and maternity leave, if I’m going to be honest.

But, I haven’t given myself the permission to write. I get up in my head about it, and I start circling around all those thoughts that I’ve had before.

As the one year anniversary of my CREDO plan approaches, I realize that I haven’t followed through on the biggest part of what I determined during that incredibly formative week would give me life.

And so, today, I start again. I give myself permission to write and, as Anne Lamott says, write a shitty first draft. Who knows, you may well read numerous shitty first drafts as I work towards my ultimate goal of writing something truly worthy of putting out there in the world. 

Nothing New Under the Sun

I long to write and to share things that are thoughtful and useful. I long to write and to share things that are helpful and interesting. I long to write and to share things that mean something to me, and that hopefully mean something to others. I have a list of posts that I have fermenting, some in my brain, some on Word documents, and some in scribbles in journals. A list of posts that I want to write and that I want to be profound. 
But, as I am working on these posts, along comes another blogger, usually someone with a much higher readership than I...and writes about something similar, or writes about something using a similar train of thought as I have been working on. They post it, it gets linked on Social Media, and whooooosh. There it is, everywhere in my feed(s). Or at least that's the way that it seems. 

And I can't help but wondering: If I were to post my thoughts about this subject now, will people think that I'm plagiarizing "their" ideas or riding on the coattails of that other person? Will people think that this piece that I've been working on for a long time, finding the right words and the right thoughts to express what I'm thinking and feeling...will people think that it's less profound because they already read something that someone else wrote about a similar subject? 

At the end of the day, I am, perhaps, plagued by the ever present, nagging fear of Generation X: Maybe I am just another faceless drone in the world, and while I long to be unique and special, I just have nothing new to offer to the world. 
I think that my ever present fear with blogging is that, if I do press "publish" on my treatise on church or parenting or what's going on in the world or what's going on in the depths of my brain...then everyone else will quickly and easily become aware of my ordinariness. Because someone else said something similar or on the same topic first. 

The thought paralyzes me. I freeze up, and I stop writing, wondering  "what's the use?"

It's been part of my silence here the past month or so. And it's a thought that almost had me taking down this site altogether this past week as a subject that I've been working on very hard behind the scenes, something that I have great plans for, was written about and commented on widely within my social circle. My fears kicked into high gear, and I wondered if people would roll their eyes at me when I finally do hit that "publish" button. 
Who does she think she is?

And then I remember: There is nothing new under the sun. And that's okay.
I will probably never have that greatly profound ground breaking thought piece that people stop at and marvel at. Because there is nothing that I can't say that hasn't been said by others a thousand time over...and probably better than how I can possibly say it. And that's okay.
Because what I bring is my perspective and my experience. What I bring is another view, even if it is just one of many.

What I bring is my own voice...and while it may be ordinary, it is mine. And it matters.

So, I will keep writing, for my small audience, yes, but for myself. And I will write things that are important and profound and good...even if to only me. It's not a matter of being the first or even the best. But it's a matter of writing my truth, speaking my story, and wrestling with putting the pieces together as I, and we all, wrestle with figuring out this thing called life. 

And I will finish and publish those pieces that I've been working on, because they are important to me, and perhaps they'll be important or helpful of meaningful to someone else.