This blog was born because I wanted to be a more disciplined and frequent writer. The jury’s still out on how I’m doing so far. I find myself making excuses. Just how disciplined is disciplined? And how do you define frequent? More excuses abound, I have written 2 talks in the past 3 weeks so I HAVE been writing after all. The best craic is I set myself the task, no one else did. No one asked me to write more. So why do I feel compelled to write?
First I love words; love, love, love them. When I listen to songs it’s the words rather than the melody that grip me, or loose me in disinterest. I am moved by narrative. I become lost in stories. I can feel the heartbeat in beautifully crafted words, the sense that they are more than the sum of their parts. I’ve always loved reading. In fact my Mum asked my teacher in primary school if it was normal for me to like reading so much. Truth is I wasn’t that prolific a reader just seemed like one to my Mum.
Not all readers like to write and maybe not all writers like to read but I can’t actually think of any that I’ve met. I enjoyed writing at school, wish I had learnt more about the how to – not sure how I missed out on that. I kept a diary as a teenager – who didn’t in the 80’s? And the most cringe worthy of all I wrote poetry – awful gushy teenage girly stuff that is too embarrassing for me to even read myself. I promise to never post it here.
It wasn’t until we planted a church and I began to speak at our Sunday gatherings that I began to write creatively again. For 12 years I had been in the bank surrounded by my other love; numbers. I’m a bit of a freak like that I love words and numbers. My logic, problem solving, finding the answer part of my brain had been in full flow for that time, in the midst of 3 lots of pregnancy hormones and the brain cells that they kill in the process. Now in this new ‘job’ of church planter I picked up my pen and began to write, quite easily when I managed to stop procrastinating and chatting to anyone in the same building as me, and making cups of coffee and even TIDYING! My problem is focus, staying on task, even though I enjoy writing it feels like homework, or coursework my hope is the more often I write, the easier it will be to be focused. I read an article recently that reckons all the surfing and flitting back and forward that we do online is killing our concentration. I could blame that but instead I’d rather change. How many times do you need to do something for it to become a habit? They reckon 16-21 times repeating something before it becomes a habit. This is post 6 just 10-15 more to go before I stop procrastinating and faffing about.
Why do I feel the need to write? Secondly because I can. Oh that feels like I’m being big-headed and we Northern Irish peeps are much better at being self-depreciating or at feigning false-humility. Simple I think I should use what I have instead of hankering after what I haven’t. And I’m hoping that practice will improve my writing too as well as improving my attention span.
Thank you for participating in my writing-habit-forming exercise and please know that you are invited to critique, in the hope that I can improve and you can be part of my process.