Lately I’ve been feeling stuck.
And when I feel stuck, I get caught up in this mentality where stapling together the perfectly decorated paragraphs becomes more important than writing anything at all.
Ideas swirl through my mind constantly, but I build a dam at the line across the last knuckle on each finger, leaving my fingertips hovered above the keyboard with no chance of anything pouring onto the blank screen.
It’s not writer’s block — it’s perfectionist’s block.
I convince myself that I have more important things to do, so I push my passions to the back burner of my mind. I question if I have anything that’s really worth sharing with others. I reason that it will take too much time away from the things I absolutely need to do if I sit down and take the time I need to write a perfect post. I discourage myself with the belief that no one really reads my thoughts, so it really is just a waste of time…isn’t it?
But this morning I woke up with a drive to write. Maybe it’s the Netflix series I’m watching where the main character dreams of being a write. Maybe it’s the screenshots of poem lyrics that impacted me that I found while scrolling through my camera roll.
Or maybe I’m just finally realizing that stuffing down my passion to paint words into sentences has been stealing my joy and snubbing God by not using the gift He has given me.
1 Peter 4:10
“As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.”
“In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”
1 Corinthians 10:31
“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
“And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men.”
Why is that so easy to do — to not use the gifts we’ve been given? Why is it so easy to justify to ourselves?
For me, personally, it’s a pride issue more often than not.
I have been complimented on my writing skills so many times that I feel as if I need to continue raising the bar and creating works that are even more elaborate and thought-provoking, as if I am competing with myself.
And this is bad. (For multiple reasons).
First of all, this need to achieve is keeping me from doing what I love: writing. Obviously I want the things I unleash to the internet to be accurate and well thought-out, but just because it isn’t American Academy of Arts and Letters Gold Medal worthy, doesn’t mean I shouldn’t even try.
Another reason this is bad comes straight out of Colossians 3:23, as stated above, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.”
I get so caught up in trying to make my writing “better” than the next blogger, striving to grab the attention of every reader possible, and searching for innovative topics in an attempt to fish for compliments once it’s posted that I forget why I write in the first place.
I write because it’s fun.
I write because it’s therapy.
I write because it helps me reflect on things I’ve learned.
I write because it allows me to remember.
But, most importantly, I write because God’s given me this passion and this gift to use for His glory.
Would I like to be noticed for my gifts? Yes. Would I like to get paid for this passion? You better believe it. (Is that proving to be much more difficult than anticipated? A thousand times yes).
But these desires should never get in the way of the real reason I do this.
Sometimes I depress myself by reading back through my old favorite posts and realizing that the light-bulb moment behind that brilliant idea is dead and gone, and it’s up to little old me to dig up new ideas.
It’s kind of like learning to talk, really (current thought process: is this analogy going to work? Who knows. But we’re just gonna roll with it for now).
My mind is kind of weird in that, I see the words I’m speaking spelled out in my mind as I say them. So, if I can’t spell a word, more often than not, I can’t pronounce it either. I also had a speech impediment as a child, so words with phonics like “oy”, “oi”, and “or” are reeeeaalllllyy difficult for me (say “poor boy” ten times fast and you’ll get an idea of how I feel saying it once).
But with that being said, some words come easier than others. Some words (or languages) take us years to master.
But no matter how hard it is to keep trying at times and how imperfect we may sound, we don’t give up because we have to do this, we have to learn to talk.
Well, I have to write.
Not only is it a part of who I am, it reflects 1 Peter 4:10, also stated above, “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.”
Now, I know this passage in particular is referring to spiritual gifts, but I also am a firm believer that God has gifted every individual with “regular” gifts as well–some can play basketball, some can paint, some can run, some can organize, some can create, some can do math (I mean, someone’s gotta do it).
Verse 11 in 1 Peter 4 continues by urging us to use our gifts “in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ.”
Furthermore, Jesus shares a parable about using our talents instead of burying them. In the story (Matthew 25), three servants are each given a different number of talents–two of the servants invest these talents to earn more talents for their Master (remember that these “talents” were money…but the exact same concepts apply to our modern day talents!) but one of the servants simply buries his.
And you know what the Master says to him? “You wicked and slothful servant!” Um, ouch. Those are definitely not words I want to hear from my Master concerning the gifts He has given to me because I chose not to use my talent before it’s perfect.
I long for my talents to make a difference, for my passions to bring my Master glory.
I long to hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much.”
So I know I have to keep writing, even when I feel uninspired. Even when I’m “too busy” with other things. And even when the sentences I staple and string together look like a kindergartener’s work.
As long as my heart is right in it, that is all that really matters.
P.S. if you read this far, I APPRECIATE YOU!