I used to make my living writing every day. As the business editor at a small daily newspaper in Bentonville, Ark., and then later as a business reporter at the statewide daily, I wrote stories about everything from chicken processing plants and commercial construction to new bank branches and anything related to Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
While the newspapers in that part of the country were fairly competitive back then, it wasn’t exactly what you’d call a cutthroat environment. But for me, it was tremendously stressful. I worked with some great journalists, many of whom also were wonderful people. I enjoyed interviewing people and learning their stories, but honestly, the daily deadlines and ever-present pressure and competition really weren’t for me.
After several years, I moved on to something much more fun—writing for a magazine on the cutting edge of the faith and work movement. It was wonderful. I loved my job and the people I worked with so much.
I wrote one book for this group (Women, Faith and Work: How Ten Successful Professionals Blend Belief and Business), and then another on my own (Infertility: Finding God’s Peace in the Journey).
Eventually, though—for reasons I will share later on this blog—I stopped writing.
For many years, all I could manage to write were prayers and an occasional press release for my church. As luck—actually, more like divine providence—would have it, my years of extended writer’s block were the same years Facebook grew huge, the blogosphere exploded, Twitter took off and self-publishing became popular.
The whole time, I thought about when I would start writing again, but I never actually did.
My foray into writing again began, quite beautifully, with a project I had put off for six years: My second daughter’s adoption scrapbook. When another friend went to China to adopt her son, I took that as my opportunity to get Molly’s book done. As I read the blog my friend’s twin daughters wrote about their trip and relived the adventures she herself described, I wrote a story for my daughter about how she became part of our family in the Guangdong province of China.
Another toe dip came when I applied to be a reader columnist for the religion section of my local newspaper. The submission that got me on the writer rotation for the year was perhaps the most vulnerable thing I’ve ever written for publication, and for me, it was a clear indication that my voice had changed significantly during my years of extreme writer’s block.
Can I let you in on a little secret? While it’s true that I’ve been a writer all my life, I’ve never been someone who lives to write, or can’t not write, or truly loves to write.
Until lately, that is.
Lately, the words have been flowing rather freely, and the joy they’re bringing my soul is something new entirely.
Which brings me to Waxing Gibbous. Honestly, I never planned to start a blog. In fact, until a few months ago, just thinking about it wore me out. But plans change, as do hearts and minds, and now a blog seems like a good next step.
If you like what you read, please enter your email address on the right to follow this blog. Then, if you think it might encourage or challenge the people you know, would you be so kind as to let them know about it, too?
I would be forever grateful.