Writing for the Joy of Writing
I've been thinking about something for the past few months and it is this: there is something therapeutic about writing just for the joy of writing.
When I look at our culture, what I often see from others and within myself is this pressure to create for the sake of consumption. It's a pressure to write, create, have hobbies, and share our creativity and lives for the sake of money, success, likes, followers, significance, and sometimes to just prove ourselves. We offer up our time and talents for rewards that do not last.
A year ago, I was sitting on the beach with my family when I felt this intense urge to write begin to well up inside of me. I had a lot on my mind and in my heart and I needed to write it down on paper to make sense of everything I was thinking and feeling. With my journal and a pen, I set myself up with a chair in the sand and before I knew it I had written for two hours. My hand hurt from writing, but my soul felt at peace. And I thought to myself, "Why don't I do this more often? Why don't I just write for the joy of writing my heart out?"
For the past year, I've asked myself that same question.
If I'm honest with myself, I regularly fall into the temptation to write for the praise of man. I find a deep joy and satisfaction in writing to help and love people, but I can tell when my motives are in the wrong place. When I'm writing to love people, the words come easily. When I'm writing for praise, I get stuck. Have you ever had this happen to you, not just with writing, but with other pursuits?
I've felt a little stuck for a few months, and I realized 1. My motivation for writing has been for the praise of people and 2. It was sucking the fun and joy out of writing.
Writing is something that I've always enjoyed. I feel like I am my most honest self when I am writing, particularly when I can just journal my heart out and talk with God in the process.
So that's what I've been doing. For the past few months, I've just been writing for the joy of writing. I haven't shared much writing on here or on social media because I've just been enjoying writing for pleasure. And guess what? I love it! It helps me to get everything out of my head and onto a page. I've also found that it inspires me to write more things out of a love for people rather than a love for praise.
I've also been learning that sometimes I need to write faster than my hand can follow, which means that I've been trying to type up my thoughts rather than writing by hand. For those of you that know me well, you know that I love beautiful journals, but for this season I get the sense that typing is more helpful for getting out my thoughts than using my handwriting.
If you are someone that really wants to write, I hope this encourages you to just write for the joy of writing. You don't need to have a "successful" blog or following to be a writer. You just need to write. And that goes for a myriad of other hobbies.
So if you, like me, feel this overwhelming desire to write, get yourself a journal, open a Google Doc, use Evernote, or even just use a note-taking app on your phone. Whatever you use, may I encourage you today to just write for the sake of writing and the joy that comes from this simple pleasure.
Today is Amazon Prime day! That means that if you are a member of Amazon Prime, there are a number of deals going on today that might be worth looking into. One of my favorite deals every year is their discount code for print book purchases. With the code PRIMEBOOKS18, you can get $5 off of a book purchase over $20. For book lovers like me, that's a good deal!
If you want to buy a new book but are not sure where to start, I've curated a list of some current recommended reads. They are organized by category below:
None Like Him by Jen Wilkin - she explores 10 ways God is different from us and why that's a good thing. I keep giving this book as a gift to friends. See a review here.
In His Image by Jen Wilkin - she explores 10 ways that we are made to reflect God's Character.
Humble Roots by Hannah Anderson - great book on humility and how humility brings peace into our lives.
Made for More by Hannah Anderson - ever wonder why you were made and what your purpose in life is? Great book exploring this topic.
Women of the Word by Jen Wilkin - helpful book on how to study the Bible with your heart and mind. See review.
Side by Side by Ed Welch - loved reading this book with a friend on campus last semester. It gives encouragement and helpful ideas for relational ministry.
A Praying Life by Paul Miller - read this book in college, and my prayer life has never been the same ever since. If you've ever wanted to grow in communing with the Lord in prayer, this book is for you.
Love Walked Among Us by Paul Miller - it's all about how Jesus loved people and how we're called to love people as Jesus loved. If you want to feel refreshed by the amazing love of Christ, this here is your pick. Review of the book.
12 Ways Your Phone Is Changing You by Tony Reinke - just finished reading this pick, and it's probably one of the best books that I've read in 2017. Couldn't recommend it more highly. See a review here.
Cinemagogue by James Harleman - this book shaped the way that I viewed filmmaking and watching movies and television in college - helpful book in thinking through how films shape how we view God and how God should shape our viewership.
It's Not What You Think by Jefferson Bethke -addresses common misconceptions about Christianity and addresses things that most Christians do not think about, like what eternity will really be like. See review here.
To the Golden Shore by Courtney Anderson- the biography of Adoniram Judson - the first missionary from the United States. I could not put this biography down.
The Magnolia Story by Chip and Joanna Gaines - they story of how this couple started their lifestyle brand Magnolia which led to the HGTV show, Fixer-Upper
Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers - historic romance novel based of the biblical story of Hosea.
Circle Series by Ted Dekker - just finished reading this series. It's one of Brandon's favorites and it's excellent.
I could recommend more books, but this is a good list to start. Don't forget to add the code PRIMEBOOKS18 at checkout to receive your discount. If you don't have Amazon Prime, you can try it for free with a 30 day trial and receive the discount.
P. S. What I'm Buying
In case you were wondering what books I'm buying on this Amazon Prime Day, I bought Shepherding a Child's Heart by Ted Tripp (only $5.42 right now), The Memoir Project by Marion Smith, and How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. I'll keep you posted on how I like them.
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