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.
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