You may have noticed that these blogs have stopped coming your way regularly. If so, you deserve an explanation for the long silence.
For the past two years, these blog entries have helped me hold onto a sense of purpose. Writing has always come easily for me—even though it has always been hard work. The presumptions by which I’ve operated are these: Someone somewhere—preferably older folks like you—might draw encouragement or affirmation from my observations about older adult life. Slightly different spiritual insights about the ordinary parts of life—that would be my niche.
That mindset started to evaporate a few months back. The continuing surreality of our political scene was an initial contributing factor in the weakening of my resolve to write. It’s grown more difficult to write uplifting and spiritually helpful blogs while living in the middle of a bizarre storm of cultural upheaval.
Much of my thinking was turning churlish—acidic critique easier to churn out than positive thoughts. It didn’t feel right to characterize this blog as a place that promotes “fullness of years” when my default attitude was wrapped up in prickly zingers about the general state of the world.
I have also wrestled with the fact that so many other, more highly skilled writers are vying for your attention. The nagging possibility has grown inside me that my writing could easily become just another part of the noisy conceptual environment that clogs your well-being.
Part of good writing is incisive, original thinking. For whatever reasons, it started to feel to me that my words lacked crispness, that they may have become mere repetition of already existing perceptions. That I might have become a master of the obvious. Fresh and unique insight have not seemed as readily available as in the past.
Honest writing in spiritual matters requires thinking critically about one’s self. Part of my being a truthful and trustworthy observer is being able to live out what I encourage or invite. It has become more and more apparent that I don’t often meet those requirements for authenticity.
I started to notice that many of the topics in my New Ideas file had been covered in already-existing blogs. Without admitting that I was running out of content, I knew that it was getting harder to find new material, new approaches, and new formats for the words I hoped to forward in your direction.
For those of you who write regularly, you’ll recognize that what I’ve described here is perhaps nothing more than wrestling with the writer’s demons that are a necessary part of the creative process. This time around, though, the demons have circled and perched more assuredly and insistently. I have tried to mute their critique by going silent, putting writing aside until the voices quieted down or went away. I’m not sure that’s worked.
What’s to come of all this? I remain hopeful….
Somewhere in here—or out there—there must still be a wellspring of inspiration and motivation for this blog. Somewhere there must still be subjects that beg illumination-by-words. Somewhere there must still be a personal calling to assemble thoughts for the benefit of people like you.
In spite of misgivings, I know that writing is still part of my lifework and that I will languish if I don’t play with words and send them out to do their work.
After all, playing with words is always better than languishing without them.