I mentioned before, a need to step away from the din of the cyber-world. I quoted Thoreau and admitted a growing hunger to blow bubbles again–to sit still and rest. That was 2 months ago. I can’t actually believe it’s been that long. It feels like it was just last week.
Despite my slowing, time cruises on.
I fretted about how laying down my pen would affect my writing. “Writers write”, that’s what I kept saying. But I didn’t have a choice. Not only was I aching for some quiet, more importantly, I felt God calling me to it.
So, I stepped away.
At first, I did a terrible job of sitting still. I wanted to write, to push the words–I confess, I wanted the instant feedback that often comes with blogging. As an extrovert, that kind of stuff feeds me. (This is both blessing and curse.) I complained to God, I lamented to friends. I had a few false starts at settling down.
I wasn’t ready to listen. Yet, as much as I wanted to produce, the words simply weren’t there. I barely even journaled (something I normally do daily). So many mornings, I opened my journal, staring down at the blank page willing myself to write.
20 minutes later, I’d close it having written nothing but the date.
Instead of producing words, I filled my usual writing time consuming them. I read 5 books in 3 weeks. That’s a lot for me. Incidentally, those books all centered around the themes of quiet, whitespace, and sabbath.
Funny thing–when I finally surrendered to the quiet, I started to hear things, words began to gather again in my mind. God reminded me of stories I have yet to tell.
I also began to dream again. I had visions. Fresh ideas percolating. Inspiration glowed at the edges of my mind–a new dream unfolding.
As writers it can be so hard to balance seasons of work with seasons of rest. But if I’ve heard anything these last 2 months, it’s that when we are quiet, we can hear so much better (a profoundly obvious truth, I know).
Taking seasons of deliberate rest are critical for the creative soul’s restoration and rejuvenation.
If you’re feeling short on inspiration, if you’re in need of clarity and fresh perspective, try resting. Try quieting yourself, and asking God to show you the stories you ought to tell.
Set your pen down. Leave the journal on the nigh stand. Blow some bubbles. Bake something. Read a book–or 5.
Do anything other than write, that you find restful. Ignore the lie that there’s no time to rest. Ignore the voice in your head that calls you lazy.
Rest and be restored.
Q4U: When’s the last time you set your writing aside so you could listen? What did you hear?