What does it take to write? Lots of writing of course. I've been reading a number of books on how to conduct research as of late for a doctor of ministry course I'm taking. It's the pivotal class before I begin my dissertation/major project. After reading a ton about how to research, how to write research papers, the difference between qualitative and quantitative data, and the like, my brain done turned to mush.
But something one of the authors wrote hit me—keep on writing. The author suggested that I regularly write. As in daily. Just spurts here and there, nothing major. It could be short fiction, it could be poetry, or it could be on the research project at hand. Just keep on writing.
This struck me. I've been having bouts of writer's block lately. Like a lot of it. And it hits at the worst times. When you have to work on a sermon each week, sometimes two, and you have your entire job on the line each time you preach it, then yeah, the pressure is there. It's like writing a ten page term paper once a week and then having to present it to people. Not just that, but it has to make sense, be applicable, and use a variety of different images while capitalizing on different learning styles. Every. Single. Week.
Now, don't get me wrong. I love this part of being a pastor. I love being able to do just that. I'm a God geek theology nerd. This is some of the stuff I love. What I don't love is writer's block. What I don't like is when I'm going along at a good clip—writing and sermonating—and then all of the sudden everything just stops. The hamster on the wheel in my head takes a break and I can't write any more. Brain-no-work.
I used to regularly write. In fact, I regularly wrote on my blog. Now it's just once a week instead of daily. People used to ask me where I got all my weird ideas from. They'd ask how'd I come up with that. Me? No clue. I just wrote.
For some strange reason, I'm starting to think the same is true with sermonating as it is with research writing. I need to write on a regular basis to keep my mind at work. It's like doing physical training for my mind. If I keep up at it on a regular basis, it's not a hassle. Even when Sunday comes once a week (twice a week for some), I know that I can keep writing.
Not sure if I'll try this or not. I might. I should. Ohhhhhhh...Facebook (that also might be the problem, but that's for another post).
Until then, I must keep on writing, writing, writing.