Why I Stopped Writing January 02, 2016


Last year I only published three blog posts; the year before was not much better, with a period of inactivity that spanned almost half the year, followed by occasional attempts to catch up, which had come to mean writing from the backlog, picking the most memorable and notable things that had happened, mostly about our various travels. I enjoy our trips immensely and want to have a permanent written record of them. In the past two years we have gone all over the world, have seen so many beautiful things, and had so many beautiful experiences. I want to have a written record of what has happened, to stir our memories in the distant future. I love the writing process, the space for reflection, but there was something about the state I had arrived at that sapped my motivation and lowered it below the necessary activation threshold, especially with other goals (e.g. working out) that had become a higher priority.

For writing to be a part of my daily routine, I need it to be therapeutic, to regenerate my strength instead of sappping it. I need to put down in words the things that I am thinking about in the moment that I am sitting at the keyboard, instead of having to make the effort to recall and reconstruct events from my memory. I hope that as I return to this approach, there will be times when I am pondering the events that occurred during this blog’s fallow period. I am inspired by two very different sources. Matthew Dicks recommends that aspiring storytellers spend five minutes every day trying to understand what happened that day that was part of a great story. Henry B. Eyring was inspired to keep a journal of the ways that he “had seen the hand of God blessing our family.” There is a difference between what I need to write, and what I want to have written. In any frame of reference, learning to put needs ahead of wants is an important lesson.

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