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"The work for which we are fitted—which we are sent into this world to do—what a blessing it is and what fullness of joy it holds!" L.M. Montgomery, Selected Journal, Volume II, May 23, 1910
This month Sandi Somers prompts writers to explore the ways writing brings us joy. What a delightful exercise it has been for me. I have not seen it so clearly before, but my whole being is perfectly suited to this work of writing. And, from this suitability springs the joy. Let me show you:
It turns out I am physically and mentally suited for writing. There is an overall sense of living in my own shoes when I write -- the whole situation of writing fits comfortably and naturally -- which certainly increases my enjoyment of the process. Since a child, I prefer sitting, reading, or bending my head over a project at my desk to more physical activities. My nature tends not to be the restless sort, so I can sit quietly for hours on end and be content. Although I prefer a more sedentary lifestyle, it's not about being lazy. I actually start to feel frayed and edgy in my soul if I must be ever on the run with this activity or the next. Sitting around thinking and daydreaming is a good quirk to have if one wants to write, and I certainly have it.
My psyche is wired for writing. They say writing is a lonely business and that a writer must withdraw from society if she is to get any writing done. Truth of the matter, solitude suits me; it is my joy to while away hours with my own thoughts and ideas, listening for His input, delighting when our thoughts meld. I freely admit I anticipate the time my dear husband heads to the gym each morning; when the door closes behind him, I relish these completely alone times. Lest you think I'm a hermit, I am not; I do enjoy the company of others, including said husband, yet I'm perfectly happy being sequestered with my words and paper.
"You should feel when writing, not like Lord Byron on the mountain top, but like a child stringing beads in kindergarten -- happy, absorbed and quietly putting one bead on after another." ~ Brenda Ueland, Author of If You Want to Write
There's euphoria in pushing through the hard places. Every writer experiences those times in his or her work when it's just not working. You come to the spot where you want to throw your hands in the air and wail, 'Whose idea was this anyway?' But you come back to your senses, sit back down, and begin to chip-chip-chip away at the rock-hard resistance until you have a breakthrough. It's that sweet moment you wait for -- the frisson of excitement when the joy returns with its inexplicable thrilling up and down of the spine. One never forgets such a moment, and you remind yourself of it the next time you're tempted to quit.
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The Lord gave me a promise many years ago as I sought to find his way for my life and the work I would undertake. Psalm 128:2 says, "For you shall eat the fruit of the labour of your hands; happy shall you be, and it shall be well with you." It is only now in this season of my life that I am, more than ever, seeing the real fulfilment of those words. This writing work for which I am fitted by His grace and sent into this world to do is such a blessing and holds fullness of joy for me.
Brenda C Leyland, no longer in the workforce, spends more time writing at her desk. Ever on the lookout for 'glimpses of heaven in unexpected places', Brenda blogs about her life at It's A Beautiful Life, and works away on various small and even one monumental writing project which she hopes will eventually turn into something bookish.