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Charlotte heads off to eighth grade today and Ellie enjoys her last week of driver’s ed before starting her junior year next week.

I’d like to say it’s an impossibly challenging season for writing, and maybe it is. The new job barely a year old, and moving the family out to Grand Rapids, the many responsibilities of this stage. Writing has taken a backseat, for my survival. But truth: you make time for what you really want to do. And I’ve been slacking, not paying close enough attention. I haven’t written anything for days, and this month only a few journal entries. The endless pub docs and emails don’t count.

Making time is the hardest part.

When I write I have one goal. The goal here is connection. And it’s a unique type. The things I connect here become primary, finally given their due. And there’s never enough time for it, always more to be paying than I have. But the connections arrest my attention and remind me there’s nothing more important.

So really, what stops the writing? I know it’s the pressure, from outside and inside us, we have to write a certain thing in a certain way and it’s too narrow a channel for the untamed, unchosen words. I became an editor because at my core lives an imprisoned writer. He won’t, can’t accept the title.

So instead, I focus on what my heart feels connecting with other hearts, too often buried beneath whatever daily pressures to make more time, or different time. But if I let the words come and fight the loneliness in my cage, all the worthier roles and tasks are forgotten.

Thinking of these deeper, less obvious desires returns me to the real world, the more restful, more connected place I let myself be taken from too fast. There are so many connections there—to memories, people, and long-distant places I didn’t think I’d ever forget. Somehow time managed to cover them.

I return to that former connected place and return to myself. To home and safety. It is being saved now to me, knowing I’m not in control of my own life. I’m saved when I remember something greater is, something good and beyond anything I can do. Writing is not about making anything happen or believing the right things. It’s a simple result of remembering God is in control.

Not writing is doubt. But I can accept the struggle and invite the spirit to my cell with the words and forget my notions of all my responsibilities. Always better to acknowledge it all and see what there is to work with rather than fight against it.

I’ve been here many times before and I know it’s not that hard to make the time in the mornings, or even at lunch. It’s just scheduling. Planning. So set a goal and work at it daily. Post reminders to ensure it.

I tell myself to remember this time and do whatever it takes. The imploring has a bit of urgency I don’t let myself feel often enough probably.

Oh do it before it’s too late. It’s for your life after all.

7 Responses to “Returning”

  1. Cheryl says:

    Hi Mick,
    Nice to hear from you and glad you are making time to write. Lots going on in my life too but I’m “just doing it” this morning. Two publishers and an agent want to see my full ms you worked on. Thanks for your help.
    Blessings on you!

  2. Jenelle says:

    Bird by bird. It will come. Just keep showing up, right? I’m certain I’ve heard that many times before ;)

    Glad to read your words today!

    • Mick says:

      Dam straight. Thanks, my friend. Good to hear from you! Praying you’re writing too.

  3. Suzee Branch says:

    dear mick, i will bet you almost anything that you have definitively summed up, spoken for all of the writers in your ranks. like, you know, “hit the nail on the head”, must be the season of the witch. (not literally, just an wonderful old donovan song!)

    suzee B

    • Mick says:

      Writer ranks. That’s like what you get when you write too long without showering? 😂 Thanks, Suz. Praying for that season of the witch!

  4. Marla A Schultz says:

    The other day I had that “I can’t wait to find out what happens next” moment. But then I realized–it wasn’t my current read that caused that longing. My own manuscript sparked that feeling.

    For me, getting past the fear of creating something imperfect and delighting again in the story is huge. So, tonight, I have a date with my computer.

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