You'd think that, with summer here and absolutely nothing on my to-do list, I'd be doing a lot of writing. That I'd be churning out novels and short stories at lightning speed. But actually, I haven't. I've been crafting. I've loved it--I finally got the hang of tablet weaving, and I made a Norse frock to wear to my town's Celtic Festival next March. But then, as I leaned back from my sewing machine and picked up all the pins I'd accidentally spilled on my carpeted floor, I asked myself: "Why aren't I writing?"
My answer surprised me. "Because I don't feel like it."
And then comes the barrage of questions. Why don't I feel like writing? What's wrong with me? Am I losing my passion? I'm too young for this! And then come the theological questions--God, do You want me to write books or do something else with my life?
Yeah, I really need to work on approaching my crises more logically. I don't have time to do anything besides write and occasionally crochet during the school year. I was probably just excited to have more of my many hobbies available.
A great source of help during my logic-deprived insanity has been C.S. Lewis. I've been reading Mere Christianity, and it's wonderful. He mixes spiritual truths with a natural eloquence, great illustrations, and British-isms like a reference to driving on the left side of the road when people could drive just as jolly well on the right. Anyway, on a section on Christian marriage, he mentions that there are two types--or stages, rather--of love. The first is what we call "falling in love." You know, the Hallmark kind of love. Where everything is emotional and happy and "I would die for you" and all that mushy stuff.
But anyone who's been in a relationship knows that "falling in love" doesn't always work out. Emotions come and go. That's why Lewis talks about the second type or stage of love, which is literally a choice to keep loving that person even when you don't feel like it. This is how I love my sister. She's nuts and sometimes she scares me a little bit, but I'll take her to the park when she asks me to. Partially because I love her, and partially because she'd win an Olympic medal in nagging. And she's got really cute blue puppy-dog eyes when she wants something....
Do I love my sister? Of course. Do I feel love for her? Heck, no--at least not all the time.
The point I'm trying to make is, if I base everything I do off emotions, I'm never going to stick with anything.
That's why so many writers give up. They lose the emotion. They view writing as a chore rather than something they enjoy doing. And writing is tough. It's not a normal job where you put in your eight hours a day and get paid for it. Unless you work for a newspaper, writing is a gamble. I've been working on Where the Clouds Catch Fire for three and a half years now, and I've only recently begun to see meager financial returns. If you're not happy when you're writing, you literally have no reason to write.
But just like I'm not always going to feel love for my sister, I'm not always going to feel love for writing. And just like I'm going to keep loving my sister, I'm going to keep writing. And things are looking up. I've been obsessing over the color of a certain character's hair for about three days now, so I don't think I'll be giving up on writing anytime soon.
What are you passionate about? Your job? Your family? And what's your favorite work by C.S. Lewis--or any author, for that matter? I'd love to hear it in the comments below! God bless you, dear readers! Don't forget you can buy your own copy of Where the Clouds Catch Fire by clicking the "purchase" button on the top of the page. Shipping is free!
M. J. Piazza is a Jesus-loving, dog-walking country girl who just so happens to write books.