“This is the joy for me. I love bread.”
You may recognize those words as Oprah’s opening lines from a Weight Watchers commercial that’s getting a lot of play these days. If you haven’t seen it, the premise is that Oprah is thrilled she can eat bread and still lose weight. While people are poking fun at the commercial a bit (I’ll admit, James and I chuckle every time it comes on Hulu), Oprah’s joy is inspiring.
I’ve been longing for this kind of joy lately. The kind of joy that makes you say: “I love life!”
But it hasn’t been coming.
Instead, I’ve been feeling an overwhelming sense of pointlessness – in my work, my writing, and just life in general. I’m trying hard to make things happen, but I’m left feeling ineffectual and unsatisfied, and that’s been leading me to despair.
Maybe you can relate.
My thoughts often go like this: Nothing I do helps this situation. This project isn’t going anywhere. If I can’t change the outcome, if I can’t make things happen, then why bother trying? Continue reading
As some of you know, I’m writing a book about recovering from a life of performance and perfectionism. Subscribe here to get early access!
Writing is a lot like running. The hardest part is often simply getting started. Before I go for a run, I sometimes pause and try to rationalize my way out of it.
Do I really want to go out in the fog? Do I really want to get all sweaty? Do I really want to feel the burn in my legs and the cold in my lungs?
As I ask myself these questions, I simply do the next thing: I put on my workout clothes and lace up my shoes. I pull up the run tracker on my phone and pick my playlist (usually something poppy and upbeat to motivate me or worship music, since running is one of my favorite ways of communing with God). Before I know it, I’m out the door and on my way. Even my overly-analytical mind can’t compete with legs that are ready to run.
The process of writing is extremely similar. I love writing – just like I love running. I know it’s benefits, and I know I will love it once I start. But it’s not as romantic as it may seem. It’s not like locking yourself away in a cozy cabin or beautiful beach house, getting inspired, and letting the words pour out of you. It is an amazing, inspiring, transformative process. But like most life-altering pursuits, writing can be painful or just plain hard. It takes initiative, momentum, and a constant placing of one foot – or one word – in front of the next.
Since returning from my month-long sabbatical, keeping up the momentum of writing my book on recovering from perfectionism has certainly been difficult. The silence on this blog over the last couple weeks is evidence of that. But as my primary writing focus right now is on the book, I’m trying to prioritize that, and let the blogging come as it may. Continue reading