Christian, Maria's Column

Writing and All It’s Struggles

I would be lying to all of you if I said I haven’t been staring at a blank blog post for the past 2 hours. The tab on my computer has been open for about 4 hours now, and I have done everything in my power to avoid writing.

Now don’t get me wrong, it’s not because I don’t want to. I thoroughly enjoy writing for this blog and most of the time my posts come to me easily. It’s like the words pour out of my fingers onto the page without me realizing what I’m typing until it’s done. I can usually write and write and write without thinking twice about it, but today I haven’t been able to come up with anything.

Writing and I have a very strained relationship at the moment – working with Rachel and on this blog has helped a lot- but some days I would rather throw my computer out the window than write a single sentence.

So what happened? Why do I struggle to do something that once brought me so much joy?

The simple answer to this is lack of confidence and disappointment. For the last year I have dedicated all of my time and energy into being accepted in the Creative Writing concentration at my university. Since doing so, I made sure to enter into every creative writing class I could to help me become a better writer. I would write anything and everything that would come to mind; I would focus all my energy on finding ways to get closer to the faculty of the concentration; and I wouldn’t sleep most nights because I was too busy trying to be the next Great American Novelist.

All of this work, stress, and exhaustion led to me being denied from the program… twice.

After the first time I felt determined to just work myself even harder and get in. After the SECOND time – all I felt was anger, disappointment and heartache.

My hard work, tears, and loss of sleep had amounted to me learning that I wasn’t good enough for the concentration that I had been dreaming about entering, which left me feeling confused and empty. I had thought that God had been pointing me towards writing, especially since it had become my way of venting out my feelings and troubles. It wasn’t until I took a step back and realized that God had been pointing me away from that concentration the entire time.

I got the email denying entry to the concentration during my first class of the day. The initial waves of anger and hurt lasted until I made it to my second class. When I started to let myself feel other emotions, I realized I was a little relieved. I didn’t have to force myself into anymore writing workshops. I didn’t have to stay up late pouring over a story that I didn’t care about. I had the time to take classes that I actually enjoyed and made me excited. I had room in my schedule to do whatever I wanted.

Without me realizing it, God had been slowly pushing me towards the understanding that I didn’t want to be a Creative Writing major – what I really wanted was to just study literature. I was only trying to get into the concentration to prove that I could and because I felt like I had to if I wanted to be a writer. But that’s the thing – I can be a writer no matter what major I am in.

Sometimes the paths of our lives and our futures aren’t always clear. We put ourselves through extra stress and exhaustion, when all God wants for us is to do what we love.

I’m so thankful that God has placed me in a major that I love, surrounded by friends who support me and opportunities to spread his word with my talents. I am happily in the literature concentration, where I can study literature and popular culture to my hearts content.

I still love to write, especially for this blog, and I will continue to write. Who knows? Maybe someday I will sell a book! And even though I will continue to have days where I feel like everything I write is horrible, I know that God is going to use my writing in one way or another.

Writing doesn’t have to be this horrible stress that makes you cry or gives you thoughts of throwing your laptop. It should be something that brings you joy and allows you to process your emotions and thoughts. I’m working to allow writing to bring me joy again. My hope is that if any of you have the same struggles that you would be able to take a breath and listen to what God is nudging you toward, instead of pushing yourself in the wrong direction.

With love,

Maria

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