When life dumps all of its problems in front of me, I too often lose my pen.

Writing doesn’t make my breakfast…

Writing doesn’t wash my work-shirts…

Writing doesn’t help me plan lessons…

Writing doesn’t get me to work on time…

Repeat 4x

So I wait until everything is sorted and filed before I try to recover it. The only issue with this strategy is that I never seem to reach the bottom of the pile. There are always more “important” things that demand my attention.

I guess I should know this already. I shouldn’t expect anything different… especially since I know that all writers (pro-procrastinators or not) go through a similar struggle.

But today I realised again how crucial writing is to my (I hesitate to type this overused term) well-being. It is a huge part of who I am and I always feel like something isn’t quite right whenever I let more than a few weeks pass without jotting something down or typing something on my laptop. It’s unnatural.

Not only is it healthy for me to write, but it is also a statement of faith, of confidence in what God has taught me. He has given me a love for words and an appreciation of their power over culture… and that’s for a greater purpose than just my personal entertainment.

Just imagine if J. R. R. Tolkien decided not to keep writing The Hobbit or The Lord of the Rings. Imagine if despite all his friends’ encouragement he said, “You know what? These papers and essays aren’t going to mark themselves. I’ll just dive headfirst into these and leave writing on the back burner until absolutely everything is perfectly dealt with.”

Or imagine if men such as William Tyndale believed that their language studies and literary skills had no relevance to their faith. What if he merely went to work, gave to the poor, and sat on a pew on Sundays? But he risked his life to translate the Bible into English so that the ordinary person could understand it… and centuries later, Tolkien risked the potential ridicule of his peers and possible repercussions of his “laziness” in an attempt to achieve the goal he and his friends promised to pursue: to change the world with their art.

These men are my inspiration. Whether or not they had a “happy ending”, whether or not they achieved their goal to their satisfaction, they had an all-consuming vision which they fought and prayed to see fulfilled.

Did they have problems piling up on top of them? Of course! But they knew that God was with them underneath it all. Underneath the landslide of bewildering and seemingly meaningless things by which we are so easily swept away, the Rock of our Salvation is standing strong. We writers must grab a hold of Him… and keep our pens handy.

Written in June, 2019

P.S. If you don’t know what on earth I’m going on about with Tolkien and Tyndale, look ’em up! It’s worth it.

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