One thing that I’m kind of hoping this habit of daily writing will do is free me up to be more creative. I feel like most of what I write these days is more utilitarian in nature. It’s like the missionary version of technical writing. I write our newsletters. I update our family blog. This week, I’ve been working on our year-end report, trying to condense our first year in Ecuador into a few pages for our sponsoring and supporting churches. I don’t mind doing these things, and it’s one way I feel like I can help and support Rusty, even when I’m spending most of my days at home with the kids. But creative writing has really fallen by the wayside in the past decade or so. And this is the kind of writing that I always dreamed about doing.
In high school, I wrote a lot of poetry. Most of it was probably not very good, filled with overused clichés and teen angst. However, there were a few pieces that I still think had real potential. I was taking a creative writing class and writing a lot — not just poetry; we experimented with all forms of creative writing. We were required to keep a daily idea journal, and I was constantly scribbling in it. And then I went off to college. And I got busy with life and making friends and and my classes, which did not include creative writing. (And, by the way, does anyone really have time for creative pursuits in college? I don’t remember even reading a book that wasn’t required or assigned for 4 whole years.) I was still dabbling in poetry from time to time, but then I got my heart broken. And after that, I just stopped altogether. For several years.
I’ve tried to return to poetry from time to time over the last few years, but it never quite “flowed” like it did before. I even started a private journal online at Penzu about a year and a half ago, in an attempt to create a space that would function as a collection point for my creative ideas and thoughts, a kind of online “idea journal,” like the one I kept in high school. I have written in it exactly one time.
I still have hopes that I will start to make good use of the Penzu journal, so I don’t intend for this blog to replace it as my “idea journal,” but I am hoping that the discipline of daily writing will help me stretch some of my creative muscles that have atrophied through years of disuse. And I may continue to do as I did yesterday and share poetry and other more “creative” pieces from time to time.