Perhaps anyone who’s written anything has been there. An appointment with a page yet a dry well of inspiration.
I feel like the Charlie Kaufman scene from Adaptation is a near weekly event for me. Not that I have nothing to say or no need to write, but starting is the hardest part.
I probably need to clean my desk a little. I’ll put away 18 things; then I’ll start.
I need a coffee.
I know I only had one an hour ago but if I’m going to write then coffee is such a good lubricant. Coffee first, then write. A short mac is small, don’t drink it on the way back to your desk, wait until you get there. Ok. Seated. Stare at your screen. Write something. A sip of coffee. Write something.
It’s part of the genesis of this website. Thumb through my diary and there’s a ‘task’ that regularly appears: “Write something”. It’s a call of the pen to paper.
There’s no shortage of writing opportunities, but necessity and opportunity don’t necessarily overwhelm procrastination or creative avoidance, they simply raise the awareness of what you’re not doing.
I write because I choose to. I write because I enjoy writing. I write because it’s a part of my vocation.
We lost the foundations of vocation along the way, diminishing it to ‘your job’. But that’s not where it started out. Vocation was always rooted in calling; something you were summons to do. Your vocation was the overflow of God-imbued gift and passions that found its expression in meaningful work. Meaningful because it activated and resonated with what was deposited in you in the first place.
Paul encourages the church at Corinth to ‘remain in the condition in which he was called’ (1 Corinthians 7:20). It’s a call to vocation. And a reminder as well. That thing God has placed in you? Remain in it. Activate it, shine a light on it, revel in it. Not out of duty or grim determination, but because that’s one of the places God intends to bring you joy.
The Catholics had some good stuff to say about vocation, but here’s their zenith: Love is the fundamental and innate vocation of every human being.
Whatever you do, wherever you’re called, whatever your vocation, let it be moderated with a holy love. Never let love leave the room in your pursuit of your vocation. If you do, you’ve lost the fundamental intent of vocation.
Sometimes it’s enough just to get to connect ink with paper, or fingers with the keyboard. Sometimes that’s when water begins to flow.