I quit writing on Tuesday morning.

And I don’t mean that I was in the middle of writing something and shut my computer for a short while.

I mean I QUIT WRITING.

I told God it had been an interesting six-year experiment, I’d found it exhilarating and awful and wonderful and quite, quite terrible. At any rate, I was done.

I was ready to go back to being a normal person, I explained to the Almighty. I was tired of obsessing over every word and how it would sound on the other side of a screen. I was tired of stats and editing and also of comparing myself to other writers who very much have it all together.

There may have been some loud, snotty tears involved in this exchange. I may have been thinking up lies to tell my children if they wandered up the stairs and asked why I was weeping into my morning coffee.

They slept on. I didn’t have to lie. Or, heaven forbid– tell them the truth.

I was tired of the pressure and the time constraints and constantly burning dinner because I was running back and forth to my computer between stirring pots. (Also, I simply burn dinner a lot– even when I’m not writing.)

So I quit writing and gave myself the day to adjust to my new life. I worked at my job, I picked up the kids, then– in the space where I would have been writing after school– I helped my father-in-law wire up the hot tub and scrubbed an old metal cabinet clean. I felt calm and wonderful, starting life back over.

As the day progressed I backed off a little. I told God that I was done unless he wanted to change my mind. But this was going to be a major act-of-the-Holy-Spirit kind of change, not the kind I was going to be able to dredge up with a good attitude.

By 8:30 I was sitting in the Fatty (which is what we call our settee, because settee is the most pretentious  word ever. It’s obviously a Fatty.) reading a decorating book by the Nester. And she was telling me that my house doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful and I don’t have to put all that pressure on myself to try to make it perfect.

See what I mean? Obviously a Fatty. She's got a broad beam.
See what I mean? Obviously a Fatty. She’s got a broad beam.

Just calm the heck down, she was telling me.

And the thought occurred to me that my writing didn’t have to be perfect either, and maybe all that pressure I felt was from myself and not the writing. Certainly not God.

And then I thought I’ve really got to get these thoughts down on the blog.

And I find myself typing away it my kitchen, wearing yoga pants and writing to my friends who aren’t perfect either.

Where do you find yourself tonight?

9 Comments on Where We Find Ourselves

  1. David
    June 4, 2015 at 4:53 pm (2 years ago)

    Well, we found ourselves walking down the lane behind the estate after our evening meal (getting our steps in for the day – the Fitbit demands 10,000) and having time to talk with each other. This left John free to play on the X-Box, but also means that I now have church emails to catch up on and a project that really should have some attention before I go to bed. It has been one of those weeks and once again the time thief has been in the house.

  2. cherifields
    June 4, 2015 at 5:41 pm (2 years ago)

    “And the thought occurred to me that my writing didn’t have to be perfect either, and maybe all that pressure I felt was from myself and not the writing. Certainly not God.”
    Yes, yes, yes!
    Where I am:
    I’m trying to hunt down the library’s Hotwheels DVD that didn’t even get watched before it went missing and I wasn’t told until we already owed a dollar in between recording a podcast while my youngest fitfully sleeps and an atheist on Twitter isn’t being quite rude enough for me to block and be done with, all the while listening for a phone call saying my new beautiful glasses are in (they are. I get them in the morning) and obsessing over my email because the publisher I want promised to contact me “soon” four weeks ago.
    Yeah. That’s where I am. No room for perfectionism there.
    Oh, yes, my kids are having to wait a bit late for supper because I had to put my feet up after hunting for that DVD.

  3. Sara
    June 4, 2015 at 7:17 pm (2 years ago)

    Jessie- I love this. You know what I’ve discovered? Quitting for a day or two (or even a couple hours) gives a whole new perspective. I usually want to jump back into what I’m called to do- I discover that I didn’t want to quit after all, I just needed a break. And breaks are good. Complete change of topic, but I love your Fatty….and the pillows…if only I could think of that amazing person with fabulous taste who happens to have something almost identical. 😉

  4. memyselfandkids.com
    June 4, 2015 at 11:14 pm (2 years ago)

    I wouldn’t mind finding myself in that chair – it looks comfy.
    Just finishing things up and trying to not have to late a night tonight.

  5. Jessie Clemence
    June 5, 2015 at 11:49 am (2 years ago)

    Did you manage to get to bed on time?

  6. Jessie Clemence
    June 5, 2015 at 11:51 am (2 years ago)

    If only there was a person with identical taste… what would that look like?

    Fabulous. It would look fabulous in two houses! (Ironically, two houses built by the same builder…)

  7. Jessie Clemence
    June 5, 2015 at 11:52 am (2 years ago)

    Ha! “Soon” is going to be the death of me. The worst word ever! (But I like to use it on my kids…)

  8. Jessie Clemence
    June 5, 2015 at 11:53 am (2 years ago)

    That terrible time thief has been out of a job around here in the few days since I took the writing break. This weekend I hope to finish up a cabinet that’s been patiently waiting for me in the garage. For a year!

  9. memyselfandkids.com
    June 5, 2015 at 5:18 pm (2 years ago)

    I don’t remember so probably not.