Sometimes I Just Get Tired

In some way, I think I’ve always wanted to be a writer. Books, along with music, were my constant companions when I was growing up, and regular trips to the library are some of my earliest and fondest memories. It seemed as natural as the progression of days that I would someday write a book of my own, though I wasn’t exactly sure when.

Hint #1: I’m working on a book (actually two) right now.

Hint #2: Writing a book is really hard. 

On my way to writing more prose, I learned to become a songwriter. I’d written songs off and on in my twenties and early thirties, but in 2006 I decided to really throw myself into my craft, and managed to churn out somewhere around 30 or 40 in a few years. It could’ve been more, but I did the best I could.

Now, along the way the internet happened and, as writers like Seth Godin pointed out, everything changed: the world, as far as creators went, was on its way to becoming truly flat, and we could publish to anyone anywhere (as long as you could managed to get heard over the noise).

I started a blog somewhere in 2009 or so, and launched thisisericcase.com in 2013.

In other words, I was doing the same thing as about 60 million other people.

No big.

I read all the people—Seth, Michael Hyatt, and others—who gave the proper advice on “how to blog/write/self-publish/etc, and I’ve dabbled here and there with their suggestions. Overall it’s been pretty cool to see people read my words, and occasionally have them seem to mean something to people.

But lately…

Lately, I’m just tired.

I did a Strengths Assessment in 2013, when I discovered that though I have a high drive to collect information, my drive to create things—Tweets, blogs, books, songs, etc.—is not so high.

My nature works against my aspirations.

It’s hard work.

A dear, dear friend of mine told me the other day, “The truth is, I haven’t read your blog lately, because you’ve been a bit boring; I miss the times when you used to make me cry.”

They are right (this post isn’t about them; it’s about me). I’ve been a bit off. Writing doesn’t feel like the release and exercise in self-expression that it should be.

I guess I’m better at producing quantity, but it feels like more of a chore now.

This space is supposed to be about “Faith, Creativity, and Collaborative Leadership”. Lately, it seems that whatever is happening to me faith-wise is too subtle to name and describe (or that it’s simply to “small” and boring to relate). Creatively, I feel a little bit lost, as I’m in an “in between”. It seems that I’m slowly leaving music behind, but there’s really not anything else yet. There are sporadic sermons and Sunday creative endeavors, but not nearly enough to be engaging, and the books and blog posts… well, we’ve been through that haven’t we?

As far as leadership goes… hmmmmm… I feel less like a “leader” than ever. Someone once said that if you call yourself a leader but no one is following you, you’re just going for a walk.

What if you don’t even feel like you’re walking? What if you feel like you’re just crawling? Do leaders crawl? 

I can name dozens and dozens of men and women who are infinitely better leaders than I am, and mostly I’m left treading water to try and just “get things done” and see one or two people occasionally take steps to following Jesus more closely.

So what’s the point? Nothing really. It may be just an effort to write my “word quota” for the day/week.

I suppose I’ll get up tomorrow and write again.

 

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8 thoughts on “Sometimes I Just Get Tired

  1. Good post Eric, and no doubt, it is a lot of work. Not to contradict your other friend, but I think your posts have been great!!! My own personal belief is you keep pushing and keep writing, because you never know on the front end what are the brilliant, heart moving thoughts until they actually get airborne. I think you’re a great writer and doing it just right

  2. Eric, Your greatest strength as a Leader is being authentic. Personally, I cannot stand people who want others to think that they are “happy” and “inspired” all the time; they are just obnoxious. The Bible is filled with people who were not “happy” and “inspired” all the time and yet they did great things for God. Thank you for your leadership in my life; you have personally inspired me through the last 8 years. I also believe that this post will reach others that are in the same space that you are in and will help them.

  3. Just like with music, the only way you get better is to keep doing it. You can’t have your readers weep all the time either, although I’m sure it’s something writers all strive for–to connect to people through our words. Not everything that you create will be for everyone and that’s OK.
    Sidenote: Very intrigued by you moving away from music–that is something to write about! Actually, this transitional space that you’re in is probably rife with things to write about. It could hopefully help your explore what’s next, and you can do it, without judgment. 😉

    Music comes more naturally to me, and maybe it’s because I have performed more than I have written. I miss it because of how easily it comes, whereas writing for me, creative writing, is a slog. Also, to try to do something new when you’re older and then receive criticism–yeah, I’d like to flush most of my grad school experience down the drain of forgetfulness for that very reason. It is not easy. Reading can help inspire, too, as well as help with sharpening writing skills. Find those authors and books that can be a refuge when you feel like everything is just sucky and no good.

    Really, this is all to say that some people are naturally talented at this, but even for them, it still comes down to doing the work on a consistent basis and not giving up. I’ll let Ira Glass give the rest of the pep talk (and one that I also need as I revise my thesis) http://vimeo.com/85040589 Be extra kind and nice to yourself during this time!

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