On Not Writing

imagesIt has been many months since I’ve posted anything here. This silence isn’t very smart for me. I really enjoy writing. Not doing it leaves a vacuum inside me. I like putting my thoughts out there, love the creativity of assembling letters on a page, and even find some hint of the Divine when my mind and my hands become one and the words spill out of me. It is an altered state of consciousness, access to part of my brain, my soul, that I have no other way. Not to mention how fun I find it.  Nothing I do feels quite like it.

Until last year I had written non-stop since age 13. Back then I penned Letter’s to the Editor of the local newspaper commenting on current events. I did it sometimes under a pseudonym because I did not want to upset my parents with my more liberal views. I evolved from there to actual writing for publication, first for my college newspaper, and then free-lance pieces for national publications. My passion for language evolved into a career, taking me into journalism with Business Week until 1996 and continuing even as I moved into Emerald Packaging as a columnist for various publications. And then the blog.

So why the silence of the last year? Well, it has not been an easy year. Our business, which has grown rapidly, needed to catch-up with itself. We moved into an additional building, added more equipment, looked at the profitability of our accounts, shedding some in the process. We expanded into digital printing and tried to build a business around the new technology. Work took up a lot of time, to which my family can attest. Something had to give, and writing did.

Ill-health did not help. I had surgery in early May to repair some abdominal muscles. I spent so much time in bed recovering I pinched nerves in my back. Until the insurance industry could get around to approving cortisone shots I slept three hours per night. Once that was behind me I managed to take a tumble off a retaining wall in our garden. That was the end of July. Not a good streak. Certainly not conducive to creativity.

But above all I really wondered if I had anything to say. Not writing anything compounded the problem because the worry became it’s own inflection point. Part of my brain became depressed I think, not my entire being mind you, but an important part. Stuffing creativity, even when it is something as mediocre as my writing (let’s face it, I’m no Hemingway), corrodes the soul, atrophies the mind, and, given my faith, distances you from God, since the act of creation brings us closer to the divine.

Finally I just could not shake the need to write. To express. To comment and engage with others. To find that little moment when I feel connected to something larger. To play. I could not forever neglect the passion. So I’m back and I will be posting here more frequently. I am not sure who will read this blog going forward. It would be good to find an audience. Even better though to be who and what I am.

My message here is pretty simple. I should not have neglected this side of myself. If there is something, dear reader, you have pushed away in favor of work or family or mending health which nourishes you, don’t do it. It won’t do you any good, probably undermines health in its own way.

I imagine if today were my last, having to answer to St. Peter why I gave up doing something that God blessed me with the power to do. That is not a conversation I want to have. Nor should any of us.

7 thoughts on “On Not Writing

  1. marty says:

    I get that way when i don’t play guitar for awhile.
    Thanks for writing again.

  2. Anonymous says:

    You write so beautifully and effortlessly. One fails only when one stops writing, so let this be the new beginning. Keep writing.

  3. Mary Anne says:

    WOW! Kevin, happy to have You back and just in time to provide meaningful insights into our current events.
    Mary Anne

  4. Anonymous says:

    Great to read you again. Thanks for putting keys to letters. Now KEEP going!

  5. Erik Johansen says:

    Welcome back. I was wondering what had kept you away from the key board. Hopefully 2016 will be better for you and we will have time to catch up more frequently. I really need someone with a perspective to bounce my thoughts about the crazy world we are living in. See you soon.

  6. RJ says:

    I’m glad you’re back in the saddle Kevin. Writing is your therapy and balance. I totally understand business, family and health taking over your entire being. Just like you I’ve been through a similar journey over the last two years. Things have settled and I’m getting back to the basics of enjoying the journey and appreciating the people and stops along the way.

  7. Bill Hornell says:

    Great to have you back, Kevin. Looking forward to your views on politics, business, family and life in general. Glad you’re feeling better.

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