I’m going to try to do Reverb10 for a while in December to see if I can find some time to write –about anything—rather than just doing work. I’m three days behind so this post is my catch-up.
December 1st Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011 for you?
Word for 2010- frenetic
Word for 2011- focused
December 2nd Writing. What do you do each day that doesn’t contribute to your writing — and can you eliminate it?
Almost nothing I do during a day contributes to my writing. It’s not that I don’t write each day. I write a lot—lesson plans for church school, lessons for the courses I teach, outlines for Bible studies, sermons and prayers for worship, emails for each of the six different jobs I have, and on and on. With the exception of the legal material, I enjoy doing just about each of the types of work the jobs demand and I discover new connections as I write about them, so that’s good. All of the writing, though, is driven writing—responding to immediate demands—rather than focused writing, which would focus on a writing project that I’d like to complete. When I look back on my work at Drew, the one thing that stands out is that, while the topic I worked on for the doctoral project wasn’t my first choice of a topic, I actually enjoyed focusing upon and then writing the work.
Can I eliminate the other work so I can write more? Nope.
December 3rd Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors).
I’m not sure there is any moment this year that stands out as a time when I felt most alive. I often feel alive in a lot of what I do because I’m curious to learn more about it- whether it’s doing the adult education events, having pastoral conversations with people, working on Roots & Wings, leading worship on a good Sunday, swimming, much of the time working in the garden, kneading bread or canning tomatoes, or so many other things—but there’s not one specific time this year that stands out as a time when I felt more alive. Maybe down the road when I look back there will be, the way the year before the drive on the red clay washboard dirt roads through the surrounding jungle in Belize, with its deep rich smells that I’ve called up a lot since, stood out.