February 6, 2013

Being Scripturient Isn't Easy

I don't know that I would have thought to describe my desire to write as 'violent', but seeing this made me realize just how accurate a word choice that is.
Really, it's more than a desire. It's a need. For some reason, God has given us writers some kind of internal mechanism that makes us unable to function properly if we're not writing regularly. Like a magic spell or curse in a fairytale, where a character can only stay healthy by washing frequently in a certain spring, or can't leave a certain area without being changed into some other kind of creature, we writers can't go for very long without some time at the keyboard or notebook without incurring dire consequences.
I've talked to enough writers to know it's a problem we all share. Some of my writer friends get angry or depressed when they go too long without writing. Some get so scatterbrained they can't get through a normal day's chores.
In my case, if I go too long without writing I find myself getting edgy and testy without meaning to be. I find myself getting tunnel vision, trying to race through whatever task I'm involved in so I can carve out time to write.
Of course, the simplest solution is just to write regularly and frequently to keep our scripturient quirks at bay. But, as we all know, life happens, and sometimes it seems like the whole universe is conspiring to keep us away from that computer or notebook. It's then that our writerly weirdness becomes problematic. I'll be the first to admit that it's a struggle. Too often I don't realize how testy I've become until I've already snapped at one of my family members or neglected a responsibility unintentionally. Sometimes it seems like it's a losing battle.
But, I know God made me this way, and He knew the struggles it would create when He did it. The good news is, He gives us grace to handle whatever He chooses to send our way... be it a death in the family, a natural disaster, a physical ailment, or a case of writing withdrawal.
As hard as it can be to admit it sometimes, there are things more important than writing. So when those come along and we have to lay our pens aside for a while, just remember that God knew when He sent the interruption that you were in the middle of that story or chapter or idea. He knew, and He cares. Maybe He also knew that you needed a break - some time to rethink what you're working on, or a chance to find some new inspiration. Or maybe He just knew you needed to be reminded that writing isn't everything.
Because, as much as it means to us writers, it really isn't.

Are you scripturient? Is it hard for you? How do you deal with its effects in your daily life?


  1. This was exactly what I needed to read. Thank you! I've been dealing with the problems you describe, and this answers every one. It sure helps to realize God is in charge of every interruption ... I'm not sure why I didn't grasp that before. : ) Also, our projects are on His timetable, so they will be finished when He knows the time is right. So we don't need to worry about how long they're taking as long as we're doing our part!

    1. You're very welcome, Kelsey, and thank *you*. It's always a huge blessing to hear that my thoughts or struggles can be an encouragement to someone else.
      As for your remark, "I'm not sure why I didn't grasp that before", don't worry - I feel that way all the time. I think sometimes we're just so close to or deep inside a situation that we can't look at it objectively. We need an outside perspective.
      It makes me very thankful that God is so patient with us. ; )

  2. *is feeling slightly left-out* I don't actually have this problem. I sometimes go for weeks...even months without writing anything much. It's often the guilt of seeing all my unfinished stories that brings me back to writing again.


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