with equal parts compassion & hilarity

Dear reader,

My hand hurts. My right hand, my writing hand. It hurts because I’ve been tap, tap, tapping and scrolling and rewriting for a big project due this week. It hurts because I set a timer to handwrite some stuff for 15 minutes. Later, I interviewed a man on the phone. We talked for 35 minutes longer than I thought we would and I took handwritten notes the entire time.

Even as I am compelled to break for another walk around the pond or my third afternoon snack break, I know that I won’t. It is because I decided months ago that I would write. I would write. That’s what I would do. I would write for my business which includes magazine articles and grant applications and I would write for my personal processing which includes journals and I would write for my practice on this blog and social media. I decided months ago that I would write. 

I never thought that writers could become physically sore. To me, it makes sense for mechanics and people who tile floors to be sore. They have an excuse; they’re working. Their knees are red, swollen, and hairless because they’ve been kneeling for hours every day. They’re doing work. So when I look at my right hand, my writing hand, I’m confused. I’m simply writing. How is it that my forearms are tight and, of all things, that my pinky finger (the one that presses the “shift” key) is in pain from its continuous extension?

But, see, here’s the thing that I’m realizing. I’m working, too. Writing is work. What you’re doing is work, too. It might not feel like it always, but you are and most importantly, it matters. The other thing about this type of work that causes pain in odd places is that it is often sanctifying. This is to say that the work is a tool in the process of becoming more pure, refined, and redeemed; becoming more like Jesus. 

I decided I would write and then I learned about how writing could be a sanctifying work. That notion has rocked me to my core and I’m still fumbling it around in my mouth trying to make it palatable. It’s challenging me to check my motivations when I sit down in the chair or when I press publish. Yes, then, part of writing is for me, but another part of it is for you. I’m practicing for you because this desire to help people through writing has been inside of me for about as long as I can remember.

It’s a feeling, an interest, and a conviction all at once. I’m finding my voice and figuring out what I want to talk about. I feel absurdly confident (perhaps naively so) that one day I’ll get there wherever there is. In the meantime, this blog is practice. It’s a practice that I’m approaching seriously while also trying to embrace the advice my 4th grader teacher gave me, “Don’t sweat the small stuff.” 

Basically, what I really want to say is thank you for being here. I don’t yet exactly know what or how or when to say except that I want it to always be honest. If things feel a bit disjointed, it is because they are—ha! I’m trying some things out and mostly trying not to publish words that produce a gag-like reflex in your body. I figure knowing that might be reassuring for you. 

Anyway, my hand hurts, but it’s okay because I’m doing work that matters. I guess that’s enough for right now.

-Alexis


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