there’s nothing to writing…

August 23, 2010


I’ve recently been on an unintentional writing hiatus, and I’m tired of it. I’ve attempted to sit down and write on countless occasions over the last four (or so) months and nothing good would ever come of it. I’ve been frustrated with myself to say the least. Perhaps I have been over-analyzing it. Perhaps I have been trying too hard to produce what I view as “top notch” material. Perhaps I need to just roll with what comes to me and not care what others will think about it. After all, it’s my writing…it’s what I love…it’s who I am.

I read a quote somewhere recently that I immediately stole and posted to my twitter account. It’s actually quite an incredible quote.  Ernest Hemingway said it best about writing when he said:

There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”

Perhaps I need to take good ol’ Ernie’s advice and just sit down and “bleed,” without caring how much of a mess I will make or what color my blood runs.

From here on out, I will write what comes to me and make the best of it.

– paulg


The Art of Doing Nothing…

September 1, 2009

For the last 3 days I have been on vacation. This is the first vacation I have taken in an extremely long time. I am at Ocean Isle Beach in North Carolina and I’m loving every minute of it, except for the extreme sunburn I have on every part of my upper-body, but I guess it’s my own fault for only putting sun screen on my tattoos! I’ve mastered the art of lying on the beach; the art of lying on the couch and reading; the art of eating good food; the art of trying to take on the waves with lowered shoulders; but I have not been successful thus far in the art of doing nothing…

beach 2

The art of doing nothing that I am referring to is simply that, the art of actually not doing anything important! I am on vacation and I promised myself and friends that I would not do any work while at the beach. I have had a busy and stressful summer, and I was in very high need of a break from it all. I thought it would be easy to not do ministry or think about work related things for a week but so far it’s proved to be extremely difficult.

Almost every day I make a to-do-list and a “things to get done in the next week” list and most of the time, I get these lists done.  However, some of those times (which has happened a lot as the summer nears to an end), I get extremely unmotivated and only get about half of each list done in a given day or week. The reason I mention these lists is to lead into my topic for this post…

I have an extremely hard time mastering the art of doing nothing…

I am here to relax, be refreshed, and get away from the stresses of youth ministry and all I can think about is work. I feel like I should be doing something productive. I feel guilty for relaxing and not having anything to do.

I think my time in New York trained me for this. While up there, I was constantly going. While I was in school, I took 18-24 credits a semester and went from class to class. After classes I would go to work. After work I would go to the next activity. After I graduated from college, I stayed in New York and spent 8 months working 3 jobs and having a girlfriend who lived 40 miles away from me. I ran two youth ministries (one at a Christian and Missionary Alliance Church and one at a Lutheran Church), and I worked part time at an auto repair shop. When I wasn’t working (and I don’t know how I found any time where  I wasn’t working), I drove 80 miles round trip to spend time with my girlfriend (now my ex). I was constantly going and I rarely had time to relax and just do nothing.

Ever since I moved back to PA in February and started at my new church, I have struggled with taking time off. I am required to take one day off a week, for which I am very thankful, but during those off-days I find it hard to get away from ministry and not do any work. I guess I’ve just been too busy for too long and there are a few things that I need to do. I need to train myself to find peace in my off time! I need to remember that my ministry won’t fall apart if I turn my thoughts and efforts away from it for a day or a week. I need to remember that “nothing essential stops when I rest!” I need to discipline myself to master the art of doing nothing!

***I found the quote in the last paragraph in Mark Oestreicher’s book “Youth Ministry 3.0” (page 114…side of page…written by a youth worker named Ben Kraker…original author of quote is unknown)***

–          paulg

%d bloggers like this: