“Oh, I can’t tonight, but thanks!”

“I have work to get done. It’s just piling up lately and I’m getting buried.”

The truth of the matter was that I wanted to write. I had crap to design and wanted to clean my room. I wanted to produce content, not go see The Lorax. That’s not entirely true. I had an incredibly strong desire to see the movie, but hadn’t been getting my words out like I wanted to, so I had to stay home and write.

Part of me wishes that I could just do this all the time- not worry about having a social life and really work to share the great ideas and stories that pile up. I think about Charles Dickens, C.S. Lewis, Ayn Rand and other greats and wonder how they wrote so much- they must not have had friends. So I don’t answer calls, decline invites and hang out with my laptop and a thesaurus for an evening or six.

After a while, the words begin to dry up. The stories become forced. It all feels so plastic and unreal that I’m annoyed to read my own words. That’s a big deal because honestly, I really like a lot of what I’ve written, so for me to not feel that way about something means that it has to be lacking the integrity that I love so much. Yes, I’m that egocentric- that isn’t the point right now though.

I can’t just write and do nothing else, which sucks. Every now and again, I have to go out on an adventure, I want to get into a fight or at least need to feel like I want to stab someone because it’s these human interactions that give me stories and put reason to my words. Human passion doesn’t live in a vacuum. Without others, I turn into a creative zombie, in the worst sense possible. I might have a brain, but it doesn’t do much more than keep me alive.

And just like my writing, my faith can’t survive in a void. I can talk to Jesus every single hour of every single day and it’s wonderful. I know that I’m heaven-bound when I die and that the Holy Ghost directs my thoughts and words, but the meaning doesn’t extend far beyond that. I’m not one of those influence-obsessed Jesus-people. I think half of the men or women who tout the necessity of Christian notoriety secretly mean fame when they say influence- as in they want the world to know who they are then they’ll slather a little Jesus on whatever they do and call it the Lord’s work. Then again, I’m forever skeptical- of everything it seems. I say all that because I know that God wants us to impact the lives of others, even if it’s only a few people at a time.

We need other humans to challenge our faith, convictions and ideas. Occasionally, they’ll reinforce them and other times, they’ll lead us to doubt and I think it’s all entirely necessary. Jesus told us to love the Lord our God with all our heart soul and strength but in the same breath, explained that we have neighbors who deserve as much love as we have for ourselves (remember, I’m egocentric- that means I have to love everyone else as much).

So I can’t become a shut-in and write all the time. None of you would like that anyway, because I’d probably lose it and this blog would really start to suck. But I still have the desire to write and write and write, so I’m left with tension. Which might be important, because it’s when I’m in the middle of two things that pull me in opposite directions that I find I’m where I need to be.