Joy vs. Responsibility

Depositphotos_1569183 backgroundPlease do not think this is a post about abandoning your responsibilities. Responsibilities play an important,  sometimes even a survival role in our lives. However, have you ever considered that some responsibilities, aren’t nearly so essential as you have convinced yourself they are?

Ever since I reconfigured my thinking about Literate Lives (Wow! Was it only a week ago?), I have been eager to write to all of you lovers of reading and writing, and those who yearn to embrace a lifestyle that incorporates reading and writing as a valued practice.

How did this happen?

The Birth of a Blog

In the beginning, I started Literate Lives as a means of giving back to the world. I had just retired from teaching, or so I thought, and wanted to continue to encourage people to read and write, and to foster a love of reading and writing in their children and students.

Why? Because reading and writing have been a source of tremendous blessing in my life, and I know the practice can be a blessing to others as well.

So, I prepared. I read all kinds of posts about how to blog. I learned it was important to have a purpose, set up a schedule, offer varied, valuable, and useful content. And I got so serious about blogging, it ceased to feel either worthwhile or fun.

So Why Are You Blogging, Anyway?

This was just one of the many questions my friend asked me last weekend. There are many answers–another whole post worth of answers. However, today I will provide just the micro version: I want to share the joys of a reading/writing life.

Another Question from My Friend

“So, if I’m reading a book and not enjoying it should I read it to the end anyway as part of my commitment to a reading lifestyle?”

My answer: “No. If you aren’t enjoying it, stop.” My purpose here is to celebrate the joys and benefits of reading. In my thinking, there is no drudgery allowed.

Doctor, Heal Thyself

As our question and answer session wound to a close, my dear friend dumped the pail of my philosophizing over my head. I had bemoaned my mixed feelings about the blog, how difficult it was to both teach and write novels, let alone keep up with a blog. Her response: “Don’t blog unless you feel like it.”

But what about all those rules about schedules and responsibilities?

And yet, she had a point. How can I write about the joys of a reading/writing lifestyle when doing so feels like a burden?

No Schedule

So, I decided to take her advice and quit worrying about a blog schedule.

Now, I find myself wanting to write to you far more than I have time to do it! All this week (Is it really just a week?) I have not so much looked for ways to squeeze in blogging time, as I have simply embraced the treat of sharing my love of literacy with you.

What a difference!

Do you have commitments in your life to activities you once undertook for pleasure that have become, instead, a burden? Is there a way you can reframe this activity for yourself that will permit you to recapture the joy?

Have you already done this? How did you make it work?

I would love to share your responses.

Now, if you will excuse me, I’m off to read a novel!