Acting My Way into Feeling: Just Write!

Photo/KarenJordanI’m about to do one of the hardest things I’ve done recently—WRITE!

“What? How can that be?” you ask. “You’re a writer! Isn’t that what writers do?”

Confusion. I wish I could tell you what’s keeping me from doing what I need to do. But I don’t have any answers at this point.

In fact, I’m not even sure I have anything of substance to offer anyone now. But I’m just going to write—and hope something helpful surfaces. Anything is better than nothing at this point.

Confession. After church this morning, I confessed to my husband that I hadn’t really felt like going to church today and entering into worship. But I did. And I’m glad I did—the sermon really spoke to my heart.

Modification. I’m also reminded what I learned years ago in a behavior modification class at seminary: “You must act your way into feeling.”

At first, I didn’t have a clue what the professor meant by that statement. But I tried it, and it worked.

For instance, I NEVER feel like doing housework. But I ALWAYS feel good about finishing my work.

So, that’s what I’m doing right now. Write—even though I do NOT feel like writing. And in the process, I hope and pray the feeling and the words begin to flow again.

Examination. Have you ever faced this problem? Maybe you’re not a writer, and you don’t get it. But perhaps there is another issue you might be struggling with in your work or even at home.

Perhaps you want to be happy or thankful, but you just can’t conjure up those positive emotions right now. Or perhaps you just don’t “feel” like being anyone’s mom right now—but you ARE a mom.

Maybe you don’t have any romantic feelings toward your spouse anymore. I’ll share what a pastor advised one man who claimed he didn’t love his wife anymore. This wise counselor simply responded with quote from God’s Word.

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her . . . (Eph. 5:25 NIV).

Do you see his point? God’s Word reveals that love is a choice, not a feeling.

Decision. So, maybe—just maybe—we can experience joy and thankfulness as we make the decision to be happy or grateful.

What about writing? Well, I’ve learned that often I really don’t “feel” like writing. And many times I must just do what I don’t “feel” like doing.

Instruction. So, I guess I’ll just repeat the words of a wise writing instructor once again, “JUST WRITE!”

By the way, I hope my confession encourages you today to do whatever you need to do if you’re stuck!

And another thing—be blessed!

What strategy helps you when you don’t feel like writing?

10 Replies to “Acting My Way into Feeling: Just Write!”

  1. Loved your post.
    First I pray and thank God for inspiration and creativity, thank him for words to write. Not words to tickle the readers ears but words to inspire and encourage them.
    Then, I look at photos I have taken and in his goodness the two somehow becomes a blog post.

    The words will come when you stop struggling to find them. Listen and receive write from the inside out.

  2. I feel your pain, Karen. As a matter of fact, I have gone through a year of “not wanting” to write. I blamed it on depression after my son’s suicide, but finally determined that the rest of my life could not be defined by that one event. Just this week I posted a blog on my newly designed page–Words Set Free–about weathering life’s storms. It was my way of describing my struggle. Thank you for sharing. It’s good to know that I am not the only writer who struggles with this issue.

    1. I’m so sorry to hear about your son, Kathy. I pray God will continue to heal your broken heart.

      A fresh look to your blog sounds like a great idea for a new start and inspiration. Blessings!

  3. Good post, Karen, and thank you for your honesty. I feel I could have written this post myself down to the reluctance to go to church this Sunday and the ultimate gratitude that I did anyway because the message spoke to me…and it was about not just listening/feeling/believing, but doing. The verse Romans 13: 11-14 in the MSG version, in particular, was my personal takeaway, and it was very inspiring to help me take action. So, in short, my strategy when I don’t feel like writing is similar to my strategy for so very many things in my life: to turn to God’s word. Amazing how He always has the answers. (:

    1. Great scripture! Thanks for sharing.

      “But make sure that you don’t get so absorbed and exhausted in taking care of all your day-by-day obligations that you lose track of the time and doze off, oblivious to God. The night is about over, dawn is about to break. Be up and awake to what God is doing! God is putting the finishing touches on the salvation work he began when we first believed. We can’t afford to waste a minute, must not squander these precious daylight hours in frivolity and indulgence, in sleeping around and dissipation, in bickering and grabbing everything in sight. Get out of bed and get dressed! Don’t loiter and linger, waiting until the very last minute. Dress yourselves in Christ, and be up and about!” (Romans 13: 11-14 MSG)

  4. Great post, Karen! This is one message I believe most writers can relate to — at least this one can. And your example of not wanting to go to church, but then feeling very glad you did, is spot on.

    In my fatigue, today, I don’t “feel” like writing, but thanks to your post, I’m going to do it anyway.

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