Do you ever just not feel like doing something you love? Like tonight, how I just so totally don’t feel like writing anything, even though I actually love writing. Yet, I write anyway, because I want to maintain the habit of writing, even and especially when I’m not feeling it or feel as though I have nothing valuable to write. Otherwise, I could see myself going right back to how I first started writing, but then only wrote around once a month, because I didn’t feel like I had something valuable enough to write about. Virginia Woolf mentioned in her (ridiculously long) essay called “A Room of One’s Own”, how it is important for women – the whole thing was about women – to write, no matter what they have to write about, because they are able to express their genius and artistry by writing. And so, even if the writing is only valued for a day or for a year, it is still important to write it, she said.*
I have much to do over these next handful of days, and I would like to accomplish it all (and well), because I quite possibly will have more added on at the end of them, which is just a bit absurd when being added to what I already have to accomplish by a few weeks from now. P-hsh—— (That was like a sigh, but with my teeth closed.) Just like Fuji-san, it’s bothersome to do, but I know I can do this, and that’s exactly why I don’t want to do it. 😛
*Fun fact: I used the word ‘said’, and it is actually correct, because the essay was published out of two speeches Virginia Would gave to Cambridge women’s colleges around 1928 and 1929. (One of those was Newnham College, which is where my best friend studied and where I visited and stayed briefly!) So, she really did say the information, even though she also wrote it.
I critique the priests’ sermons at Mass. I don’t mean to do it. It just happens automatically for me. Just like how I automatically correct anything I read, people with whom I talk, and even the conversations I overhear, I critique the sermons at church.
Grammar is one thing, of course, and it is always being tracked in my mind. I regularly use a certain phrasing or structure that I know to be incorrect, but that I know is, essentially, necessary for understanding for the listener or reader. (I also know that errors show up on here all the time, but that’s mostly due to either the previously mentioned reason or the simple fact that I am writing on my phone, as I lie in bed, ready to go to sleep… Not the best time or means for correct writing, I know, but I’m lazy, so it’s often the situation I have.) For the sermons, however, my brain decided years ago to treat them like essays. I analyze their quality in terms of how they connect with the readings, how they connect with the audience (congregation), and how they create an inspiring message and clear means for doing good in the world.
It takes a true writer to come up with a sermon that would earn an A from me. Most of the time, unfortunately, sermons earn somewhere around a low C. Occasionally, there are bonus points awarded for specific tidbits within the sermon, but the sermons as a whole are not so great right now. (This was actually one of my main reasons a decade ago for why women ought to be allowed to give sermons at Mass, even if they couldn’t be priests – not everyone is good at writing and giving speeches.)
This isn’t to say that I actually award points as I am sitting in Mass. Certainly, I do not do that. My brain is just in a sort of passive automatic critique mode, coming up with ideas for betterment in the sermon each time it hits a rough bit. I do take care to focus on the actual sermon, especially since I know myself to do this critiquing so automatically. It’s kind of like background noice, really, and so I only end up fully focusing on it when the sermon is really terrible. (Fortunately, that isn’t too often.)