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Yesterday I posted my first blog in seven weeks. Perhaps you’re wondering where I’ve been? (Probably not, since you’re busy with your own life.) Nevertheless, I thought I’d share the reasons for my absence.

The first is vacation. During the latter part of March my family and I traveled to Florida to celebrate my wife’s fortieth birthday. I tried to give my mind a rest during those days. I did that . . . somewhat.

But there are two other reasons for my absence.

Preaching through the Book of Hebrews has demanded most of my mental energy. As a result, though I’ve had writing ideas frolicking through my brain, I haven’t had the mental space to wrestle those ideas to the ground.

Related to that, there’s another reason for my absence: Writing is hard. Or at least it’s hard for me. And this is probably due to my convictions about writing. I think writing is more than mental wandering in the presence of others. Writing is communicating ideas (or stories) with creativity, clarity, and cogency—along with originality, beauty, and elegance. (Those are just a few that come to mind.)

Writing is also hard because it requires thinking clearly. Thinking clearly requires time—time spent reading widely on a given topic, weighing evidence, asking questions, engaging in stimulating conversations (preferably while walking outdoors), refining our thoughts, etc. All of this improves our writing. When we know our topic well, we’re able to craft clear sentences.

A final reason writing is hard (for me) is fear. I fear criticism. I fear that my writing won’t be technically perfect (which it isn’t and never will be). I fear that people won’t like what I have to say, or won’t think it’s worth reading. The good news is that I’m not alone. Countless writers feel the same way.

Lastly, I plan to resume my “Three Things I Liked This Week” blog.

That’s all for now.