Here we go again.
When I gave up on Monday’s Penny nearly four years ago, I thought I was done with blogging–maybe even with writing. I was coming off several stunning failures–the death of a friend, the unraveling of a career, the dissolution of what I thought were solid relationships. The entire world seemed angry and noisy and pointless, and I had no idea how to address it. So I just stopped trying.
And then, as she has done a thousand times before, Anne Lamott smacked me in the head. I listened to her TED talk, “12 Truths I Learned from Life and Writing.” While she is certainly wrong about some of what she says–chocolate with 70% cacao is not, as she would have it, less than real food–she is on point with most of what she says, including this:
“Publication can’t save your life. But writing can.”
She has more to say on the subject, all of it good. But that phrase was enough for me to realize how depressive and defeatist it was to kill Monday’s Penny. The blog had not been “successful,” at least not in terms of building a large following or develop a brand. But it had helped me sift through a lot of big questions and–even more importantly–had kept my eyes open to good things in my world I might have otherwise overlooked.
When I stop to think about it, what publication success I’ve had in recent years has taught me more about the publishing industry, which is of course helpful. But it’s the writing process that has taught me about life and love and what it means to be human, what it means to be a child of God.
Giving up on Monday’s Penny didn’t cheat anyone out of my opinion. In fact, the world has functioned much the same without my insights as it did with them. But my hiatus made me a little less hopeful, a little more blind to the wonder that can come just from noticing a penny on the sidewalk.
I’m a better person when I am hopeful in a disciplined way. And I’m more disciplined and more hopeful when I write, regardless of how many or how few read my words.
And so I’m resurrecting Monday’s Penny, even as I myself am continually being brought back from the deadness that modern life can inflict on us all. My prayer is that you will find some life here too, that you’ll open your eyes to the insistent goodness that’s waiting to be found right under our feet.