Music is never going to pay my bills – and I have no expectation that it should.  So why is it important that I dedicate any time, energy, or effort to it?

Because I believe that we simply must do what we love.

But in the last 6 months, I’ve really stopped pursuing musical endeavors.  I am not writing.  I rarely go to shows.  I feel depleted, and uninspired, and checked out.  I work long days, and have my evenings booked up with various commitments and responsibilities.  So many other things have taken the place of writing.  Silence is a rarity, imagination seemingly an impossibility.

How do we keep the thing that we love a priority?  In the midst of work and relationships and laundry and grocery shopping and getting a zit INSIDE ONE’S NOSTRIL, how do we stay focused on what we were created to love?

I am grateful for my very full life.  But these days, all I want to do is drive away.

I don’t know where to go, though.

And so I stay.

I can blame my lack of creativity on this exhaustion and depletion, thinking that I just need to change something about my day-to-day reality.  It’s so easy to live a guilt-based existence, assuming that if only I did this or that differently, I could dig myself out of this hole.

But to think that “success” or “failure” – in any area of my life – is up to ME?  That is giving myself far too much credit.

I have to remember that the only true source of life and inspiration is in Christ.

I don’t know where else to go.

And so I stay.



  1. cameron conant on June 8, 2009 at 9:59 AM

    Hi Annie —

    I understand where you’re coming from completely. I mean I don’t — I’m not you — but I can identify with much of what you’re describing here. Let me know if you want to talk. I might be headed out of town at the end of the month for quite a while, so we should do it before then. Also, a couple books that changed my life:

    “Let Your Life Speak” by Parker Palmer
    “Everything Belongs” by Richard Rohr
    “The Enneagram: A Christian Perspective” by Richard Rohr

    Lord knows everything won’t “get better” once you read these, but unlike most books, these will actually put you on the road to deep, profound discoveries about your life, your vocation, your faith, and other profound mysteries of the universe.


  2. Alissa on June 8, 2009 at 12:29 PM

    Two things:
    1. You are still writing here, so you can’t say you have no energy to write.

    2. One of my favorite Earl Parlmer sentiments is that we live in a weekly cycle, just as God created the earth. If we believe we are anything, then we must pursue that thing EVERY WEEK. If you are a writer and musician, then you must be purusing music (in some form) and writing every week. And I bet you are, just maybe not in the way you want to define it.

    And yes, stay. Because that’s what mature people do – stay in the place they have been put and do what they have been doing, (which is exactly where God wants you on THIS day), until they are told to go…

    Okay, that was 3 things.

  3. Whitney on June 8, 2009 at 12:34 PM

    We do what we love because love stretches us even when it’s hard. Even when routine threatens our own boredom and we feel a lack of inspiration that threatens suffocation. We do what we love because love is the point, even and especially when we don’t feel it. Because loving and acting out of love when feelings aren’t there reminds us that love isn’t a feeling, and we aren’t a chaos of emotion wrapped in a thin layer of skin. We continue to do what we love because, even if it’s music, even if it’s a relationship, even if it’s writing, even if it’s weaving, we remember that love isn’t about what we get out of it. Love teaches us, in desert, in valley, as well as mountaintop.

    Best of luck in all you love.

  4. Sarah on June 8, 2009 at 3:00 PM

    I’m going to back and read the post, now, but here’s a quote from Dierks Bentley I thought you would like:

    “I once heard George Jones say in an interview that country music was like religion to him. I couldn’t agree more,” says Dierks Bentley. “It’s where I turn when times are tough and I need answers and it’s where I go when I want to cut loose and have fun. As a singer and songwriter, it’s not only how I make a living but what gives me direction and purpose in life.”

  5. Sarah on June 8, 2009 at 3:04 PM

    Don’t go, but maybe… shirk a little responsibility, now and then, so you can make time for doing what you love. Or think about doing what you love as a resposibity – nay, a duty – and make time for it in the evenings or on the weekends, just as you magically make time for all of your other responsibilities.

  6. Jennifer Graham on June 8, 2009 at 10:37 PM

    Thank you for sharing, my heart needed to hear this kind of honesty today.


  7. FW on June 8, 2009 at 10:40 PM

    Keep the music as an avocation, absolutely as long as you can. There is no better way to ruin something you love for yourself, than to try to make a living at it.

  8. hootenannie » Blog Archive » Potluck post on June 10, 2009 at 9:08 AM

    […] is a girl I’ve never met, but her writing is absolutely lovely.  She left a comment on Monday’s post that I believe is worth […]

  9. Katie on June 11, 2009 at 8:50 AM

    I love this. And I needed the reminder that while writing may never pay my bills, I can’t – and mustn’t – give it up.

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