I woke with a scratchy throat. An hour or so later, that was followed by chills and a fever. My energy was zapped and my strength gone by the middle of the day. I called for a substitute and went home to bed at 1:00 p.m.
I remained at home for the next 48 hours, but felt better by the middle of the week. I decided to try to go back to work. I was able to maintain control of the class (if you’ve ever been a classroom teacher, you know what I mean…kids can sniff out a teacher who doesn’t feel quite up to par…) until shortly before noon when the unthinkable happened: I lost my voice.
That was when I lost control. When no one is listening, the effect can be devastating.
What happens to us, as writers, when we lose our “voice”? After all, let’s be honest, our voice is our writing and if we lose that, well, how does that affect our performance? And, is it possible to regain our voice after a brief lapse in technique, or a period of time when our creativity lags? When we just don’t feel we are quite hitting the mark with our words?
I think there are days, in any profession, when we are just “off”. For whatever the reason— illness, distractions, catastrophic events, difficulties in our interpersonal relationships, even changes in the weather—we just don’t perform to our expectations. We become disappointed in ourselves. We may even feel that we’ve let others down.
May I suggest that it may not be realistic to expect ourselves to function at optimal levels every day—each time the door opens, each time the bell rings?
God grants us grace, so why not follow His example and extend a measure of the same to ourselves? Remind ourselves that it’s o.k. That although we may strive for perfection, it’s just not realistic to expect it of ourselves in each and every circumstance.
Let’s tell ourselves that things WILL get better because, you know what? They WILL!
You WILL find your niche, again. You WILL discover more hidden talents. You WILL reconnect with those creative ideas!
The computer keys will once again be pounded by a person ignited by the next great thought. That article or book will be completed by someone who was gentle enough with themselves to allow for days when ideas germinated, rather that came easily onto the page… days when they thought they’d lost their voice, only to find out that it was just resting a little…until their heart healed, until the things of life settled down once more, until they learned a difficult life lesson, until they took a break in the middle of the afternoon and went home to bed.