The Time I was Dying On The Inside

 Photo by  on  Unsplash

Photo by on Unsplash

“If you don't have time to read, you don't have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.” ― Stephen King

I didn't read any books this past year. I have no excuses why I did this. Maybe it was my struggle with depression and anxiety as I recovered from my heart attacks and life changes because of my health issues. My mind couldn’t focus and I was unmotivated with life. At first I thought this was a side effect from having three heart attacks. My cardiologist told me I might see some short term memory loss, but this was different—it was deeper as if something was missing.  

Something happened.

I stopped dreaming and growing as a person. My brain turned to mush, and I was dying on the inside and I didn’t realize it. My light dimmed and my world shrunk—not to mention my interaction with people was becoming non-existent. Isolation might seem like a great idea, but it only leads to loneliness and death. It's not that things were bad. I had just become an owner a coffeehouse I knew was a gift from God and I had some exciting things on the horizon. I was in a good place, my walk with God was never better and my family was doing well. I just knew something wasn't right—I was feeling out of kilter. I lacked vision for my life, and I couldn't focus on story—any story. I felt empty and lost.      

But then things changed...

I went with my family and some friends to go see the movie IT and I got the adrenaline to write again—but the problem was I had nothing to say. I remembered a quote from many years ago on the importance for writers to be readers.

“Read, read, read. Read everything — trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You’ll absorb it.

Then write. If it’s good, you’ll find out. If it’s not, throw it out of the window.” ― William Faulkner 

If you recall reading a book was something I hadn't done in over a year. So I picked up a book and started reading again. Then I started dreaming again and the fog started to lift! I got a renewed vigor to tell stories—especially stories of hope. I began writing a book and created a personal Facebook Page to share with all of you the writing journey, and hopefully you will be inspired to dream and create.

You can like my Page here: @joepuenteswrites

Here's a challenge to help us all not have mushy brains:

  • Pick three books you'd have with you if you were on a deserted island and re-read them every year.
  •  Find an author way smarter than you and read everything they have ever written.
  • Make it a goal to read one new-to-you author every year.
  • At least do one of the three listed above.


Here is what I am currently reading:

On Writing: Memoir of the Craft | Stephen King

The Light is Winning: Why Religion Might Bring Us Back To Life | Zach Hoag

The Complete Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway: The Finca Vigia Edition | Ernest Hemingway 


Keep  dreaming and growing!