Have you ever felt as if you’ve written a phrase or sentence so perfect, so poetic only to realize it just doesn’t fit the piece you’re writing? As a writer, one of the most valuable bits of advice I’ve received is to “never delete.” Words, phrases, sentences, paragraphs that may not work in one piece may be perfect for another. As a result, I’ve created a file of my deleted ideas and words, my own personal word bank ready for withdrawal.
The past few weeks I’ve run the gamut of emotions from grief, to anger, to fear, to hope and joy. And with each of these emotions there has been a flow of ideas I couldn’t fully flesh out, words that just wouldn’t jibe and dueling sentiments I couldn’t quite convey. But I’m okay with that. And so words have been saved, deposits have been made and perhaps one day the withdrawal of those words will present a clear picture of my mind’s musings. In the meantime, let’s write on, friends.
Depending on my writing mood, some days I’m too wordy and other days I’m not even sure my sentence conveys a complete thought. But no matter my mood, I often journey to the magical, mesmerizing world of alliteration. The challenge to find the perfect combination of words with just the right lyrical flow is endorphin inducing for me. A little weird? A writer thing, perhaps?
I love journaling. Like so much so that I designed a workshop to share the love and the benefits (although scheduling hasn’t allowed me to present it just yet, it’s coming…see previous post Writers Speak). I have over 20 years worth of journals stored in bins and periodically go through them to find ideas or just to reminisce. Over at The Writing Cooperative, this article by Karen Thompkins beautifully explains the bridge I found between journaling and discovering my voice as a writer. She also provides some great resources (did you know there was a Center for Journal Therapy?! I am seriously excited about this nugget of new info). Here’s to discovering and staying true to your voice. Keep journaling and writing, friends.
A wise woman told me, “Writers speak and speakers write.”
I have a tormented relationship with public speaking. Tremoring, sweaty hands, a flip flopping stomach and a shaky voice don’t equal good times for me. Speech Communications was the first class in which I ever received a C. I often say I can write it better than I can say it. But over the years, my written thoughts have led to invitations to publicly speak. *Insert alarmed face* And more recently, the causes and issues I’m passionate about have sparked ideas and opened doors that require me to write as well as speak. So, compelled to grow, I registered for a voluntary series of public speaking workshops offered at my job. The first workshop was downright uncomfortable at times (including a 30 second exercise of maintaining uninterrupted eye contact with a stranger *insert alarmed face again*). But I imagine the process is like stretching; it’s a bit uncomfortable at first,especially if your muscles are cold and stiff, but once your muscles begin to warm and lengthen, the release and relief are invigorating. So here’s to growth and stretching out of comfort zones.
I try not to overemphasize everything as “life changing.” Because honestly some moments and experiences are amazingly awesome but our lives return to status quo pretty quickly. So when I say that SheSpeaks 2019 was life changing, I mean it completely changed my perspective, my approach and my momentum. It was the push, the kick in the butt, the “Aha” moment I needed. It’s taken me months to process it all and I’m still not done. But I’m here (Heyyyy WordPress!) because after years of sidelining I needed to put myself out there again. It’s not easy putting your thoughts, your work, your heart out for public consumption, risking rejection, trying to separate the constructive criticism from the unnecessary barbs. And while I generally like connecting with people, there are some days it feels like a floodgate has been opened and the socializing of networking can become overwhelming (extroverted introvert here).
This conference was an investment in me, and as a wife and mom, I was reminded that it’s okay to invest in my dreams and passions.
I am extremely grateful to Lysa Terkeurst and her team at Proverbs 31 for creating a space for women to be themselves, be educated, be encouraged, be connected and most of all seek God. This was my first year and most definitely will not be my last.
I’ve loved books for as long as I can remember. My Little House on the Prairie book set ranks as one of my favorite Christmas gifts as a kid. The regular library visits my parents began with me as a child, I have continued with my own children. So I would say I was a pretty great reader.
But I am challenged by Lysa’s suggestion that as a great reader I not only read to savor the story, I also read to study the author’s craft. Take notes. What moves me? Why? What works? What doesn’t work? How can I apply it to my own style and craft? So logical yet such a light bulb moment.
I write because I have a passion for the written word. I have a brain overflowing with stories and ideas that must be recorded and shared. I exercise my pen and my keyboard for my freedom. The flow of my words therapeutic, a divine intervention. Published or unpublished, hundreds of readers or just one; my gift is not diminished, my call no less important.
Why do you write? Re-evaluate. Refocus. And let’s write on, friends!
Wow it’s been literally years since I’ve posted. I thought I might make a New Years resolution or a holiday declaration to jump back in but I figured there’s no day like today to start anew. A lot has changed in the world of blogging in my absence and I realize I’m probably way outdated here. But my goal is to simply write and for now I will do just that.
Been reading…She’s Still There by Chrystal Evans Hurst . It has actually been a catalyst for my return here. Her honest words of encouragement spoke to the girl who used to sit for hours filling notebooks with stories and poetry, who sometimes daydreamed about sitting on a talk show couch to discuss her latest work (thanks to Oprah’s Book Club). She spoke to the woman who has filled journal after journal with musings, stories and essays, who keeps picking up the dream but allowing life to knock it down again. A great read if you’re pondering “where do I go from here?”
Been writing…A few months ago I joined COMPEL , an online community of resources, training, and support for writers. I also entered my first contest there, for an opportunity to write a devotion for Proverbs 31 Ministries (you can read an excerpt over at Barnabas Blessings). I was commended on my title but encouraged to work on my lead in. I would be lying if I said the criticism didn’t sting a bit, not because it wasn’t valid or constructive (which it was and very kind); but simply because I’m human. In the far recesses of my mind existed a small shimmer of hope that someone would read my submission and say “She’s got it!” But, c’est la vie! I have work to do and life goes on. I’m just happy to say that I tried. I took a step toward my goal and that’s all that really matters.
Can I just gush a minute? About Jesus you ask? Well of course, He is absolutely the best thing that has ever happened to me. My life without Him, I don’t even want to imagine! About my hubby and kids? Well I love them madly, they are my motivation, my home team, we are the four musketeers, one for all and all for one. But right now I want to gush about the thesaurus! Yes, one of the greatest inventions of the English language. Can I just say how many times this little resource has unblocked this writer’s blockage. Looove it!
So to address my blogging absence…LIFE. Nothing major, just the day-to-day, rolling -with-the-punches life of a wife and mom, who also returned to work outside of the home (because what moms do inside the home is no less work, just a different motivation and rewards). I’m also back in the saddle over on my Barnabas Blessings blog so be sure to take a peek there for some encouragement. I’ve been waxing poetic more than usual since taking a Modern Poetry class on Cousera so I’m intrigued to see where it will take me. And although I’ve been absent here, I have been writing, I have a composition book full of “stuff,” now to figure out what’s fit for public consumption and what may be for my eyes only.
Lastly, I’ve been doing ALOT of reading! Yay! Reading is my ultimate relaxation, like Calgon take me away type relaxation. I’ve discovered so many great authors and books to share. The latest is Digging to America by Anne Tyler.
Apparently I’m really late to the game considering Anne Tyler’s first novel was written in the 1960’s but I’m excited to catch up on what I’ve missed. Digging to America is one of her more recent offerings (2006) and I love the characters. There are interracial, intercultural and international relationships that make it an engaging read and even better, it’s set in my stomping ground, Baltimore. I’m two thirds of the way through and recommend it to anyone interested in issues of family, immigration, adoption, and love in the “twilight years.” Curious? Happy Reading!