It’s rare, I know, but think I owe my blog an apology. I’ve been so caught up in “Encouragin’ Words,” my daily devotional on Facebook, that I had been ignoring this blog. There appears to be only so much of me to go around, but from now on I plan to carve out time for this “God Is Big” blog, as well for as my other writing.
I feel a little foolish, yet teary eyed, as I whisper, “I’m sorry. Do you forgive me?” In the moment of silence that follows I hear a sweet “yes.” My forgiven heart broadcasts its delight to my tap-happy fingers as they begin to race across the keyboard!
Writing is a strange beast. You start with a blank page and then before you know it words appear—borne out of a thought or string of them. You re-read. Did I really write that? And in that moment you will either continue (with a slight skip in your step) or press “Delete,” and take another pass at how you want to tell the tale. Writing, then reading and back again—we write to read and read to write.
I’ve been writing ever since I was old enough to hold a crayon. Since I came from a pre-social media generation, I was taught by my sweet Moma that every gift was not properly received until a hand-written thank you note had been sent and received by the one who gifted me. So, my thank note training began with squiggling color, advanced to one or two lumpy sentences, then on to missives with flair due to a third-grade teacher whose handwriting was so exquisite I practiced endlessly to make mine that way, too.
The first book I ever read on writing was Brenda Ueland’s masterpiece, If You Want to Write. I highly recommend it. I was encouraged and inspired by the title of the very first chapter: “Everyone is Talented, Original and Has Something to Say.” Since everyone indicated, well, everyone, and I was part of everyone, that meant I was talented, original and had something to say—a revelation that removed the niggling nay-saying that had lodged itself in my brain.
The beauty of writing is that it doesn’t have to be perfect. What is perfect anyway? Have you ever noticed that what might be considered perfection in one generation, is far from it in the next and visa versa? Trying to keep up with that shift in sensibilities had a crippling effect on my writing—like setting my sights on some imaginary bullseye. When I finally let go of the words they flowed freely.
I threw off fear and let my fingers fly. My first attempts were piles of hand-written pages, streams of consciousness that served to unclog the circuits in my brain. I quickly advanced to words bounced off a typewriter and on to the easily-changed wording of a computer. All the while, I carried Brenda Ueland’s very best advice: “If You Want to Write…WRITE!” I learned not to censor myself, but just to get what I had to say out of me and onto the page—intent on telling the tale—re-writing as needed. Again, we write to read and read to write.
And so, I learned that it was best to examine my own heart. What must come out would find its way out. And if it came with a bunch of fluff, it could be combed out later, unless, of course, the fluff is what made those words sing!
I began with an apology, but I end with resolve. Being a writer is part of who I am. It never ceases to amaze me how the passage of time is rendered completely still when I am lost and found in the act of placing my heart on a page. Because in the end, you see, it is my heart that is revealed and remains.