The Writing Life

{ image source }

Gentle Reader,

Participating in the 31 Days challenge reaffirmed for me the necessity of daily discipline in writing. Though I cannot find the source of this information just now, I remember reading that Edith Wharton and Henry James both maintained a strict writing schedule. While I am not arrogant enough to count myself among their ranks, I see the sense in the blending of art and work. Some days the words flow without effort. Others, they must be forced.

I have had a new project lurking in the corners of my mind for some time now. The preliminary research is done; pink sticky notes mark important passages in several well-loved books. But I am afraid. I open a Word document and stare at the blinking cursor. It seems that my experience of two years ago not only knocked me down a much-needed peg or two, it inspired fear. What if I can’t do this? Why do I think I have anything valuable to say?

There is vulnerability in putting words to paper. I like blogging because I can ignore negative comments. I don’t have to see anyone read these posts. To write another book, to pour in the hours of effort, to delete pages worth of work and begin again, all to run the risk of being rejected…. Crippling self-doubt halts the process.

I am shaking my head right now, seeing clearly that I continue to idolize the good opinion of others. Ah, but a writer lives on those reviews – doesn’t she? Or can she pursue her craft as an act of faith, lifting it up as worship to the King?

Long ago I determined that this writing would not be about me. If I believe that God gives us gifts and talents, then I must believe that He wants us to use those gifts and talents in service to Him. That means words. That means sharing the truth the best way I know how. So pray, dear friend, as I struggle to begin. There may be days where it comes easily. There may be days when I fight with my own self just to spit out one sentence.

Fear has stopped me from doing too many things, too many times. I can’t let it get in the way of this. I don’t see myself big enough or brave enough to shove the feeling aside, but I know the One who is.

My journey to faith. (15)


6 thoughts on “The Writing Life

  1. I have found that what you write is powerful and spoken from your heart – a heart that belongs to the Lord. The gift of writing doesn’t get any better than that! I enjoy your candid “appraisals” of life and marvel at how well you put your thoughts together. Don’t let fear cripple or paralyze you into stopping. The Lord gave you that gift and HE expects you to put it to good use! I love you as a sister in Christ and support your effort to be in HIS will for your life!


  2. Writing is sort of heart wrenching sometimes. I wrote a book last year, and got rejected at least 100 times. I stopped keeping count. I totally understand the so many hours thing. There’s a quote, I can’t remember who said it, that says Don’t not do things for fear of the time it will take, the time will pass anyway.” I try to remind myself of that when I think about new, big projects. Prayers to you.


  3. I know that you know this but since His words are meant for us all, please allow me to share a responsorial sung often in my church and based on a Psalm (wish you could hear the music that helps keep it stuck in my head)

    “The Lord is my light and my salvation, of whom should I be afraid?”

    Yet, we all want the good opinions and, gasp at the lack of humility, even praise of other people.
    It’s normal, the fears, the longings, that clutch at the blank page or the blinking cursor. I have a hunch that those who recorded those ancient words may have felt that knot in the gut at the idea of “Who, me?” before saying “Well, okay, but You’ve gotta do this because otherwise I’m going to mess it up.” (Okay, I admit to a lively imagination but it helps me to overcome and to trust.)

    Clearly, you are moved and being moved to write. Write. He’ll help you. He always does.
    (and Aunt Lenore is right – you have an obligation to use the gifts you are given – remember that vineyard parable, among others)




Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.