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.