I’m sitting at my favorite spot in the house- the top of the stairs between the complete darkness of the second-floor hallway and the light at the bottom of the stairs, and maybe this is symbolic of where I am in my writing. I’m not completely in the dark anymore. I’m not afraid to be seen to some degree, but I’m still not ready to walk into the total exposure of the light.
I’m prone to just writing concluding thoughts. Instead of taking you on the journey of how I got to where I was, I only tell you what I learned at the end of it. It’s neat, concise, and just vulnerable enough without getting too personal.
I write with “being safe” in mind. I want to stand out but not stand out too much. I want to have a unique voice but don’t want to write stories people can’t relate to. I stay in the comfortable in-between spot of just enough but not too much. I write about things that are raw and real but don’t go deeply where it could hurt. I type and delete over and over again to create a perfectly frosted glass wall so you can kind of see me but not see all of me.
There are things I still can’t write about just yet. Things I haven’t worked through and stories I’m not ready to share with the world- things about my culture, my family, my past mistakes, my position as a pastor, my place as a woman. My mind can’t even go to some of those places because crossing into them will surely mean pain. But there are words burning inside of me, and I’m hoping I’ll eventually have the right words at the right time and be brave enough to say them out loud.
I’m remembering as I sit here that writing calls for courage. All of our giftings and our creative pursuits require us to to stand tall even when no one else gets it, when people or the voices inside our heads are telling us we’re not enough or that we’re too much. I’m not so naive to say that I’ll be brave from here on out, and it would be foolish of me to think I could change overnight or through one post. But I’m taking a step closer toward the light and hoping to find it isn’t so bad to be completely seen.
I heard a podcast once that said we should blog about things we’re a bit of an expert in, but the more I write the more I know I’m not an expert in anything. I write because I’m not an expert, because I don’t actually know what I’m talking about. I write because I need to work things out, and typing it out in black and white helps the process.
I have a million thoughts going through my head at any given moment. It’s chaos up there. But writing quiets my mind. It helps me stay still. It forces me to get outside of myself, to look at my thought patterns, my doubts and fears, and reminds me of what’s true.
Writing coaxes me to show my vulnerabilities, to be raw and honest. It convinces me to take down my defensive walls so that people can see me, but more importantly so people can see Jesus in me.
Writing is my act of worship, my act of bravery, my act of obedience.
This is why I write.
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I had a Story & Soul Session with the lovely Ashley Abramson last week, and she encouraged me to turn down the editor’s voice in my head so I can write freely. I’ll be honest. It takes me days, sometimes even weeks, to write a post. I edit as I write, and too often people’s faces come to mind and I wonder, Will I offend them? Will they misunderstand my intentions? Will they get what I’m saying? I go over each word and its placement and question whether it’s the right or best one. It’s exhausting, and writing starts to become a chore instead of an act of worship.
I want to write freely. I want to turn down the critic’s voice in my head. I want to edit less and write more. I want to weave writing into every part of my life by making it a habit so I’m taking up the 31 Days writing challenge. The goal is to write every day for the month of October, and even though I was thinking of quitting even before it even began this morning, I’ve decided that there’s nothing to fear and nothing to lose.
There may or may not be a theme to what I write this month. Most likely it will be a continuation of what I write most about- faith, life, and motherhood- but I’m hoping that my writing will take us down some new paths. I’m hoping to explore and uncover deeper things as well as be surprised by simple delights, and I hope you’ll come along with me.
See you tomorrow! (Hopefully)
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