Tuesday, March 8, 2011

On writing, and fear

I read aloud to my mom in the kitchen as she irons her clothes for the next day.  Essays.  I like to hear my thoughts sprawled out on paper.

Creative writing was my thing back then.  The teacher would give us a handful of title's to select from and we'd choose one to write a story off from.  Just a single line or statement.

I'd write from anything and make it something.  Carrying it into a made-up world.

Fast forward several years.  I work at a college.  One of the top 10% in the U.S. of private institutions.  And my writing is extinguished.

I am not good enough.  I didn't go to a good enough school.  I don't measure up.

Somehow (because of Grace), comments about my writing from high school English teachers follow me - encourage me - and it doesn't make sense to me.

I crave telling stories.

For years I keep journals of my prayers and thoughts.  Not a daily diary-type of journal.  But a journal.

I find healing in writing.

I learn that telling the true stories - the ones that need to be told - brings me to freedom.

My writing becomes alive again.

This time I write more publicly.  I discover a community of on line writers called bloggers.  I create my own blog.  I redesign it a few times until it resembles the place where my heart shows the most.

I write about grace and freedom through my living.

I want to please everyone. I don't want anyone mad at me. I am afraid people will leave me - abandon me as a friend or even a member of my family.  That I'll be disowned.  I'm afraid they'll decide I'm too over-the-toptoo pollyanna-liketoo unforgiving, simply too much.

I'm afraid the whole I time I write truth.

Afraid I'm not strong enough to fight other people's anger for the truth-telling.

Anne Lamott says this: "Risk being unliked.  Tell the truth as you understand it.  If you're a writer, you have a moral obligation to do this.  And it is a revolutionary act - truth is always subversive."

I am learning that to tell true stories, *risk* is required.

*Risk* sounds exciting and appeals to me.  And still, I'm afraid the whole time I write about these true stories.

Writing about my heart is almost too much of a risk and every day I am tempted to quit.  Yet, like water, I can't get enough.

I must write.  I crave it.  My mind doesn't rest and knows the power in sharing.

There is power in the true stories of living.

And so I trust - All is Grace.  Truly - all.

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