What To Write?

frustratedwriter-250x167Writing is not for the faint of heart. These little letters, mixed together to form words, strung along to form a sentence, then squashed into groups to be titled “paragraphs”, do not always come easy. Let us not even delve into the writing of a book yet, with the myriad of chapters, forewords, acknowledgments, and so on. The words jumble together. The ideas fizzle as life whirls by. The confidence as you scrawled the first words fades. The computer screen glares back at you expectantly. And you sit….waiting….editing….writing….deleting.

Minds are a fickle expanse.

Desire to write grows in your heart. That tell-tale tickle that begins for each author at different times in each of our lives. It is just a thought, at first. Maybe a journal that becomes more of a story to an outsider looking in. Maybe a character on the street that inspires a character in book. It begins and no writer can predict where it might end.

Ability to write comes from your mind. So the tickle in your heart has become “hell-itch” (like the kind you get after a nasty sunburn). You can’t ignore it any longer, so you start. Your mind settles into, what you think is organization, and your fingers begin to put together all the words floating around in that grey goo between your ears. It is like learning to walk. You stumble through the first few lines, you fall in love with your delete button~no one really talks like that. Then they just start rolling. Words coming out of thin air. Smoothly gliding from your mind to the tips of your fingers.

It is magic.

Focus to publish your writing comes from your soul. So now after years and tomes of stories/articles/poems/thoughts/books/scrawlings, it is time. It is time to dig into the most scared of areas in your being and publish. Your words are your soul. Your desire to write has been overtaken by your desire to share. Those still moments when the kids were sleeping, the tears late at night when the only escape were the words, the chaos in your hospital rooms after surgeries, now it is time to share. The focus required to publish consistently becomes a part of your waking moments. No one in your life is exempt from your writing. Teenagers are editors. Best friends are sounding boards for ideas. Family members are marketing gurus. When did this happen? How did this happen?

So you cultivated your heart, mind, and soul. You nurtured the relationship to expose the raw parts of yourself. What happens if you stop?

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Absent

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The world continues to spin on it’s axis.  I have been absent from my writing.  I miss the ritual of sitting down and letting my mind flow through my fingertips.  The feeling of accomplishment, connection, is fleeting.  I love allowing my thoughts to tumble forward onto the paper.  It is soothing and necessary.  I am delighted to be back. 

My adventures took me through the rolling hills of Eastern Nebraska.  The apple blossoms of the famous Nebraska City orchards were in full bloom.  Walking down the miles of straight rows of fruit trees, showing off for the bees, is a magical sight.  Everything around you is shrouded in an inner light that seeps into your spirit, uplifting your own peace.  I spent my time investigating the natural beauty of spring.  Enjoying all the spectacular sights, sounds, and smells of this time of awakening.

It was then on west to central Nebraska for my time with my boys.  We spent the weekend reuniting with friends, forgetting sunscreen and relaxing together.  It is a blessing to see friends and family coming together to spend our time supporting the teenagers in our lives.  Too much food, too much sun and not enough sleep equals a perfect weekend away.

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Apologies

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Let me start by saying “I’m sorry.”  No fancy lead in, no rambling excuses, just “I’m sorry”.  I’m sorry my posts have been few and far between.  Life, it seems, rushes by when you are not looking.

In our society ‘I’m sorry’ is used far too often without much meaning.  The message can be a lifeline to a failing relationship.  ‘I’m sorry’ signifies a need to help heal.  Parents say it to children, wives to husbands and vice versa, politicians to their constituents, bloggers to their audience and so on.  What does it mean to apologize?  They are just a few words strewn together to hopefully repair a damage.  Where would we be if we strove to not apologize and instead of a band-aid on a gushing wound, we avoided the injury instead?

Imagine if you will, lies that are spoken never crossing our lips.  Promises that are kept bring smiles instead of tears.  Hurtful words not shouted.  Gossip about another person ends with you.  Our lives are full of reasons and excuses.

Obviously there is a time and a place for a heartfelt apology but I feel if we truly work to never need to use our apologies then maybe, just maybe, we can live in communities that uplift instead of tear down.

Choose your words carefully and travel well my friends.

My Place Of Fear

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I come from a place of fear.  I was not born into this place of fear and I no longer reside there.  Yet the moments of fear that wash over me when I am least expecting it feel like a tidal wave I cannot escape.

I was afraid of my home, I was afraid of my choices, I was afraid of my own thoughts being judged wrong.  I masked it all with a smile of naiveté.  I embraced, what I knew in the depths of my soul as wrong, as right and I justified it all with a label.  My label became the noose around my neck.  Stifling my breathing, blurring my vision, manipulating my words.  Pain wreaked havoc on my body till I could stand it no longer, pushing it back with denial.

I stopped writing.  My written thoughts became my imprisoning tomb.  My thoughts were bad, my ideas were wrong, my life was not my own.  The empty journals were left with only the front inscription of apologies.  My words left me in a whiff of smoke, I burned each word faster, almost, than I could scrawl them on the paper.  Hunting private places to write and burn.  It was a dark time.

I can write again.  It has taken me years, multiple journals, loved ones unending encouragement, but I am back.  Not the same as I was, someone different.  I am confident in my chosen expression.  I will not let another influence, corrupt what I have been given.  I will not let another, place the seed of fear in me ever again.  These are my thoughts, my own, no one else’s.  They are not wrong, or bad, they are thoughts written for the world to read.  You may judge the words, but I will never fear the judgment again.     

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Job?

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Do you work to live? or Do you live to work?  I have recently been faced with this dilemma and to be honest I don’t know the answer.  I do not know which is “correct”.  I always thought work was something you completed in order to get back to your life.  You need the income to enjoy the world around us, yet how can you enjoy the world around us if you are devoting most of your life to work.  I will be pondering this for the next few weeks and writing on your responses to the above questions. 

When The Pen Runs Dry

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My pen is dry.  I don’t have a voice.  It seems the rest of the world is talking but my pen ran dry.  The letters that form the words that weave a tapestry of stories are not intertwining together.  Instead I have disjointed thoughts that never leave my mind.  The letters form into words, they come together, then they flit away.  I watch them go wanting them to stay together but like the dandelion fluff on the wind they scatter apart.  What will I do?  Confinement seems logical, travel seems luxurious, experience seems necessary.  Why then do the words abandon me?  I sit in disbelief that the words have left me.  I try to attach the tangible to them but it is not to be.  My pen ran dry.  An intimate part of me is missing.  The part of me that dances to the music is languidly reclining on the sofa.  The part of me that feels energy from the movement of my hands is sleeping.  I miss the flow of thoughts.  I desire more time to allow my pen to skate across the paper.  The typing of my stories feels like torture.  Why did you leave me?  When will you return? 

My pen ran dry.

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Daily Planning

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My writings are for many different reasons.  I write to relax.  I write to engage.  I write to inform.  I write for so many reasons yet all of those reasons eventually come back to one reason….communication.  Even if it is just a sheer will to communicate with my future self, I still love to write.  It is a way for my mind to organize and prioritize my rambling thoughts.  I feel more in tune with myself while I am writing.

Like most of us who have this overwhelming desire to put our thoughts down on paper, key them on a computer screen, or even go “old school” and type them with an old typewriter, when we finally take the leap into the public realm of writing it can be all consuming.  It is not an art form that always flows like the water from your faucet, it is more like the tides of the oceans, ebbing and flowing.  Why then do we continue to push when it seems the proverbial pen is dry?  Is it simply to stay with our familiar friends, pen and paper?  Are we attempting to recreate the feeling, the rush, the peace, that flows through us when the prose is accelerating through our fingers?

In all my years of writing I have found that a good, solid daily plan helps to prepare and organize myself.  I take the time to write a list of “To Dos” when I have more ideas than reasonable time.  I love to have that organized list when I awake after a restful night.  I read and sometimes re-read my daily plan.  I look at each word memorizing my objectives.  I set the list somewhere prominent or stuff it in my purse so I have it with me at all times to reference it.  I am ready for a well planned, productive day.

Then life happens 🙂