I can’t write because she…

How many times in my life have my words stop flowing because she … ? She has always been another writer, someone who communicates best in written form and shares her thoughts with those around her. She has been someone different time and time again.

When I first sat down to share this, I pictured many of the different women she has been. I don’t consider myself a very competitive person, but the first few women I thought of, something in life made me feel like I was in competition with those particular women. It took a lot of healing and help to come to realize that she wasn’t my competition and while there was outside influence and pressure to see her as competition, the biggest problem was the way I was looking at things.

Yet, as the faces slid through my mind and I tried to decide where to start, I realized that some of the women were never women I felt like I was in competition with. I don’t really view life that way anyway – I think it’s very much a team event and we sharpen and motivate and encourage one another onward.

So if some of the women stirred up unusual feelings of competition but some of them didn’t, then what was the common thread? And why did she make it to where I couldn’t write?

Maybe I felt less than when I compared myself to her.

Or maybe I felt ashamed. Or like she wrote better.

What really hit me was when I realized I was afraid to let them see where I was vulnerable. I can’t come here to this space and lie. It’s not what God called me to do. I can’t come here and make up someone I’m not or write a life I’m not living. Sometimes this is raw, sometimes gritty, but always open, honest, authentic.

And sometimes, when I think of her winding up in this space reading it, I think she might find my weak points. Maybe, she’ll use my vulnerability against me.

She has many faces, she has come into my life in different roles, and she is honestly just a messed up way the enemy of God tries to put a stop to me writing. Some false sense of self-protection or bravado. Hiding in fear of what exactly? I don’t know anymore.

Tonight I ask God to teach me to persevere and pen my words despite what road blocks and writers block the enemy tries to hurl at me.

Until next time,

Admire and Aspire

Dear Fellow Writers,

When I read your words I admire and aspire. I don’t cut down, tear apart, pick apart, or find fault. When I read your words, I pick out the best parts, the parts I like the most, and I let them call out the best parts in me.

When I find the rhythm to your work, I let it lull me, sing to me, draw me in. I admire the voice you’ve developed, I know that didn’t happen the first time your pen met the page. I aspire to practice as much and as hard as you do, so that my own narrative voice will be strong, independent, and yet connected to this community of folks. Folks who string word after word together to make a symphony of thoughts, ideas, imaginations, instructions.

Fellow Writer, I love what you do. I know what you do has helped me do what I do. I know your words have inspired me to put my words on paper. I don’t want to copy you, but I want to be just like you. I want to be brave enough to put my story out there for others to read and enjoy and learn from. I want to write novels that people can live in, if even for short time. I want to write books about how God moves in my life and the hope we have in Jesus.

Thank you for paving the way with your courage. Thank you for giving me something to read. I know you opened yourself up, poured yourself out, and wrote from your heart. I know it wasn’t easy. I know you’ve had doubters, complainers, naysayers, and critics. Thank you for pushing yourself forward anyway.

Until next time,

So You Married a Writer

So you married a writer, and in my experience, that means you married a thinker and a feeler. I’ve yet to meet a writer that doesn’t try to read between the lines, that doesn’t think things over and over and over again, that doesn’t feel the people and circumstances around them – near or far – quite deeply.

So you married a writer, someone good with words. Someone who likes to put pencil to paper or fingers to keyboard and compose a message from the heart or the imagination. If you married a writer, you may have received letters, emails, or lengthy text messages detailing thoughts, feelings, events, or experiences of said writer.

Let me tell you, these lengthy, wordy messages are a craft of love, a pouring out of the soul, an opening up of oneself to another. These messages are communication from the writer to you – their spouse, their lover, their best friend, their partner.

Don’t take the words for granted, just try to understand what they are saying. And if you ever find yourself complaining that you don’t like the way they write so much, or wait to share their thoughts until they can write them, you might find yourself hearing less and less from them, about them… until one day, they feel as if they are becoming a stranger to you, not fully known, not fully loved.

You don’t have to love to write, or even like it, to love a writer and read the words they send you. You don’t have to write to your writer, really, it’s okay. You can call or wait for the quiet evening hours to fully share your thoughts, we like to listen when you talk. But sometimes words don’t make it as easily from our heads to our mouths as they do from our heads to our pens. Don’t make a writer bottle up what they need to say, simply because you don’t prefer to read. Let them communicate their way. They’ll make space to listen to your words if they come easier in speaking for you.

Marriage can be like a dance between people who do things different ways, if you both learn to give and receive in ways that are not exactly your preference, for the good of each other. It won’t always be your way, and it won’t always be your spouse’s way, it’s a little bit of both and as the years progress, you’ll look back on your hodge podge and see beauty in what once felt like a mess.

Until next time,