Stories that Matter

Struggles

What Am I Afraid Of?

Words fail me. Lately. When I try to sum up what this thing is that I do and why I do it and why I can’t not do it and why some days the words won’t come . . .  words fail me. And the question rattles hard in my head. Is it . .…
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Is It Supposed To Hurt This Much?

That was a text I got from my daughter a few hours into labour. “Is it supposed to hurt this much?” I wanted to laugh, but I didn’t. Because, yes. It is. And it does. And it will continue to. With every challenge that comes with being a parent. Being a mother or father or…
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Being The Grown-Up In The Room

I read this excellent post on Jen Hatmaker’s Facbook page yesterday. She talked about looking for the grown-up in the room, i.e. the person not arguing, not using childish banter to go on the attack, the person others look to because they’re talking sense. Sometimes you have to be that person. Sometimes you have to…
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Get Back Up ~ Dedicated To My Friend Sandie

You should know, I am a die-hard GWTW fan. I’ve lost track now exactly how many times I’ve watched the movie. But I have read the book only once. I’m thinking I need to rectify that. The GWTW experience for me began as a lonely and homesick thirteen-year old wandering the musty maze of books…
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Things I'm Learning From The US Election

I’ve been unable to write the past few days. Unable to trust that I’d use my words wisely. And I don’t know for sure I can do that today. Don’t know for sure I’ll hit that publish button when I’m done. But I do know I need to write the words down. Because that’s what…
Read More

The Crash

Ever been in a spot where you’re all prepared for one thing and then, before you can take your next breath, something happens to flip the entire day upside down? Sure you have. I think we’ve all been there at some point. Maybe you’re there right now. That’s okay. Grab a coffee. Put your feet…
Read More

Running on Empty

It was one of those nights last night. Sporadic sleep. Sound one minute, wide awake the next. It’s something I’ve learned to live with over the last couple of years, but it isn’t easy. Fortunately, I don’t have to be out the door at o’dark thirty, so when I have one of those nights, I…
Read More

Why I Love Me Before You

I’m not going to bother with the SPOILER ALERT or DISCLAIMER tags because, face it, if you don’t want to read this, why’d you click the link? I don’t generally jump into these arguments, but yesterday I read something that made me cringe. And I’d had enough. I’m an author. I have been writing fiction…
Read More

And This Is Why The Words Matter …

So I wrote a piece about Guarding The Writer’s Heart – and it’s true. It’s tough out there. You’re going to get criticism no matter what. It’s just a given. Kinda like running for President. But not. And we won’t go there. But you know . . . this year so far . . .…
Read More

Flashback Friday – Facing Fear

I was a scared kid. Scared of being alone, scared of being left/abandoned. I think I was scared of the dark for awhile. Timid, shy and terrified of anything that would have me step out of my comfort zone. I had a lovely visual for this blog, an old photo, but I can’t for the…
Read More

What Am I Afraid Of?

January 29, 2018 | 2 Comments

Words fail me. Lately. When I try to sum up what this thing is that I do and why I do it and why I can’t not do it and why some days the words won’t come . . .  words fail me. And the question rattles hard in my head. Is it . .…

read more...

Is It Supposed To Hurt This Much?

June 8, 2017 | 7 Comments

That was a text I got from my daughter a few hours into labour. “Is it supposed to hurt this much?” I wanted to laugh, but I didn’t. Because, yes. It is. And it does. And it will continue to. With every challenge that comes with being a parent. Being a mother or father or…

read more...

Being The Grown-Up In The Room

February 13, 2017 | 8 Comments

I read this excellent post on Jen Hatmaker’s Facbook page yesterday. She talked about looking for the grown-up in the room, i.e. the person not arguing, not using childish banter to go on the attack, the person others look to because they’re talking sense. Sometimes you have to be that person. Sometimes you have to…

read more...

Get Back Up ~ Dedicated To My Friend Sandie

December 2, 2016 | 34 Comments

You should know, I am a die-hard GWTW fan. I’ve lost track now exactly how many times I’ve watched the movie. But I have read the book only once. I’m thinking I need to rectify that. The GWTW experience for me began as a lonely and homesick thirteen-year old wandering the musty maze of books…

read more...

Things I'm Learning From The US Election

November 12, 2016 | 10 Comments

I’ve been unable to write the past few days. Unable to trust that I’d use my words wisely. And I don’t know for sure I can do that today. Don’t know for sure I’ll hit that publish button when I’m done. But I do know I need to write the words down. Because that’s what…

read more...

The Crash

October 31, 2016 | 4 Comments

Ever been in a spot where you’re all prepared for one thing and then, before you can take your next breath, something happens to flip the entire day upside down? Sure you have. I think we’ve all been there at some point. Maybe you’re there right now. That’s okay. Grab a coffee. Put your feet…

read more...

Running on Empty

September 9, 2016 | 3 Comments

It was one of those nights last night. Sporadic sleep. Sound one minute, wide awake the next. It’s something I’ve learned to live with over the last couple of years, but it isn’t easy. Fortunately, I don’t have to be out the door at o’dark thirty, so when I have one of those nights, I…

read more...

Why I Love Me Before You

June 3, 2016 | 24 Comments

I’m not going to bother with the SPOILER ALERT or DISCLAIMER tags because, face it, if you don’t want to read this, why’d you click the link? I don’t generally jump into these arguments, but yesterday I read something that made me cringe. And I’d had enough. I’m an author. I have been writing fiction…

read more...

And This Is Why The Words Matter …

May 19, 2016 | 0 Comments

So I wrote a piece about Guarding The Writer’s Heart – and it’s true. It’s tough out there. You’re going to get criticism no matter what. It’s just a given. Kinda like running for President. But not. And we won’t go there. But you know . . . this year so far . . .…

read more...

Flashback Friday – Facing Fear

April 29, 2016 | 2 Comments

I was a scared kid. Scared of being alone, scared of being left/abandoned. I think I was scared of the dark for awhile. Timid, shy and terrified of anything that would have me step out of my comfort zone. I had a lovely visual for this blog, an old photo, but I can’t for the…

read more...

What Am I Afraid Of?

Words fail me. Lately. When I try to sum up what this thing is that I do and why I do it and why I can’t not do it and why some days the words won’t come . . .  words fail me. And the question rattles hard in my head.

Is it . . . maybe . . . that I don’t want them to?

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The written word is one of the most powerful tools of expression we have. I believe that. I know others are moved by music. Haunting melodies, crashing crescendos and soft notes on keys, strings and breath blowing beauty out of nothing. Others still are moved by the stroke of a brush, life poured out into paintings hung on high walls in quiet sacred spaces. Others listen long, rapt and swept away by operatic tenors and sopranos. Some prefer to watch the bard upon the stage. And some may simply sit silent at the water’s edge, satisfied in their own skin, waiting for their moment of expression to stir.

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When I think about all these things, so many different ways we have of giving life to what lies deep within, I can’t help but marvel. What a gift. And if you want to tell me you don’t have a creative bone in your body, I’ll tell you that’s not so. You just haven’t found it yet.

We were born to create. 

It is how we are meant to use our voice. 

And you can do that. You can speak loudly without ever saying a word.

And when you have done it, when you have freed that spirit within and called it out by name, there is no going back. You have given it life, and it will in turn pour that life out to others, and back into you.

I think that’s how it’s meant to work. It’s a startling, surprising thing, this gift. I don’t quite know it as well as I ought. Even though I like to think I do. Even now in this moment, these words I write surprise me. Encourage me a little too, in the midst of a strange season where more often than not the words fail me.

And the question whispers round again.

What am I afraid of? 

Have I become afraid to use my voice?

It’s a stark reality.

Because I know.

How much easier to sit in silence and let others speak for me. How much easier to nod and smile and wander through the days in some semi-comatose state where nothing really matters at all. How much easier to sit on shaking hands. To ignore the phone. To retreat.

Been there. Done that.

It’s not easier. It’s life-sucking. Stifling. Dangerous.

And I know now. I know the truth.

 If I refuse my words then I refuse my gift. My calling. This one thing I was born to do.

But I’m not sure I’m meant to do it alone. I think about all the friends I don’t see enough of or hear from enough because it’s busy, we’re all busy and tired and stressed and sometimes who can be bothered, is what I tell myself. But life, this is not a solitary journey. Though it feels that way sometimes. If you know, if you write or create without collaboration, you sit alone in a swirl of thought day in and day out until finally, they’re freed, those words, and forming something that sort of makes sense on the page.

Is that enough?

I’d say not. I’d say to myself today, this new day here where once again I’m kicking off the dread and the discouragement, that it’s not enough to sit alone staring at the screen. I need more. More talking. More reaching out. More laughter. And yet it’s up to me. To change. To leave the safety zone I have created here and step into something new. Anything. And I’m on a rabbit trail now that circles back to the original thought.

What am I afraid of? 

Failing. Possibly. Failing miserably more likely. Rejection. Being misunderstood. Dismissed.

Skin crawls as old wounds start to itch again.

But I think about it, really, and remember. Remember how I have stood against those whispering vicious voices in the past. Ignored them and kicked them back where they came from.

And if I’d never tried, never dreamed or hoped or given myself permission to do this thing . . . this thing I wanted more than anything . . . how much would I have missed? What stories would never have been told? What friendships would never have been formed?

Fear is one controlling son of a gun. But overcoming it? That’s a sweet victory.

One we are all capable of, if only we’d believe it.

The words will come for me again. In time. They are there already. I know this.

I just need to believe it.

Cling to it.

And trust myself with the gift again.

 

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