Stories that Matter

Life

Why Do The Words Matter?

There will be those who simply refuse what you're giving. They will scorn, belittle and reject. And okay, sure, that might hurt. But that doesn't mean you stop trying.
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So We Don't Miss The Good …

My last blog post of 2015! How crazy is that! I’m hearing from a lot of people that this year has flown by, and I have to agree. Seems like just yesterday we were preparing to welcome in 2015, and here we are, saying goodbye. If you’re like me, you take a little time to…
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When You Don't Know What To Say

In the quiet of the morning, after two days of rain, calm crests over the ocean beyond my window. I watch gentle waves and wonder why it feels so impossible to make a difference in this world. Wonder why so many are hurting in a season supposed to be filled with joy. Where is the…
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Where We Dwell …

It came down to this. These words. You have a choice. You can stay in this place of despair and despondency, waiting for things that may never happen … or you can move on. Find another place to dwell.  A moment like that, if you’ve ever had one, can be life changing. And once you’ve…
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I Have A Place?

I’m going for the record on starting blog posts with, “So, I haven’t blogged in a while…” And it’s true. I haven’t. Why? Good question. Oh. You want the honest to God truth, huh? Because I haven’t felt like I have anything to say. Nothing you haven’t heard before at least. And let’s face it,…
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You're Headed To Conference And You Just Want to Cry

That’s probably one of my favorite writing-related funnies. It pretty much sums up the entire inner process. My office may not look like that (not every day at least), but my brain sure does. And sometimes it’s too much. It’s too much to sit at the computer and force the words. We shouldn’t have to…
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How We Fill In The Holes …

This past weekend, I got an unexpected blessing, and we spent the day at my sister’s place, visiting with her and the family. It’s definitely one of my happy places. She lives in this awesome house on a ton of land, and even with kids running around and dogs barking, it’s strangely peaceful. She’d probably…
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This New Revolution

Whoa. It’s been awhile. I’ve been off at my happy place the past few weeks. Our lakeside hideaway in Northern Ontario. And it wasn’t quite the holiday we were expecting, with family illness that added some stress to what was supposed to be a stress-free time. But such is life. You move through it. You…
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When Gandalf Knocks …

If you’re a LOTR fan, you know when Gandalf shows up, it’s a safe bet that something is going to happen. His presence sets things in motion. He is the inciting incident, and suddenly we’re on the edge of our seats, wondering what’s coming. A wizard is never early. Nor is he late. He shows…
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If You Don't Know Me By Now …

We’re almost at the mid-point of the year and I’m … re-grouping. Breathing deep and re-evaluating, sorting boxes in my head and sticking to what is true. Discarding what is not. Figuring out who this girl really is. I haven’t always known for sure. Fear of failure and self-doubt swirl like monster waves and I’ve…
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What To Do With Fear and Failure and Other Nuisances

February 18, 2019 | 0 Comments

I’m fine. I’m fine. I’m fine. Maybe you’re familiar with the mantra? It’s easy to say. Easy to repeat. And easy to convince yourself of. Because if you say something enough times, eventually you begin to believe it. Even if it’s not true. So last week I wrote about change, and how I was going…

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Maybe It’s Time

December 27, 2018 | 0 Comments

“You gain strength,courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”  — Eleanor Roosevelt. So we…

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Happy Mother’s Day!

May 13, 2018 | 2 Comments

Happy Mother’s Day to all the amazing Moms I know and love. Those with us and those who have gone before us. This day is hard for some of us, I know. I miss my Mom too. But I’m grateful for the memories. Grateful for the legacy she left us. And grateful that I got…

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Write, Straight Up

May 7, 2018 | 3 Comments

Not on the rocks. Not with a splash. Maybe a twist, that’d be fun. But don’t water it down. Write what you want to say, write from you heart, and write, for the love of everything, like you mean it. If you don’t mean it, don’t waste your reader’s time, or yours. After 20 something…

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This Thing About Community, And Why We Need It

April 5, 2018 | 0 Comments

Can I be honest? Groups scare me a little. Anything larger than my husband and I, and two other couples is just a bit out of my comfort zone. Even when our group of eight, all close and fun friends, gets together, the house is just a bit too loud. And that’s kind of funny…

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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 . .…

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The Magic Formula

January 22, 2018 | 4 Comments

Sharing some thoughts on writing, and life. So I’m asked this a lot. Mostly in author interviews, occasionally in an email from an aspiring author who just wants a break, wants her words to be seen, heard. “What’s the magic formula?” I’d tell you if I knew. Honest. So this is the part I could…

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Why Not Me?

October 18, 2017 | 1 Comment

The stories make me sad. So terribly sad. And angry. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve seen them too. All over social media. The hashtag #MeToo Sometimes no story at all. Sometimes more than we may want to know. But they’re all connected. Women. Women who have in some way, been violated. Been…

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And So We Choose This Thing

June 21, 2017 | 6 Comments

Thirty one years. Today. I stood before him in a long white gown that cost more than my father wanted to spend, but he bought it for me anyway, because it was the one and he was ‘the one’ and my Dad would have bought me the moon if I said I wanted it. I stood…

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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…

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Why Do The Words Matter?

Okay, I’ll wait until you’re done dancing around the room.

All set? Good. Now shut off your sound and play that again. Read the words. Carefully. A few times if you need to.

When this song first came out, the tune got me. It’s catchy. It makes you want to get up and dance. And Sara Bareilles. But then I started really listening. And the words . . . yes. Those words. Ooo boy. Hit me hard. Because I knew. I wasn’t brave. Not by a long shot.

And maybe I needed to be.

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So I started a journey . . . I could tell you when and why and how it all went down, but that’s not important. What’s important is this – my words matter. Your words matter. Whether you say them out loud or write them down, they matter.

And only you get to choose when and how to share them.

I needed to fully embrace that – the importance of my words – as a writer, but more importantly as someone who is deeply loved by a Father who has an incredible plan for my life. And that right there makes all this worth it. That right there makes me brave. Brave enough to say what I want to say.

Brave enough to believe somebody will listen. And hear. And feel. Brave enough to know my words have a purpose. For such a time as this.

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There was a time, not so long ago, that I almost believed they didn’t.

Rejection will do that to you.

Being a writer, knowing your calling, feeling it pulse through your veins every waking moment of the day . . . you can’t simply step over it when somebody tells you what you’ve written doesn’t matter. Well, I suppose you could, but not many of us do. Instead we sit down in it. Wallow. Whine. Wail a bit. And wonder why.

Because it’s easy to forget, you see, that the words do matter. That each word we write, each story we tell, is a gift that only we’ve been given. Nobody writes the way I do. I don’t write like anyone else. I may enjoy another author’s style, and even envy them from time to time (don’t do that, it’s very bad), but deep down, I know who I am now. I know my words matter. Because they’re mine. And I must be brave enough to embrace that truth.

I didn’t always.

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Things are different now. At least today. This moment. I can’t say for sure I’ll always walk in confidence. That I’ll always be brave. But I’ll know how to find the way back if I veer off course.

Sometimes it’s easy to get sucked into the endless arguments of how we should write and what words we should use and shouldn’t use . . . I’m sick and tired of that one, but it’s not my hill to die on. Anyone who doesn’t think a writer chooses her words carefully has no concept of what being a writer is. And no business casting judgement on what we do and how we choose to do it.

And yes, I guess you do need a little brave to be able to say that.

But here’s the thing. I know not everyone is going to like what I have to say. And that’s okay. I’m okay with that. Does it mean I shouldn’t say it? Shouldn’t write the stories that only I can tell, in the way only I can? No. Heck no. It means being aware, being respectful to a point, but also being true to myself. To my art. To the words I’ve been entrusted with.

I need to be brave enough to know that my words matter. Brave enough to write it my way and risk it all. Brave enough to believe in myself. And to trust this gift was given to me for a reason.

I want to be heard. I want to be understood. I want to be loved. And don’t we all. But being brave in all this means accepting that won’t always happen. There will be those who simply refuse what you’re giving. They will scorn, belittle and reject. And okay, sure, that might hurt. But that doesn’t mean you stop trying.

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Because your words, your song, your art . . . nobody can take that away from you.

Don’t let them think they can. Don’t let them try.

Be brave.

Stand up and say it. Say what you want to say.

And know your words matter.

Now get up and dance.