On Writing, and Fear

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Writing = Breathing
source: joeflood

I want to write, but I am crippled.

I am afraid I don’t have a story. All I have wanted all my life is to write a book, and I don’t know if there is one inside of me.

I read what I have written and I hate it. It’s too much truth … too many people who could claim libel for finding themselves in my so-called tale.

I’m afraid that in so many years of blogging I’ve lost the ability to talk about anything but myself.

I write magazine articles: recrafted stories of others, dictated to me and simply made palatable. I write blog posts: a messy conglomeration of stories, recipes, wonderings, life.  Some of them are good and interesting, but nowhere in there lies a true tale anyone would want to read from start to finish.

I want to write Matlida. I want the stories to come to me in dreams and flow onto the pages effortlessly. I want to see the movie of it in my head and move it forward without thinking. Instead, I stare at two sentences and then click delete. It’s all I can do to make myself write anything, fiction or not. An e-mail. A sentence.

And then I wonder if I have the knowledge to write nonfiction. I want to write about our possessive culture, how we think we have rights and everything belongs to us and even Rachael Ray calls it “my cilantro” and “my tacos.” I want to write about God as Father and Jesus as Husband and how those two relationships figure in to the literal relationships we have with earthly fathers and husbands. I want people to read my words and not be able to help being drawn to the bosom of God.

I want the words to come and I’m afraid I’ve lost them in the midst of “Mommy I’m hungry” and wailing and library storytimes and coffee making and having one stinking minute to myself.

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6 thoughts on “On Writing, and Fear

  1. You have the words to write. This post was beautiful. So many times I have read your posts and cried because they have spoken to me. The way you speak of family and God is (and here I don't have the words) touching. I will be the first in line to buy your book when you do write it. I am looking forward to that day!

  2. Oh the devil can whisper so many lies at us, can't he?
    And the one about 'you can't write'? It's a big fat lie.

    Your words are powerful, moving, and they ring true every time I read your posts.

    You may not be able to write your book right now. This is a busy season in your life, but it won't last forever. Take notes!!! You are learning and experiencing real life everyday-and that can only make your(!) book even better.

    I'll be waiting for your book to come out- even if that's not until we both have grandkids instead of our own kids filling our days.


  3. I agree with Ingrid. Take notes. Sometimes dreams are dreams for years, (or decades) before we actually see them start to materialize. One thing I've learned about my relationship with God is often when I felt like the answer was no, it was actually just, "not right now."

    The purpose he gave you now was to nurture those sweet babies and it will be gone in a flash, even on the days it feels like you will never regain your sanity or ability to got to the bathroom all by yourself.

    You will get there because it is a passion of yours and when God blesses us with gifts and the passion to utilize them it wasn't on accident. He gave you a gift of writing. He fully intends for you to use it. So just sit back and be excited by the dream of it and be ready when he opens the door and shoves you through it.:)

  4. I love this. I love you. The end.

    (I hear you so much on this fear, and today is one of those days when I don't even have the words to write a good comment!)

  5. the fact that you still put stuff out there even though your scared is AWESOME…its just steps..just baby steps..which is sometimes aggravating-ly slow…and few the few of us who have a temper and make things happen for others right then and there its hard to wait….I KNOW….but you keep at it Jess…YOU KEEP GOING!
    we will cheer lead from the sidelines ALWAYS..especially when that book comes out of you….

    • Thank you, Kelly! I appreciate it. I’ve had a little bit of a hard time lately. It feels like every other blogger in humanity has a book deal. That’s not something I’ve sought, but all the same it feels kind of depressing. It is scary to put myself out there. I appreciate your thoughts and prayers and cheerleading!

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