I wrote something last February about what it means to be a real writer. That piece— “The Road to Real is Paved with Brokenness”—garnered quite a discussion in these parts, and also uncorked something in me that has been bubbling just under the surface ever since.
I had every intention of using those words as a springboard to sharing more of my writing story in the coming months. I even stated as much in the post.
But then all sorts of drama started happening around me (broken bones, Influenza A, car trouble—that sort of thing). Suddenly it was May and the end of the school year. The summer brought all kinds of busyness—some expected, some not.
Time and again, I was reminded of my favorite John Lennon quote: “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”
I decided I wanted to embrace life while it was happening, rather than get stressed out because I lacked the focused time or mental energy to think through where I wanted to go with my writing series. So I put my plans for this little project on hold for awhile.
And wouldn’t you know—while on hold, it morphed into … this.
As I thought about what I’ve experienced and learned over my years as a journalist, writer and—much more recently—blogger, I noticed some patterns. When I realized these patterns matched certain themes that I find myself addressing here quite often, the title of the series—“Faith, Fear & the Life of a Writer”—snapped into place.
I won’t be covering time-management tips for writers, how to write a book proposal, how to come up with ideas, whether to use that or which, or anything relating to growing a blog or a platform. Those are all important, helpful topics, but they’re not my topics.
I’m a storyteller, so that’s what I’m going to do.
I will address a few how-to-ish subjects from time to time, but only those that relate to developing a transparent voice in any kind of communication.
Because, you see, this series is not just about writing, nor is it just for writers.
Life lessons cross occupational lines, after all. We have might have different skill sets and operate in different settings, but what I’ve learned as a writer are likely some of the same things you’ve learned as a teacher, physical therapist, musician, interior designer, engineer, bookkeeper, homemaker or nurse.
So when I share the less-than-inspiring reason behind my career choice, or how my sometimes-paralyzing need for affirmation has affected my life, or what God taught me through my biggest professional disappointment, my prayer is that you will be prompted to look for the threads of providence, grace and love that are intricately woven throughout your own journey of faith and work.
Some of these topics are rather revealing—perhaps even slightly embarrassing—for me. But I’m not one to shy away from vulnerability—in real life or on this blog.
The irony is not lost on me—that a woman who is sometimes crippled by fear is not the slightest bit afraid to write about pride, failure and insecurity using herself as the primary example. As strange as it may seem, though, I never wonder, Will someone think less of me for this?
It’s not that I don’t care what people think. I just always have this feeling that another person might be able to relate to my story, and by relating, walk away with something useful. In other words, I have nothing to lose, but someone else might have something to gain.
So I’ll tell my stories in hopes that it will inspire you to tell yours—in writing, in person, online—all for the eventual goal of encouraging someone else.
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For the next month or so, my weekly posts will be part the “Faith, Fear & the Life of a Writer” series. After that, my plan is to devote at least one post a month to this ongoing project. If you don’t want to miss a post, you are welcome to subscribe to this blog via email or follow me on Twitter, where I will tweet when new posts are published.
P.S. I’m linking up this week with Kelly Balarie at Purposeful Faith, Jennifer Dukes Lee at #TellHisStory, Holley Gerth at Coffee for Your Heart, Lyli Dunbar at ThoughtProvokingThursday, Crystal Storms at HeartEncouragementThursday, Crystal Twaddell at FreshMarketFriday and Dawn Klinge at Grace & Truth.