I have known I was a writer most of my life. I have been writing all of my life – journals, recommendation letters, letters to the editor, research papers, you name it. I sat down to write my first book in middle school. I had no idea what I was doing, and I didn’t get far. What was important at that moment, though, was that my soul knew it wanted to write. I came here to write – to use language to study the world, wrestle with ideas, explore relationships, laugh, challenge myself, teach, rebel, and to cause others to do the same. I need to write – it is a compulsion, bubbling up inside of me until I get it out.
When I go to bed thinking about a project, I often wake up with inspiration…full sentences forming in my head. I have even woken up with a couple of book titles in mind. Although I have always known I was supposed to write a book, I hadn’t figured out exactly what I was supposed to write about. I started to take my writing more seriously about a year and a half ago when a series of events took place that confirmed my purpose. First, I had a psychic friend tell me that I would write not just one, but several books and would actually become a kind of publishing clearinghouse for other writers. She said that I just needed to start writing something – anything – to get the creative juices flowing. Around the same time, I discovered Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love (I know, I’m late…) who had written a new book called Big Magic, the premise of which is that we are all creative and need to create – simply as a form of release and for no one but ourselves. She explained that we shouldn’t be concerned with whether we publish the book, sell the painting, or earn a living through our art. We all just need to “get it out” and honor the inspiration that the Universe has given, and continues to give, to all of us.
So last July, that’s what I did. I started writing my first book (ok, second, if we count the middle school attempt). Because it is an autobiography, a “year in the life”…my life…I figured it wouldn’t be the first of my works that I would publish (I mean, it’s not like I’m famous or climbed Mt Everest or something), but it would at least serve to get my creativity flowing. And, it has! It has been an exhilarating experience. And, it might be my first published work, after all!
Now, here we are. I am about two-thirds done with my book. I recently reached out to award-winning author Debra Moffitt, who generously offers aspiring writers a free, 30-minute consultation. Part of her advice to me, when I told her I was contemplating a blog, was to think about my platform and my audience. That way, the lessons that I have learned, others can learn from, as well. As I considered her advice, and mulled over some ideas for blog topics, I realized that having an audience in mind when you write is a bit scarier than writing for yourself. Instead of just writing whatever is on my mind, I’m tempted to stop and consider what my audience might think about what I have written. I have always known that people would read what I wrote, but I didn’t think about them before I wrote. I don’t want to fall into that trap, where my writing is influenced, and perhaps stifled, by the imagined reaction of my audience. That is what Elizabeth Gilbert says will kill your inspiration.
That being said, although my blog will have a general platform and an audience of seekers, perhaps other Christian seekers, like me (as well as my friends and family, because they love me), I will still be writing, first and foremost, for myself. In other words, I might veer off topic on occasion. My hope is that you will be, at times inspired, challenged, amused, or just plain curious enough to step outside of your comfort zone. Take what resonates and leave the rest behind. My wish is that you will read with an open mind, explore any points of disagreement, and be curious and open to ideas that, at first glance, may seem scary. Everything that we encounter in life, we view from our own lens. No one can truly understand our own reality, our own perspective, except us. When we keep this in mind, we can suspend the judgment that seems such a natural part of the human experience (and maybe learn a thing or two along the way – myself included). So hello, fellow seekers, welcome to my blog – the good the bad and the funny!