Why Write?

You should write a book.

I think you should have a blog.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

I should write a book. I should blog. I should share my thoughts.

I was writing a book. About three years ago, I dove into the most exhilarating hobby I’d ever tried. Making jewelry and running and cleaning (it’s a hobby for me, not a chore) never held me quite like writing a book did. It was a novel about a…nah, I’d better stop just in case that book is still in there somewhere. I woke up at ungodly hours to write. Stayed up way too late to write. Drove myself to the library like a real author, with my coffee and my headphones and my laptop, to write. Dictated chapters into my phone while I drove so that I could keep writing even when I couldn’t write. Asked friends (sweet, patient, gracious friends) to read my chapters. Revised. Revised. Revised. Rewrote. Revised and rewrote. And somewhere in it all, got to a place where my writing turned sad and depressing and I trashed it because I was tired of the process and I was tired of the words and I couldn’t imagine  anyone else ever wanting to read the hot mess I had created. My life beyond the pages had taken an unexpected turn and the novel down-spiraled so much that I knew if I continued there would need to be an experienced therapist and a twelve-step program at the finish line. I’m pretty good at giving up when things get hard. It’s what I do.

I also used to have a blog. Another exhilarating writing experience that ended a bit less tragically. I just got tired of writing about being the mom of little kids. I said all I felt like I could say and the words started to feel forced and counterfeit. The seasons were turning and it was easier to walk away than to keep going. I also became discouraged. The blogosphere is a crowded place and I struggled to find my corner. Blogs about reclaimed barn doors and how to make a year’s worth of home-school curriculum out of pipe cleaners and recyclables had mountains of followers while I poured my heart out, post after post, and only boasted 23 followers at the summit of my blogging career. I wanted so desperately for something to go viral…and nothing ever did. Doing something that tons of other people do opens up plenty of margin for self-judgement and doubt. Let them read about their barn doors and pipe cleaners. I was out.

So why share my thoughts now? Wouldn’t several failed writing endeavors be an indication that maybe writing isn’t my gig? Sure. But it’s not that simple. There’s a writer’s voice in my head and it needs somewhere to go. What little I have written since my previous blog has resonated with people and my heart tells me that even without a viral ‘atta boy, there is space for authentic writing about life.

And I believe my thoughts are important because I’m raising boys. Little boys who provided inspiration then are the same boys who provide inspiration now — it just looks a little different. My years of staying at home with preschoolers are over. I’m in a phase of life where the training is intense, more so emotionally than physically. I’m preparing them to leave, but the flip side of that is that I also have to prepare myself for them to leave. There is much to explore. There is much ground to cover between now (13, 9, and 6) and then (18 and gone times three). And if writing helps me through the journey, and helps some of you through your own journeys, well, then…I had better be writing.

What can you do? Well, just read. Read these blog posts and share them. Read them from a place of grace — grace to cover my own misunderstandings and shortcomings, and grace for the places where the Lord is asking you to see things from a new perspective. If there’s a post that would be meaningful to your friends or family, feel free to share it. And if you disagree with something I say — I’d love to hear those thoughts, too. I know I don’t have it all figured out and I’m aware that a solid 180 can do a heart good sometimes.

Here are some things I can promise you. 1. I won’t ever try to sell you anything. I couldn’t sell a raincoat to a duck…I’ll never try to sell anything to my friends. 2. I won’t give you unsolicited advice. This is a blog about the journey — walking alongside the people God’s given me to do life with — not about my experiences in retrospect and how you really need to get your act together. Who has time for that. 3. I won’t turn this into a Pinterest blog. I hate making things out of pipe cleaners and trash. Some ladies can do it — I … cannot.

Reading is my favorite. Sharing is caring. Journey with me. Extravagant grace abounds.

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