This Writing Life

 

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Currently, my writing garden is mostly clumps of dirt. Wet, heavy, soggy, bogged down clumps of dirt.  (Trying to insert a garden metaphor to this post – seeds and all that)

People talk about their muse, and only being able to write when she shows up.  Is the muse always a she? Other’s talk about writing whether she shows up or not.  They say writing is a discipline so make it a daily habit.  I see the argument on both sides, however, I tend to lean more toward the needing to be inspired category of writing. If I try to write when there is no inspiration it feels flat (much like what I’m writing now, but I will muddle through because you have a right to know if I’ve stopped writing or not).  I’d like to know the answer to that as well.

I hope I’ve not stopped writing, but the truth is that for a long while the words have been scant (like a garden without flowers. Sorry).  I mentioned it several months ago.

I love words and how they interact; I love aligning words to paint a picture (or arrange them into a lovely bouquet. again, sorry).  The writing of words is in my blood.  I can’t imagine a life without writing.

The truth is I’m struggling with words and life and fatigue.  I feel as if I’ve lost my passion for all the things that make my heart go pitty-pat.  I’ve been so consumed with caregiving and managing my own self-care that frankly, I’ve become depleted.  I’m not complaining, just trying to put the absence of words in perspective.

I’ve done a lot of thinking and wondering lately if maybe this season of life does not include writing.  Is it possible that I’m to put the pen and paper on the shelf for a time so I can concentrate on other priorities?  I don’t have any clear answers.

What I do know is that my husband needs my support; my parent’s health needs require our help and my own health needs dictate that I must have proper rest in order to not deplete my energy or cause a flare. Most days that is all I can manage.  So, I don’t write.

I also know that social media hogs more of my free time than I’d like to admit.  Because it’s easy and doesn’t require much effort or brain power.  The time would be better spent reading which is a necessary thing for writers to be doing.

I miss the not writing.  I think a few of you might too, based on some things  others have said.  I don’t want to neglect the gift of writing and I don’t want to take it for granted. I don’t want to be presumptuous and assume that people can’t live without my words, but I also don’t want to let down the handful of people who tell me my writing is meaningful to them.

So, I’ve plucked the petals one by one, to write, not to write, to write….  Do I shut down the blog, keep it open without writing, or make an effort to write at least once a week or….. on and on.  What about social media? Reading? You get the picture.  I’m really not clear at this point.

So, what does all this mean?

  1.  For now, the blog will stay open (you can go back to the beginning and read all the posts if you’d like).
  2. There will not be a regular posting schedule (nothing new about that). In all honesty, I wouldn’t expect much until Fall ish.
  3. I will write when I can and if you subscribe you will get an email when I do.
  4. I may participate in the 31 Days of writing this October.
  5. I have already done away with my blog Facebook page and will be spending less time on my personal Facebook page.
  6. I’m rarely on twitter and will consider dumping it entirely
  7. I really don’t understand google + and never go there so will dump that account if it’s not necessary for my gmail.
  8. I don’t have Instagram (wrong phone) but would love an account. Because pictures. I enjoy taking pictures and sometimes they speak when words can’t or won’t.
  9. I will attempt to read more for spiritual growth and for writing growth.
  10. I will be spending time praying about the direction of my writing. I appreciate your prayers too.
  11. This fall I will be attending a writers workshop which will help give some clarity.
  12. I will update you when I have more insight. Please be patient I don’t know how long it will take.
  13. Comments are useful and welcome as I would love to know your thoughts.

In conclusion – I am a writer.  Who is not writing much these days. Rather than stringing words together in a passionate fevered pitch and seeing them bloom on the page, it has been more like standing in a downpour turning clods of dirt. While I’m being drenched by the deluge, I will continue to plant seeds in hopes that they will not wash away and in due time will produce a harvest.  (How’s that for a garden metaphor).

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Digging in grace,

Teresa

 

 

 

 

 

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5 Things 2015 Wanted Me To Know

100_4469.21. NOD TO THE NOT (it’s ok to pause)

It’s ok NOT to choose a word for the year.  I had chosen a word in previous years but at the beginning of 2015 it just wasn’t a priority.  I survived the year without a special focus word.

Taking a blogging break is ok.  I trusted that my loyal readers, those that are my community, would not forget about me and would be waiting to encourage me when I came back.  They didn’t, and they were.

2. THE WORDS WILL COME, GIVE THEM TIME (After all, you are a writer)

I rediscovered the joy of using a pencil on paper.  Nothing can compare to that sweet, scratchy sound.  I need to practice this art more often.

Even though the writing was meager in 2015 and not writing scared me a little, I learned to trust that, in God’s time, the words would flow again. Because I have to write.

I want my writing to make people feel as if they have come home.

Hope*ologie was great, but Hope*writers is even better. I need a writer(ly) community that says what I do matters.

3. PRACTICE CONSISTENCY AND OBEDIENCE (how hard can it be)

I’m not a morning person, and there is no shame in that.  Not being a morning person may sometimes mean that I do better with my quiet time in the evening rather than the morning.  One thing I’m learning about quiet time is that consistency is key.  Regular time in the word is beneficial no matter what time of day you engage.

Sacrificing for Lent is not the point.  Sacrifice is nothing without obedience.  Obedience is a daily submission to God’s will for my life.  Godly obedience is not the kind of obedience that sounds like a bunch of rules.  Rather, it is a willingness to give Him complete control  It is 365 days a year, including the forty days of Lent.

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4. EMBRACE  THERAPY, ACCEPTANCE, AND RESTORATION  (God is your buckler)

Binge watching 7th Heaven preached to me in lots of ways; it was my therapy for a large chunk of time during the first half of 2015.  One of my favorite posts in 2015 was What I Learned From Watching 7th Heaven.

Y’all, I fell in love with Southwestern Virginia.  We spent some lovely days visiting a friend and explored the back roads near her hometown.  It was restorative and gave me much Joy In My Father’s World. And, lots of pictures.

Back in 2013, I realized that I need to make peace with My mom having Alzheimer’s, but it wasn’t until sometime in 2015 that I was able to accept that it is what it is, and only God has all the answers.  Instead of wasting time grieving over what we’ve lost, I’m starting to embrace the path we are on and I’m beginning to realize that you can never truly lose someone, you just adjust to a new normal.

More than ever in 2015 the truth in Psalm 18:2 sustained me:

The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.

I  also relied on Psalm 91 and knowing that he covers me with his feathers; He is my buckler which according to Merriam-Webster means “one that shields and protects.”  I have discovered that I love the word buckler.

I also found strength from the support of my husband. He takes care of me and loves me well. I love doing life with him.

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5. ENJOY A SEASON OF STRENGTH AND QUIET (embrace the real you)

I’ve always loved Autumn, but this year I realized that the way I describe Autumn also describes me.  Makes perfect sense.

I see Fall as both a little bit spicy and practical.  It is no-nonsense, but serendipitous all at the same time.  It is a warm hug as well as a brusque nod in passing. It is a steadfast heart that loves without condition, but won’t be trampled.  It is chaotic and fragile, but stands strong in the storm.  It is a little rough around the edges, as well as gloriously beautiful in spirit.  Like me.

2015 taught me that by God’s grace I am stronger than I think.

October loves me – she sent me several postcards this year during the 31 Days Writing Challenge

November is a melancholy month when the skies are gray and somber, and the first real chill is in the air.  Lights come on earlier, and we settle in for quieter evenings. I’m ok with that. Because I’m a little bit melancholy.

Advent is a time of waiting for “Emmanuel, God with us“, or as my mother says, “I’m so happy, God is in the house.”  A welcome note of praise to celebrate the arrival of the Christ Child…

and then, we slipped quietly from one year into the next.

Growing in grace,

Teresa

Linking up with Emily for What I Learned in 2015

Random Favorites – 31:3

I’m feeling a little arbitrary today.  Some of my favorites at random…

1.  Scent of a new book

2.  My husband’s hands when he plays the piano rockys hands

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.  The twilight hour

4.  Sound of words when spoken by a true word lover

5.  Wind that gentles the leaves just before the rain

6.  Daydreams

7.  Long naps

8.  Black and White photos that need a home

9.  Touch me then try to leave cream

10.  Seeing what’s around the next bend

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Living in grace,

Teresa (aka Sadie Grace)

Na Na Na NaNoWriMo

Please hold me accountable.

We are down to less than five hours before the month of frenzied writing better known as NaNoWriMo begins.  I said I was going to do it this year.  Just do it.  Right.

I just finished a 31 Day Challenge on my blog so writing a novel in 30 Days for the month of November is like jumping from the frying pan into the fire.  You have to question my sanity.

You may be asking why.  You would not be alone.  I am asking myself that question hourly.  I don’t have a concrete answer.  I may have at the end of the 30 days if I make it that far.

Stay tuned.

In other news this will be my 50th post on this blog.  Yea Me!  Most people would wait until 100 to mention it, but I’m rather proud of 50, so thought it deserved a mention.  I thought  my 50th post would be something really profound and eye opening, but I guess not.  Just goes to show that you can’t be too sure.

And finally, a picture for those who need the visual because they don’t like words by themselves.  You can make up your own story about the picture. Deal?

NaNoWriMoing in Grace,

Sadie

31:25 – Five Minutes

Picture from my drive yesterday; has nothing to do with this post.

Writing on demand is not easy.  Writing when inspired is fairly easy.  Both can be rewarding. If something inspires me I can write fairly effortlessly.  However, if I have a deadline and no inspiration, then it is like writing in a fog and my mind keeps asking “what’s the point,” while my fingers keep typing relentlessly trying to force feed words onto the page.  If I’m lucky I end up with something coherent.  If I’m really lucky I may end up with something worth reading.  Or not. Some days the point is not how worthy are the words, it is just that you put down some words. Writing for the sake of writing is not about being profound, or having something of substance.  It is about establishing a habit.  A habit that tells your brain to tell your fingers that this is what we do.  We are writers and we write.  If it is good, then it will be read and enjoyed.  If it is not so good, then let the critics criticize and call it the drivel that it is.  Tomorrow is another day and it just may produce the masterpiece we’ve been waiting for.  So go ahead, set the timer for five minutes and just write.  Then if you dare, hit publish and let the chips words fall where they may.

I dare you to write for five, even if you think you have nothing to say.

five minute grace,

Sadie

31:22 The Danger of Beautiful Words

I don’t consider words dangerous in theory.  I love words.  I do however think that in practice words can be dangerous.  And not just in those situations where you dash off a quick reply to someone and say something you shouldn’t before you think.

I’m talking about a more subtle danger.  The danger of hiding behind beautiful words.  Sometimes as writers we have something to say but we are afraid of how it will be perceived so we manipulate the words until they sound acceptable and in the process we lose the message.

I love those lyrical, roll off the tongue phrases that seep into your bones and become part of you.  A well placed phrase can stir just the right emotion. There can be something quite poetic in our writing, even when writing about something as mundane as doing dishes or as serious as our relationship with God.

We just need to be careful that the beautiful writing is a vehicle for the message not a mask to hide the truth.

writing in grace,

sadie

You can find other 31 Day writers here.  Go check them out, you may find some new friends.

31:16 – Move

Move – (2) : to proceed toward a certain state or condition

As writers we use words to reach a desired goal.  With our words in tow we “proceed toward a certain state or condition.”  The process is much the same for all of us, but the certain state or condition varies, depending on our audience.

We scribble, rearrange, delete, scribble some more only to crumple the paper and begin again.  We get caught up in the process; we get a high from how the words when blended just right, paint a masterpiece that rivals the beauty hanging on the walls of the Louvre. (OK, I can dream.)

If we’re not careful we become more concerned with the process than we do with the certain state or condition.  Because it is the condition that ultimately drives the weaving of the words.

I love words and how they work together to shape our message.  I love creating the perfectly turned phrase, but at the end of the day I want the message to go deep and hit a raw nerve of emotion. I want it to speak to the condition.  No matter how beautifully the words are arranged if I haven’t addressed the condition I haven’t moved the reader.

Move in Grace

Sadie