What is My Writing Process?

Hint: I don’t have one… and that’s what I would like to change.

It’s difficult to embrace new habits when your world is shifting. I don’t function at my best when I feel unstable. I work best when I feel secure, so when things change (especially a lot at once) it can be difficult for me to find the mental space to create. Lately, things in my life have started on the path of a drastic change, just as I was starting to see the light from months of severe anxiety.

I started implementing the practice of writing daily and using short story prompts to facilitate that writing. That lasted for one week. Part of this current season of change means my time after work is no longer free time, so the hour I was spending after work to write a little has been allocated to something else and my attempt at rebuilding my writing routine collapsed.

The thing is, I have to write. Like we talked about last week, writers have to write. If my writing is going to get better, if I’m going to build more confidence in my writing, and if I’m going to start completing new projects, I have to practice my skill. So, in the midst of this semi-organized chaos, I need to be intentional about creating space to… well… create. That means writing, reading, and painting. And I know reading isn’t actually creating, but it influences my creativity.

In one of my college literature courses, we had to do a project at the end of the semester involving a book we’d read during the class. We could choose to write a paper or create a visual project, and I always chose the visual project because I am a visual person. I leaned into that part of myself recently when creating the shadow box for my short story that was published. I just love making things with my hands! But lately, I have not been intentionally making time to create things.

It’s easy to feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day, especially when you’ve got to figure in the whole eight hours of sleep thing. It seems like there should be an extra eight hours after taking away eight hours of sleep and eight hours of work, but we have to figure in the other things that take up time like actually falling asleep, waking up and getting ready for work, time for prayer and/or meditation (if that’s something you participate in), meals, commuting… there are so many things that require our time, and it can easily feel like there isn’t enough time to do all the things we want to do in a way that does not cause us to feel overwhelmed and depleted.

So, no, I do not have a writing process right now, but I’m going to be intentional about setting aside time, even if it’s just fifteen minutes, to try and create one. I’ll check in with you next week and let you know how it’s going.

Until next time…

Happy Writing!

Do You Trust Your Voice?

I’ve mentioned several times that I always hesitate to put my writing in the hands of others because I’m afraid that what I’m trying to say won’t be understood. What I think it really comes down to is not trusting my voice.

It was revealed to me in a recent therapy session (because we do that now) that part of the reason I can’t seem to move forward is because I don’t trust myself. I made a big decision (going to grad school) that didn’t work out the way I wanted and now I’m afraid to make any decision for fear of the same result—it not working out and leaving me stuck in a place. Boy did that hit me hard!

I didn’t know that it was myself I wasn’t trusting, and now I see how that relates to being concerned about sharing my writing. Do I trust my voice? Do I trust that what I need to say will be heard by the reader? Do I trust that my voice is strong enough for people to hear it and want to share it?

Not yet.

But I’m getting there…slowly. As I write here and put my work in the hands of more people (the book is with an editor now) I gain a little more confidence with each response confirming that they do hear me and they understand exactly what I’m trying to say.

This year has been so many things. There has been so much fear and anxiety, and still there’s so much that is moving forward and changing for the better.

I want to create something for you.

I don’t know how to do it well yet, but it is in my mind. And I know there aren’t a whole lot of you who read this blog regularly, but I appreciate those of you who do (even though I don’t know who you are yet) and I want to have more to offer you.

I’m learning that in order to be filled, we have to pour out. And I’m learning that what I want to give, somebody wants to receive. It’s going to take some time before it’s ready because, honestly, I’m just now feeling the confidence to make it happen. I haven’t fully gained back my trust in myself, and this thing requires me to trust me and trust you. So bear with me.

The next couple of weeks are going to be difficult for some. I try to leave politics out of this space, but we’re all feeling the tension.

Pick up a book. Journal. Escape through reading or purge your thoughts on paper (I was going to write “escape or purge” but I felt that would be misconstrued lol). Whatever you do, don’t take it out on the people next to you.

And when this thing that’s in my head is no longer in my head and I can offer it to you, I will. Thank you for riding with me and reading with me.