I just finished a two-week intensive writing retreat at home. My husband was travelling both weeks so I saw a perfect opportunity to lock myself into the house, stay in my comfy pajama bottoms, be undisturbed and write to my heart’s content. I wrote and I slept and I read and I rode my bike and I tutored and I ate – that’s about it. Oh, and I tackled the laborious job of cleaning the grout on our upstairs bathroom floor every time I needed a break from writing. (When we renovated this house, my husband designed an awesome bathroom but retrospectively, perhaps putting one-inch foam green glass tiles on the floor wasn’t such a great idea. It looks great but definitely NOT practical. This was a gruelling, “on-your-knees-and-Q-Tip-clean-the-grout-around-each-one-inch-tile” challenge and the hot weather didn’t help the process either.)
The two weeks is over and I definitely made some progress but after coming up for air, I must confess that writing a book continues to be a daunting experience.
Nine days into this writing retreat, I stumbled across the quote that is the featured image on this post. I printed a copy of the quote, stuck it on my bulletin board, sat on the couch, stared at my writing wall and broke into tears.
Why do I write?
Do I have something to say?
DOUBTS BOMBARDED MY MIND.
Has God called me to write?
Lord, I only want to go where You want me to go. Show me the way I should walk. Psalm 143.6
Can I articulate my thoughts in a creative, authentic and powerful way?
There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed. Ernest Hemingway
Will anyone want to read this book?
If there is a book you want to read but isn’t written yet, write it. Shel Silverstein
I remember when I sensed I had another book in me. I got down on my knees and prayed, “Holy Spirit, may I help you write this story?”
When you pray, go into your room, shut the door behind you and pray to your father. Matthew 6.6
I must confess, there are moments when I feel quite defeated in the process but I know this is the experience of many writers.
So I’m going to continue.
He knows my name. He knows my every thought. He sees each tears that falls and hears me when I call. Song lyrics by Paul Baloche
I often go back to an encouragement letter sent to me by a publisher a while back.
The Message says this in Luke 6:43-45.
You don’t get wormy apples off a healthy tree, nor good apples off a deceased tree. The health of the apple tells the health of the tree. you must begin with your own life-giving lives. It’s who you are, not what you say and do, that counts. Your true being brims over into true words and deeds.
It’s comforting to walk with my fingers grasped by Someone’s big hands.
It helps me take the next step…as daunting as it feels.
So, back to the writing wall. 🙂