This might not seem to be a good topic for a writing blog, but bear with me for a minute. All of us have fears. Some of them are more extreme than others and more noticeable, and some of them are private and in our own hearts. We make fun of some fears like when people play pranks on other people by throwing a fake snake or placing a fake spider in the way of people who are afraid of the real thing. It’s not a nice thing to do, and I try to respect others who have those kind of fears because I want to be respected myself when I give voice to any of my fears.
One might ask why it is so hard to give voice to a fear. I would think one of the reasons would be the one I just mentioned. We do not want others to make fun of our fear. It’s very hard to have a fear and not be taken seriously. Another reason might be because we all have a hard time letting down our shields. We have a persona we show to the world, and if we admit to a weakness like having a particular fear, holes are made in that persona, and the real person is exposed. Most people don’t want their real selves exposed, and if they expose them at all, it’s to a very select group of people. And finally, there is a possibility that if we give voice to our fears, they might come true. For some people, that would be the scariest thing of all.
But, if we can voice or write down our fears, it might take us one step towards lessening them or even eliminating them. For me, as a writer and as a woman of faith, this can happen in one of three ways. First, I can use the particular fear as a fear for a character in a story I am writing. By writing about that fear, I can take the character through mastering it and not letting it impact their life. This can helpful as a cheap form of therapy. Second, I can write about the fears as myself and as I’m experiencing them. This can be a way of giving voice to the deepest parts of me and can help with what I’m most afraid of. Third, and somewhat related to the second, I can pray, pray with my voice and write down my prayers in my journal. God wants to hear about all the details in our lives including the things we don’t want to admit even to ourselves. 1 John 4:18-19 says, “There is no fear in love; instead perfect love drives out fear, because fear involves punishment. So the one who fears has not reached perfection in love. We love because He first loved us.” I can’t add anything else to that so I won’t.
Have a great day everyone!
I’ve seen many quotes about writing, but two have always stood out to me. “Please do not annoy the writer. She may put you in a book and kill you.” or “Careful or you’ll end up in my novel.” I’m sure those of you who are writers and have seen these quotes get a chuckle out of them. There is a point though in writing down your life experiences or keeping a journal. A few points actually.
First, the experiences themselves can be fodder for writing fiction you would like to write. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve had something happen to me in real life, and my first thought was, “I should take notes so I can write this in a future story.” This is what having a journal does for me. I write about particular situations in my life, and they are there for me to remember when I need writing inspiration.
Second, having a journal helps me to process the world around me. I started being consistent with keeping a journal just over two years ago when someone I consider a mentor encouraged me to do so. Now, when I tell him about various things that happen in my life, the first question he always asks me is, “Have you written it down?” I think I am up to seven finished journals now, and I know I look at life in a different and more healthy way because I’ve kept journals.
Finally, keeping a journal has made me a better writer. Being able to put my thoughts and feelings down on paper has helped me to understand the process of writing and how to make things clear and understandable. At times, my journal entries have been story starters, and whenever, I haven’t been able to think of anything else to write, my journal has been my mainstay. I’m grateful I’ve taken the time to keep a journal, and I would encourage anyone who writes to do the same.
Have a great day!
The last few years have been a journey for me as far as my writing is concerned. I’ve started and maintained two blogs though I’m sure I could have been more consistent with my writing schedule. I’ve written and published posts about the things I’m passionate about–my faith, my family, the novels and stories I like. There are more options than there used to be for making words readable by people you don’t know. But, what I haven’t done is to put my writing in a place where it might be rejected. Yes, I know I could get negative comments on my blogs, but that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about submitting something to a publisher and having said publisher tell me that my piece is not what they’re looking for. Essentially, a rejection. I’m not sure why I haven’t done this. Wait a minute, yes I am. Who among us likes to be rejected? Don’t we want to think that anything we have to say would be valuable enough to say to an audience? If we are telling the truth, at least to ourselves, we don’t like to be rejected, and we don’t want to take the chance we will be rejected.
I’ve realized something though, and it has to do with the post I published last week about my word for 2015. For those of you who missed that post, my word for 2015 is refined. Last week, I wrote about what this word has to do with my Christian faith, but I believe it can apply to writing in general. I’m sure those of you who have written longer than I have, know this little truth, but putting it in relation to my faith has helped make it clearer to me. Submitting my writing and having it be rejected will refine me as a person. It will make me a better writer and, I believe, a better person. If writing is really my passion, I will keep going and keep submitting no matter how many rejections I might get. So, for 2015, I am going to start submitting pieces. I am going to go through the fire of rejection and come out the other side, living my passion along the way. I invite you to do the same.
I’ve read where a lot of my friends have picked a word to reflect what they want to do with the new year, how they want it to represent them. The concept intrigued me, and after some thought, I’ve come upon my own word. That word is refined.
I was refined in many ways in 2014. Ways that might be considered as bad by some people, but ways that also stretched my faith in more ways than you could possibly imagine.
God has a point in refining us though. Malachi 3:2-3 says, “But who can endure the day of His coming? And who will be able to stand when he appears? For He will be like a refiner’s fire and like cleansing lye. He will be like a refiner and purifier of silver; He will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver. Then they will present offerings to the Lord in righteousness.”
I look at these verses and understand that being refined should be my heartfelt desire as a woman seeking to grow in her faith. And would hope that being refined would also give breath to the words I want to say. So, for 2015, this poem by Jennifer Kennedy Dean represents what I want most for my life.
“Oh, Lord, who can stand when you appear?
The splendor of Your presence near
Then knee shall bow and tongue proclaim
The pow’r of Your majestic name.
My hungry heart cries out for You.
No earthly substitute will do.
Refiner’s Fire, come near to me
For unveiled glory, let me see.
A heart like Yours, my one desire.
Do Your work, Refiner’s Fire.
Your holy Fire now burns within
And purges every secret sin.
My life the bush, Your life the Flame
That leaves me nevermore the same.
Your life in me ignites the Fire
That now fulfills my heart’s desire.
The Spirit’s work, my life made new,
Transformed within, ablaze with You.
A heart like Yours, my one desire.
Do Your work, Refiner’s Fire.”
Happy New Year!