Writing: A Matter of Life or Death?
Not that long ago, I read an excerpt from the Gospel of Saint Thomas for the first time. It said: “If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth shall save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth shall destroy you.”
I can honestly say, reading those few simple lines changed my life. When I heard it, every hair on my body stood on end, and bells began ringing in my head. “Yes!” I thought. “This is everything I knew in my heart and soul to be true.” I had been suffering from debilitating back pain and depression for over ten years. I had seen every doctor, every chiropractor, every specialist, had every injection and every pain killer prescribed, and never did anything work to lessen my pain or anxiety, ever. I heard this quote and knew, FOR ME, what the problem had been all along. I was born to write. I was born to create. I was born to put pen to paper. I was born to entertain people with my stories and my words. But the one thing I knew to my very core to be true was the one thing I avoided daily. There are a multitude of reasons why I have avoided writing over the years, reasons I will eventually puzzle out in this blog, but for now I will say this: far too many people who feel like they were born to create, to write, to paint, put it off because of fear, but I am telling you, if you do not bring forth that which is within you, it will destroy you.
After reading that quote I started writing daily, and BAM! my pain was lessened by 80%.
Don’t get me wrong, I still have back pain. I have 3 herniated discs and very serious degeneration in my lower spine (I hail from a family with bad backs on all sides—joy!). However, since making writing and creating a daily part of my life again, and putting my creativity FIRST, my pain has practically disappeared (well, disappeared compared to what it was).
I started understanding that if I did not find time to write, God, the Universe, Carl, whatever you want to call it, would get my attention in ways I did not necessarily care for.
I knew that if I did not write, that story dying inside my would take pieces of me with it, and those pieces, I was realizing, were vital to my survival.
So, dear reader, there are two things you need to know:
- I plan to remain anonymous as some of my posts will be me ranting and raving about my life, my family, my job, and the people and things that I feel forced me to give up my writing, and let’s be honest, we can’t always speak our full truth if we think our Aunt Matilda is going to share what we just said about how our mom told us we’d never be good enough to get published all over the internet. So no, I am not sharing this with a single person I know. Anyone who reads this will be other writing WARRIORS who are fighting the good fight to create despite the odds. So, even if no one ever reads this blog, I’m going to keep blogging because this is how I will work out my issues with publishing and convince myself that no matter how hard it is to find the time and energy to write, I need to keep going! We ALL need to keep going. Our stories are worth telling, and we are the only ones who can write the stories that God put in our hearts.
- I take writing very seriously. To me, it is a matter of life and death. Let me clarify, whether I get published or not is NOT a matter of life and death. Whether my writing ever sustains me financially is NOT a matter of life and death. Whether I become well known for my writing is NOT a matter of life and death. What IS a matter of life and death (for me) is whether or not I sit my ass down and write every single day.
- And since I just said “ass,” I might as well throw in a #3. I SWEAR. I love God, I drink wine, yet sometimes I cuss like a motherfreaker, so if anyone reads this and doesn’t like cussing, well… sorry.
- Shit. I know I said this was only going to have two points in my list, but I love a good list so here is a bonus #4: I wake up at 4 a.m. to write every day before my full-time job. This blog is NOT going to be edited to perfection and at some point I’m going to just hit publish when I think it is “good enough” because honey, I only have so many hours in a day, and I can’t spend all day worrying about commas.
Ok, so there you have it. The dreaded post #1 that I have been putting off for months is finally out there. Go forth and be free.
Just the world’s BIGGEST procrastinator when it comes to my writing. I have lived in such crippling fear of not getting published (fear of rejection anyone?) that I was too afraid to even pick up a pen. How dumb is that? This is my attempt to write — no matter how it all shakes down. P.S. I also learned that if I didn’t write, it would destroy me one piece of my soul at a time.