Monday, 28 November 2011

Can't Turn From This, Baby, This Is Poetry, Rips Open Your Soul

When I decided not to participate 100% in NaNoWriMo, I had no idea that I would barely write a word over the whole month. The idea that a whole month would go by without a word written never even occurred to me. The world, however, continued to spin on as I refused to put pen to paper.

I would not open a processor, I would not scribble a page. Everything whirled by too fast, and occasionally an arm reaching out of the whirlwind to stab at me with guilt.

Write. Write.

It's not a puzzle why I didn't write, there were things that overwhelmed my life and a certain problem I could (can) not talk about. So... instead of writing, I watched, listened, ignored, fought, and lost the battle to stay afloat.

It's not that I want to go preachy, but I do have to say this: there is nothing, nothing I have apart from Christ Jesus that is worth having. If there is a way out of this hole, he's going to lead me to it. First, it is him, always him. But now, like so many other times, he puts the pen in my hand.

Madeleine L'Engle writes, "I have often been asked if my Christianity affects my stories, and surely it is the other way round; my stories affect my Christianity, restore me, shake me by the scruff of the neck, and pull this straying sinner into an awed faith." -Walking on Water

For her, and for me, Christianity and writing are too intertwined to be able to be separated. Once I reached the point where I could no longer ignore the waves of love pouring into me, I found I could no longer ignore my stories.

I don't think that you have to be a Christian for this to apply to you. Why aren't you writing? Why is the desire gone? Why does it hurt too much?

I think it's because writing requires you to put absolutely everything you have out in front so you can have room to delve into the deeper waters. And if you're afraid of what's going on in those darker recesses of your mind, you won't do it.

It'll heal you, if you let it.



Lisa Gail Green said...

Very insightful I'd say. Writing is good therapy too, if you let it act that way. It most certainly is what's inside your soul. I hope whatever it is that's hurting you is resolved and you recover quickly.

Lisa Aldin said...

This is very well-written. Nicely said.

Nancy Thompson said...

Well, first off, let me say how sorry I am to hear you are going through such a difficult time. It is often times such as this that define us as human beings. And our faith is the foundation of that. I know I couldn't handle life, good or bad, without my deep belief in God. He has seen me through the darkest periods and shadowed me during the lightest, as well.

As for writing, I do my best work when I am at my darkest times. Literary agent Donald Maass says if you're happy, you shouldn't write, that the most emotional and therefore best writing often comes at our darkest hours. I tend to agree. But that's not for everybody.

I hope you start feeling better and find your way back into happiness.

Laila Knight said...

That was deep, girly. And that's why one of the best phrases I ever heard was, "let go and let God."

Have a good one. :)

Jennifer Hillier said...

Very thoughtful post. I don't write well when I'm feeling anything negative - even though I write really dark stuff, I have to write it from a happy place. Interesting how I've never really thought about that before.

I hope you're well, Bethany. Hugs to you.

Slamdunk said...

I have never really thought about how writing is an act of Faith. Something I certainly should be thinking about.

You are in my prayers Bethany.

JennaQuentin said...

Loved the L'Engle quote! I've been mulling over these subjects lately too. I love the story of Elijah being depressed in I Kings 19 and the angel saying, "I'm here, eat, sleep and now here's an objective, a goal, something to do." Seems like that's the story of my writing life! Bon Courage!

Sarah Allen said...

Thank you for being so open and thoughtful and honest. Don't get too down on yourself. This happens, especially when you have other major stuff to deal with in your life. I am 100% with you and Madeline L'Engle on the Christianity thing. Don't give up, stay strong and it will all turn out ok.

Sarah Allen
(my creative writing blog)

Talli Roland said...

I hope you're okay. First and foremost, take care of yourself. Hugs. xx