I just want to write, write write write. I feel like I could stay up all night trying to pen all the words and articles and blog posts which want to come spilling out of my brain. But I’m trying to cram a bit more in before bedtime.
I’m writing again just for the sake of it, owning it, and enjoying it. I’m journaling, reflecting, tapping snippets onto my phone. I am making notes on what I’m learning in my faith and applying it to life (because really, how can you separate them?!). I’ve remembered that this space is my own and I have permission to use it however I like, and I want to be open and share even when it feels vulnerable- something which I often find easier to express in words written. Something about choosing words to pen means I am more able to express what I mean, rather than the words which often seem to come tumbling, fumbling from my mouth. It does mean that if you know me in real life there might appear to be a disconnect- but understand that writing is often my way of processing and understanding and sharing when life and my quietness don’t always allow so easily.
I’ve been skimming back through the notes on my phone, the equivalent of flicking back through pages and pages of old notebooks. With small people pulling things around, my phone is the place that those random scribblings, snatches of words and fleeting thoughts got captured and written for later, tucked away like leaves into a book. They are all coming spiralling out, and I want to gather them up and create something beautiful from those fragments.
Fumbling back through the pages of this virtual notebook I’m finding so many snippets, thoughts which might have been or might yet be blog posts or more extended writing. There are also words of vulnerability and finally admitting to myself my feelings from darker days, times of overwhelm and despair despite knowing that I had so many joys before me. I didn’t notice the darkness slowly creeping in until it was too late, and then just tried not to look at it, decided it was tiredness, never never wanting to admit to any darkness. Writing small sentences, and finally accepting that the struggle was real was painful but brought me to actually face it head on. And now I’m grateful to look back on them and know that things have changed. In that season I had stopped personal writing and reading (fiction) almost entirely. I damned up the words, afraid to process or look my emotions right in the eyes. I was afraid to uncork the plug and let go of what was inside, what I might realise or have to face up to in being honest with myself.
It wasn’t until much later, when I gave myself permission to read fiction again, to read just for the sake of it, just to enjoy it and not because it would necessarily elicit any achievement or teach me anything lofty, that I realised that this was a symptom of that darkness. Shutting down those two big joys in my life must have only added to that feeling of darkness but it wasn’t a conscious choice which I remember making, rather something that happened slowly without me noticing. And I think that’s why I feel it’s so important to chase those things which make your heart sing. Those things you loved as a child which might feel frivolous or just not very productive- things which can and do get sidelined in everyday life. That dam that was blocking the flow of words in, it was broken down. Perhaps taken down slowly, branch by branch like a beaver working in reverse. I allowed some words, honest words, through in the margins. Into the small snippets on my phone.
And now writing in this other season- two days into the spring with cold yet hopeful sunshine and three small children- feels enriching and necessary and just a part of me. Writing is cathartic, helps me to process, understand the world, to connect with God and to develop my gifts. As painting and drawing were a part of me lying dormant and waiting for me to invest some time, in order to remind me of how I was created, so writing has been patiently biding its time, knowing that to exercise that muscle would be to thrive in another way. I feel less scared of my words, less scared of facing my thoughts and less scared of sharing them. If they encourage or challenge or make any kind of positive difference to even one of you then they are worth sharing.
Does writing play an important role in your life? What does that look like for you in this season? I’d love chat with you about it in the comments!