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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Only Writing Prompt You Will Ever Need

Well. Maybe that title isn't quite accurate. But there is a chance that it is, and here is why I say that.

When I began this blog over 1,000 entries ago, I had no idea what I was going to write about. What could I possibly have to say?

In the beginning I did not write much, part of it came from a 17 day hospital stay in which I was pretty drugged up. I didn't even realize at the time how long I had been in the hospital. The days just blurred together.

But that's another story...

The point is that in the beginning I wasn't writing everything that I was thinking and feeling. I was holding back and holding in. Do you realize how much of your life you hold back and hold in? Do you realize how much of what you know and feel stays inside? Do you realize how much those things could really matter to someone else, if you only shared them?

There will be things that mean nothing. There will be a lot of nothing. But there will also be a lot of something when you start to share yourself, when you start to share the things that mean something to you. There will be a lot of something when you share your unpopular ideas and thoughts. There will be a lot of something when you dare to be who you are, without a mask.

*GASP* OK. Breathe. It's OK. I know I just terrified some of you. "Easy for HER to say."

Well. No. Not really.

I did not get to where I am easily or effortlessly. I did not get to where I am because it is where I wanted to be - as I had no idea what "here" looked like until I arrived. It hasn't been easy. It has been quite rough at times. I am rocking boats at many turns, and there are times I still want to just run and hide. There are times I feel like I can do nothing right in many people's eyes.

And there is no denying it, it sucks.

But what sucks more is not being myself. What sucks more is not liking myself because someone else thinks I have done something wrong. There is nothing worse than thinking less of yourself because of another's judgment or beliefs. There is nothing worse than putting yourself aside and trying to fit what another thinks you should be.

Well. What about when no one seems to like you? What about when you are feeling lonely or isolated? They're pretty sucky things, too, aren't they? You're saying they're not worse?

That is a tough one. But yes. That is exactly what I am saying. And I say it because as I repel people in my life, I am also finding others that seem to appreciate and understand me for who I am. So as we shed the "old" there will be a transitional state. In addition, I don't know about you, but when I tried to be someone I wasn't, I didn't exactly fit anywhere, either. It was quite uncomfortable.

Where I stand now is at times simultaneously liberating and frustrating. But the thing is that I get to be myself, and there is more power in that than there is in anything. And it all came from allowing myself to just write what I felt.

So...

If you are ever feeling stuck about what to write, allow yourself to write what wants to be written. My guess is that there are times there are things that would love to come out, but you're like, "No. I can't say that." I would be willing to bet a lot of things cross your mind and are vetoed pretty quickly because you are concerned about what others will think of it, or worse - of you.

*GULP*

I would be willing to be it seems like a big, a MAMMOTH, step for some of you who read this, but it won't be if you just do it one word at a time, one sentence at a time, one paragraph at a time.

You can look at a list of things to write about, or you can write about what is in your heart. You can write about what is in your head. You can write about your emotions, your feelings.

I was given some really great advice by someone when I was in fifth grade. She was my Sunday School Teacher. I remember being at her house, at the foot of the stairs. For some reason I do not remember the context of the conversation, but I clearly remember her saying to write the way I speak. 

I never forgot that.

For some reason, many go to write and get stymied because it is supposed to sound a certain way, and somehow it doesn't sound "that" way. Part of the reason might just be because it is stilted. It doesn't come across as you. It comes across as someone trying to write.

Write like you speak. Write from the heart. And all will be right with the world. Well. Not really. It did sound pretty good, though, didn't it? You do that and you will likely make waves, and it will be bumpy. But the cool thing is that you will get to be who you are.

And you know what? That person who has been struggling to come out is likely pretty dang cool once you get to know her/him, and allow them to develop themselves without being pushed down, pushed away, or made to feel badly for who they are. When that person is given the freedom to just be, you might just surprise yourself. I know who I have found myself to be has surprised me on more than one occasion.

I love the people behind the stuff, and often they are not easy to find. Too many times the people are covered up by the mask or by the business they're trying to promote. Even when I try to get to the core of a person, it often gets diverted into something else. Marketers have taught people how to communicate things of themselves for the purpose of selling a product. I can't stand it.

Follow what I have said and you may just get a 2 for 1. You will get to write more freely, and you will get to more freely be yourself.

Wouldn't that be something?




2 comments:

  1. Great post! Thanks for the encouragement. I'm a firm believer that everyone has a story that is uniquely theirs to share with the world. Not easy, but important. :)

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    1. Thanks. :) If it helped in some way, great!

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