I’m just a girl, creating a little space for her words to live. A house with a big front porch and a swing. A tall glass of sweet tea on the rail and a pup lolling on the steps, in country with a mountain breeze caressing the pine trees.
That’s the place I hope to build for my words to live. It sounds like a nice place, a comfortable place, a place that feels like home. Even when I’ve been running from it, that’s what writing has always been for me – my home, the place I could retreat to from the war zones of life.
For years I have run from my home. I have ignored the screams of my soul that long to write, forever and always and a day more. In fact, as I’m sitting here tapping these words out, my eyes are on my fingertips. I am intent on their movements on the keyboard. I fear if I look up and see my words tumbling across the screen, I’ll quit. I’ll remember all the reasons I stopped writing, and I’ll start running again.
I desperately just need to be home so I stare at my hands. I focus on the rhythm of the keys. I remember that coming home requires strength.
I am a writer. It is equally beautiful and terrible to be a writer. You know how it is. We are all writers when we give ourselves the freedom to listen to the words streaming through us. And though I haven’t written in years, I’m still standing here in this house I’ve built for my words hoping I have the courage to make it into a home. It’s so difficult to write with heart, with nothing but the etchings of my soul. I feel thin and vulnerable when writing with soul etchings, but I know it is exactly the path I am supposed to take with my words.
Writing – and all art, all dreams, all of the biggest passions we have in our lives – is something you and I must do. I have to write. I can’t explain it with more depth. I just have to write, and there’s no more story to explain why.
Nothing particular slowed my feet and started my hands shuffling across this keyboard. Nothing but blinking the sleep out of my eyes one morning, realizing I hadn’t written in years and knowing it was time to change. The only way to accomplish my goal was to start with inching steps. Steps so small it’s hard to tell if I’m moving, but steps nonetheless.
I have one barometer for success. Are the words filling up a space that used to be blank? If yes, maintain motion, take longer strides. If not, start again. It is the beauty of a creative journey. We get to start exactly where we are, even if we must start more than once.