Finding the Words

I used to be a voracious writer. Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve written stories. True story: In the first grade, I once caused my parents to be questioned at a parent-teacher conference because I wrote a story about a young girl who was mistreated by her parents. I thought I was being creative. My teachers thought I was crying out for help.

As I got older, my writings became more diverse, to include poetry, observations, description, as well as a variety of fiction. I’m a published author – a biography I wrote in the 8th grade was published in a collection. I’ve signed up and participated several times in National Novel Writing Month, and I’ve officially won once. I nearly won a second time but my laptop crashed as I was uploading my word count and I lost my story forever. That was the last time I truly put my heart onto paper.

I’ve been struggling today with thoughts of worthlessness and unworthiness. I sat for a long time on my front porch listening to a thunder storm move in, in hopes the cool air and soothing sound of my wind chimes would calm my mind, but to no avail. Finding a suitable distraction has been difficult and sitting still with my thoughts has been torture.

In an attempt to soothe this ache in my belly and move through these quiet days, I went looking through some old notebooks and found that I used to be a very eloquent writer, able to easily paint a picture in words full of sounds, smells, sensations that brought emotion to life. One particular notebook I carried with me for years and wrote anything and everything in it.

I have hopes to write again. I don’t know what has taken me away from putting words to paper, except that perhaps a lack of free time and quiet space, especially inside my mind, has prevented me from being able to find the right words. I’m less impressed with my present day writing than I am with what I wrote as an angsty 20-year old.

One of my goals on my 40 list includes writing a poem. I have the poem in my head, but there has been a fear of writing it down because it may hurt to read the words in real life instead of letting them float through my mind. I also have plans to start a memoir, but self-doubt tells me my life is not interesting or exciting and writing about it would be the ultimate act of deluded self-importance.

I want to write. I ache to write. There are so many words wrestling to be strung together that I don’t even know where to begin.

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