A guest post to motivate, encourage, and inspire
At 4 a.m., a loud, erratic banging woke me up. It was coming from the exterior wall of my bedroom. Without opening my eyes I cursed myself for not calling a repairman to fix the loose soffit on my roofline. I pulled the comforter up to my chin and listened to the wind gusts blowing from all directions. Every few minutes I opened one eye to look at the red numbers on my alarm clock.
I finally gave up. I turned on the lamp and paid little attention to the sigh of my dog sleeping on the sofa. He lifted his head, looked at me, then turned away from the brightness and rested it on his paws. I reached for my notebook and inwardly smiled. I could feel the beginning of a story ripening.
I am used to the annoying sound of continuous knocking. For years I dealt with a loud banging on the door of my conscience, a nagging urge that pleaded with me to write. It stood on my imaginary porch and pounded its fist on the door.
I yelled, "Go away! I'm busy right now!"
It would continue until I fed it just a morsel, a tiny bit just to satisfy its hunger for a time. I wrote little nuggets like journal entries, travel memoirs, poems, birthday letters to loved ones, angry rants, love letters and some short stories. But nobody saw my writing; I kept it tucked in drawers and saved on computer hard drives under password locks.
To write is let others view the inner workings of your mind; it’s self-exposing, like standing naked and allowing others to judge your fat parts. It’s being willing to open yourself up to judgment and criticism, but also encouragement and support. It means taking off protective layers and believing that you are worthy enough to have something important to say.
Over time I have found that writing teaches me to love myself enough that I can stand up to the rejection, and I can applaud my efforts and search earnestly for those who love what I create. Last Christmas I even discovered that my written words could turn an ordinary gift into a present from my heart. I wrote a poem and attached it with a pretty ribbon to some plain, fleece blankets I was planning to give. Here is part of it:
This blanket will wait patiently for a cold evening when you will reach for its warmth. The cushy softness will wrap you in comfort at a time when you need it, just as our arms will be willing and ready to enfold you in a loving embrace. It will provide a gentle place for you to rest your weary head, just as our shoulders will provide strength at a time of need. The blend of materials will warm your body, just as our appreciation of you will nourish your mind and spirit. The blanket will lay in your closet, always available, just as our listening ears will always be ready. Over time the threads may become worn, it may get spilled on, or a playful child may tear a hole in its fibers. At times our lives can feel ragged and frayed, and it is the everlasting love of friends, family, and God that see us through.
Written words are a gift to be shared and seen, not hidden away where they serve no purpose. An opened present provides temporary joy that is eventually forgotten, but few people will forget how your written sentiments made them feel, and that is the gift.
Join our After Page One series. We’re looking for 300 to 500-word guest posts that motivate, inspire, and encourage other mama-writers, and we’d love to feature YOUR thoughts about getting started, getting back to a writing project, integrating writing with motherhood, reading, or having a positive attitude. The list is endless, but here are some questions that might help you get started. We’ll publish a short bio at the bottom of your post so readers can learn more about you and your projects.