Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
After Page One: Voice

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A guest post to motivate, encourage, and inspire...


Recovering From Writer's Laryngitis

I am recovering from a recent case of writer’s laryngitis. For several weeks, despite wanting and needing to write, nothing detectable had been coming out. It would have been easy to blame my lack of free time due to mothering four young children while also prioritizing the tasks of being an adult (which constantly seem to multiply), but if I’m honest, that wasn’t necessarily the culprit.

My approach to writing had become hurried and strained, and lost its connection to the well of my imagination. I was constantly striving to produce the next great piece, mentally morphing all of my children’s antics into a blog post and valuing life situations as potential metaphors over relational connection. All that racing caused me to forgo listening for production and my words dried up. I had cared for too long about getting words on a page rather than observing what I wanted to say.

Photo by Jena Schwartz

Photo by Jena Schwartz

In The Right to Write, Julia Cameron says, “Writing is the art of taking dictation, not giving it.”

We must write what we hear. Write to find ourselves. Write to tell a story, Write to encourage someone. Write to make a difference. Write for the love of writing. We find our reasons, but writing out of striving or simply to produce—it’ll kill our voices.

Also during my season of being reduced to a literary whisper, I realized how negative self-talk leaves me with silent pages.

I’m never going to finish this article/project/poem.
Someone with more skill has already written about this.
There’s too much stuff out there already, why add to the noise?

The thoughts stormed in like soldiers protesting the potential for creativity. Writing is an extension of our minds, and where the battle must be fought for permission to write.

I am now censoring phrases of self-doubt as they come, and adding the spin of possibility.

I’m having a hard time finishing this article, but I know how to do if it’s really important to me.
I wonder what my experience can add to this topic?
I like to encourage the people who wander to my corner of the internet.

These subtle semantics are often enough to dissuade the mental credibility attacks from reigning supreme.

When we lose our ability to communicate with the written word, we must trust that behind the silence lies a pool of phrases waiting to spill out. I am finding that being patient, present, and positive will invite the words to come back, and when they do, bathing in their waterfall is redemptive indeed.

Welcome back, writing voice.


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 so readers can learn more about you and your projects.

Heidi Wheeler is a married mother of four kids she adores, works part time as a nurse practitioner, and writes as frequently as possible. She is a regular contributor for the MKE Moms Blog, member of Redbud Writers Guild, and blogs about faith and family at TheBlessedNest. She can be found on Facebook and Twitter.

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