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Here Goes Nothing…

First of all, thank you guys for all the encouraging feedback, cheering me on to write. Don’t get me wrong. I love writing, but the practice of writing is something I’ve been out of for quite some time. This challenge came to me from some new friends in a blogging workshop I’m taking. There are no guidelines as to how content makes it onto a page each day, the gist of the exercise is just that: to exercise, to practice, to make writing daily intention. Today is my first day and my intention is to write each morning for that particular day, but I foresee some days when I may be able to write a few pieces or go through my drafted archives, clean things up a bit, and bring life to those. Honestly, I’m writing this paragraph just to get warmed up and I know it was boring to read.

I’m actually just typing stuff right now because, I kid you not, the moment I made my entry into the group official, my brain went blank.

Nothing. Nothing except writer’s block…deer in the headlights.

A friend from California texted me yesterday, asking about the challenge, mulling over if this is a good time to start the blog she’s always wanted to write. I told her how I had suddenly developed writer’s block.

“Write about writer’s block,” said the girl who’s been talking about starting a blog for years.

Then this is what the rest of our conversation looked like:

IMG_5297

 

So, apparently I may write about cults during this challenge, too, who knows?

It hit me last night that the last time I wrote for 31 days in a row, it was while our son, Noah, was in the hospital. I had a lot more time in my life to sit and ponder way back then…and some of the entries of the next 31 days were birthed even back then.

I almost quit this whole challenge and blogging thing altogether yesterday. I’m not kidding. I’ve thought about hanging it up for probably 5 of the last 9 years, not every day, but many times…more on that in another post…

Let me ask you this…Have you ever felt so passionately about something, but the details it would take to make the thing happen seem insurmountable and aren’t even part of your scope of capability, so you wonder if it’s worth the time and energy? For example, I have a couple of friends who are doctors who started their own practices. Their hearts and gifts to heal people are spot-on, totally God-given, but the paper work that goes along with owning their own businesses near suffocates them at times.

That’s how I’ve felt about blogging…I LOVE it! I fell in love with authentic, candid writing in the last thought of sacred place ever. Noah’s hospital room was the safest and most vulnerable space for my heart, yet it felt right and the words began to flow out of me. His life and death brought about a sort of resurrection to the kind of writing I had once loved before I BS’d my way through high school and college papers simply for grades.

The practice of writing became a rhythm and it felt wonderful, but I could have done that in a Word document or a journal.

But blogging? Oh, you guys, blogging was interactive, there were other people who would show up, share their guts, as well, say, “ME, TOO!” or “I totally disagree but would love to discuss…” and my heart would swell. It was LIVE and RAW and UNFILTERED and suddenly I realized the things that went through my mind and onto the screen also connected to the hearts of real people on literally every single continent. And for a middle child who loves it when everyone shows up and gets along, it was epically mind blowing! The problem is, even though people would comment and share a bit of their lives, I, true story, didn’t know how to reply to them unless via a personal email. There was no “reply” button back in the olden days of blog world, at least not the way mine had been set up initially. And it got overwhelming. One. Little. Button. Had so much power to discourage me.

I’m telling you, I’ve written on a blog for 9 years now, but I’ve never known HOW to blog.

Then blogs were lighting up everywhere and there were great places where people could gather and interact and show up to laugh and cry and encourage and challenge one another. It was cool and weird at the same time to be able to connect to breathing humans in other parts of the country and world. I mean, I was born in 1972…to connect with people we used to walk next door and knock and ask, “Can Stacey come out and play?” I was working and writing through my grief, finding healing with each word I’d crank out, but I started listening to lies in my head, like, “Well, Noah’s dead so no one’s going to want to read here anymore. There are plenty of awesome other women who are a ton more fun and encouraging on the Web right now…you’re too raw and brassy…opinionated and loud…” And, to be perfectly honest, it was a battle in both directions: it wasn’t the attention the blog drew, it was the potential interaction with souls all over the world, and I wanted to care for and nurture and encourage ALL OF THEM, but I mostly wanted to sit crossed legged on a couch side by side or fall on our faces together on the floor and cry, but tangibly. And on the other side, some people would email me or comment and say, “Adrienne, you haven’t written in a couple of days (*I had written several times a day for 5 1/2 months while Noah was hospitalized.) and I come here to your blog to read it as a devotional.”

So, in my stubbornness, I pulled away from writing regularly. Seriously. A healing outlet where I found oxygen again, I pulled away out of stubbornness because of a couple comments, meant to be encouraging, like, “Adrienne, thanks for all you’ve written here…it’s come to be a place of refuge and quiet for me every day.” That I instead read, “Adrienne, you need to be more consistent. I’m addicted to this reality show you are living and you are messing with my programming.”

Jacked, right? I know. Though there could have been truth in either interpretation.

So, what the heck am I trying to say in this way too long post and why am I doing this exercise of writing? Well, a friend on Facebook who was a student at the college where I used to work mentioned me in a comment one day. I clicked on her link and saw the beautiful Jen Hatmaker’s mug shot on the screen where she pitched, without kickbacks, a very convincing few paragraphs of how, “there’s room for everyone at the table, how if you’ve ever wanted to blog or have blogged but were clumsy at it, there was this workshop by this guy who was brilliant and a smarty-pants, a way to take the drudgery out of blogging by learning some key things which would pay the likely returns of JOY in the process”…or something to that effect.

And I cried. I cried and read every word on the first sample lesson.

What? Jen Hatmaker thinks there’s room for everyone? Even me?

But seriously, even more, I have said to Jason a zillion times, “Sweetheart, I just want to write. Is there such a thing as me just writing and the technical stuff took care of itself? Like, someone could just show me how to do the actual act of blogging and then I’d just be able to freaking do it!”

So, here I am. And I’m no longer believing the lies there isn’t room for me just because I may not fit a mold, because it’s one of my own soapboxes:

WE ALL HAVE A STORY AND THERE’S ROOM FOR ALL OF US.

Comments

  1. It’s so painful and so true. I can relate to almost every word here. Love to you friend.

    • Thanks for reading, friend, and sharing…I think we talked a little about this over appetizers that evening with Jess. The Enemy does his best to present and push those lies, until they become messages we believe and then begin to tell ourselves.

  2. it is amazing, but that is the exact same sentence that grabbed me too, “there is room at the table.” Such grace and hospitality in those words. They gave me courage to start. That was day 1 of my blog. Keep writing.
    XO, your fellow clumsy

  3. Thank you! I am trying to figure out why and how to pour words out into the ether. Your tumble of words makes me feel so not alone. I want to be brave and true and opinionated, but mostly I am scared. So I am writing about showing up for 31 days… and I will be reading your posts and praying for you along the way.

    • Thanks for the prayers. It’s great to be praying for a group like CB, knowing we all feel deeply a lot of the same weird writing inner turmoil!

  4. There is room for everyone and I have missed your writings.

    While I blog, no one reads mine but it makes ME feel better. Maybe someday, someone will read it and I will be able to help them!

    xo

    • Girlfriend, I read yours. That’s the thing, though…writing for our own hearts, between our heart and God’s, that’s where the words start to flow…because our value and approval is in HIM. Love to you and James and kiddos! xoxox

  5. I blogged through a rough patch in my life, entering empty nesthood. It was a time of being surrounded by amazing women who loved me and listened. Over years the haters showed up. They were mean and told me my life was great and how dare I blog about broken hearts and rebellious teens. I quit.
    I miss it. It was such a haven of release for me. It’s sad that the world has to at times be so cruel.
    I’m so thankful you blogged. I read every post and fell head over heals with Noah. I never dreamed what lies ahead for me and mine.
    You touched my life forever and I smile just thinking that I can read your words again. ❤️

    • Ginger, your love and constant prayers and support, comments, they were bread for me in the hospital and beyond. I hate that you guys have walked similar paths, but hope Noah’s life helped prepare a teeny of the journey for you as you lived it unfolding. I just love you and your girls and their men and am grateful for THAT part of blogging and how our hearts are joined. xoxox

  6. Girl, Your realness & rawness (I so don’t know if those are real words) are what make you & your writings amazing. So many people are afraid to be real & I love that you throw your heart out there & allow us to be a part of your real life! ❤

    • Thanks, Amanda! And you are doing the same, encouraging so many by sharing your life, stories of you and Jay, and your walk through cancer. Our stories breathe life only if we share them, not through media, I’m saying when we share them PERIOD, in the day to day.

  7. Write me a little about why you think birds sing in the morning. Or why Grampa sat in the breezeway whistling while reading the morning paper. Remember, he could get the chickadees to sing back?

    • Meredith!!! THE BREEZEWAY! I can picture him now on the glider! Thanks for the writing prompts! I would love to write on these things…remember how Grampa used to sing, “Ah-chinga-ching-ching?” and strum “Flight of the Bumblebee” for us on his knee?

  8. Get it, girl! We’re all in it together. And you already know so much more than me! 😉

  9. oh my dear sweet precious friend!!!! I could shout yes to all the same feelings! Blogging has become such a different thing it is hard to want to do it even though the outlet is so wonderful for wirings like ours. i love you through your righting though and will take whatever you can give :) i don’t really read blogs so much anymore, but yours comes to my inbox and i love reading it.

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