Why begin blogging again? Why talk now?
It’s selfish really.
I’ve felt increasingly disconnected from women, and myself. I’ve become silent in the wrong ways, contained when I’d benefit from sharing, shut down when what I crave most is community.
It’s hurt me emotionally, and it’s hurt me spiritually, and this isolation has spilled into my work making writing harder and harder because I can’t find words anymore. I’ve spent so much of the past 7 years buttoning myself down, gritting my teeth, holding tightly to faith and sheer will power that I feel as if I’m slowly turning to stone. My silence has created more silence, and the silence and grinding of teeth, and clamping of jaw, and holding all those feelings—shame, pain, loneliness, guilt, and yet more shame–in, to the point that when I sit to write, there is just silence inside of me. A hollow emptiness like white noise.
I’ve lost the comfort of words. I’ve lost language and accessible emotion, which makes writing brutal. Lately I stare at my computer screen, fingers hovering over keyboard, and wonder where I’ve gone. Wonder what’s happened to me. In my desire to ‘be strong’, I’ve calcified. Flesh to stone. Heart to hard. Even trying to write 1st person romance, or women’s fiction, is a battle. Nothing is natural anymore; everything feels forced. I try to write and am left with yet more shame and a pervasive sense of failure.
I see other writers writing….and some of them are writing a lot. I see debut authors with new books, and pretty covers being shared all over social media. It’s not that I don’t write at all, but I don’t write enough for my head, and the stories I still want to tell. I don’t write with enough ease to feel, well, legitimate. Thus, the sense of failure. Maybe I’m not a writer anymore.
How many books are required to be a real writer?
What is real anyway?
I know my family is real. I know my house and my 4 boys, and our 3 dogs, and rabbit, and gecko and pond of koi fish….that’s all real. So are the raccoons eating our grapes every night, and the skunks wandering through, wondering why the raccoons have moved into our yard.
The skateboards and surfboards leaning against walls are real.
The beach towels, and endless laundry—real.
The meals cooked, and the boys to be hugged, real.
Maybe it’s just me, and the career, that no longer feels real. But my voice isn’t gone, not completely.
And the people that matter, they are still here. Not just my boys, and my friends and family, but you. You’re still here with me on this crazy demanding unpredictable thing called life. And maybe that’s the most important thing—not the awards, or the sales– but the connection. The community. The sense of belonging. I need connection….to myself, and to you. I need to be honest and say that since moving to So Cal from Bellevue, I’ve spent a lot of years trying to come to terms with age, and change. Life can be disappointing. Things happen. Plans derail. Families can hurt. We lose people we love. It’s not easy being resilient. It’s not easy being human.
Maybe the best way to move forward is to be open. And maybe the best way to find my voice, is to use it. Maybe through talking to you, and sharing all the things I’ve bottled up will ease some of the fear and shame, and create change.
I’d like to be more hopeful.
I’d like to be more creative.
I’d like to believe anything is possible again…and not just for others, but for me. I believe so much in my people, other people, but I’ve lost faith in me, and that’s the thing I need to work on.
So, love to you. Thank you for being in my world. In case you didn’t catch it—I need you. I value you. Let’s get through this life by being open, and hopeful, together.