I started this blog as the result of a prayer saying, “Lord, I need something new in my life.” Almost immediately, these words echoed in my head: “Think about writing a blog.” It struck me that this was a seamless way to ease back into freelance writing, something I’d put on the shelf in the 1980’s.
But right away, doubts assailed me. So I got out paper and pen started jotting down ideas to see if there was enough raw material swirling about in my brain to make this fly. In 15 minutes, I filled a whole page and thought, “Okay, I can do this.”
The next day, instead of watching the noon news, I flipped through my PBS channels and happened upon Great Conversations featuring Elizabeth Gilbert (author of Eat, Pray, Love) talking about the process of writing. Two ideas jumped out at me which I summarize from memory:
- If you don’t write it, you may have the unpleasant experience of seeing your idea show up in print by someone else and think, “That should have been me.”
- She had observed an intelligence or spirit in the universe that wants expression. It may knock on your door and if you don’t let it in, it will move on to someone who will respond.
I’d had the first experience writing a set of phonics readers. I ran into serious publishing obstacles, put it on the shelf and, over time, saw other similar programs appear in print. Aargh!
I’d experienced the second, while my daycare kiddies napped, when a sudden burst of inspiration literally picked me up off my sofa and parked me in front of my typewriter. I poured out my attempts to fully participate in my church programs in spite of being a struggling divorced mother. The article literally wrote itself and was published later that year in our LDS magazine, The Ensign (“When You’re Mom and Dad,” April 1985). Evidently, the Lord wanted this message told and I’m sure that if I hadn’t responded to the call, He would have moved right on to someone else. What a great experience, both humbling and exciting.
Then I meditated on how our wonderful earth pushes up small miracles from God’s physical creation and remembered an abandoned rose quartz quarry in New Hampshire. A friend and I had bumped up a neglected dirt road to find the biggest and loveliest rock as a house-warming present for her boyfriend’s new yurt. It sat on his front step catching the light and welcoming visitors with a soft, shimmering, and mysterious rose light.
I wondered what geological processes created this lovely rock, what minerals caused its unique pink color, and what feelings it would evoke in visitors to Bill’s new home. When I write, my current thoughts are illuminated by sudden flashes of memory, forgotten layers in my soul. They recombine in an exciting new form, trailing insights in their wake, glittering like gems. I feel another consciousness also participating in this process. It’s a thrilling partnership, equaled only by someone telling me they’re affected by my writing.
What is pushing up in you, wanting expression? No one else can exactly create what is unique in you, so start digging out your own gems of creativity!