Catching the Light: Writing to Be Creative + Free

Image: firefly CC BY-NC-ND 2.1 JP

Image: firefly CC BY-NC-ND 2.1 JP

Creative + Free turned one this week! It’s hard to believe. When I started the blog, all I wanted was to catch the light, put it in a jar, and save it forever. Like catching lightning bugs in the woods. I wanted to snatch these flitting words out of black night and watch them glow through glass.

I began the blog with a ferocity that scared me.  There was an urgency in my chest to make up for years of lost time, healing to do with words and stories, thoughts to save before the Delete button of my mind snatched them from history.

Is the Writing Life Worth It?

“It must be nice to stay at home and write all day,” friends mused. But it wasn’t. It was awful some days. No one told me I would grieve my old life of homeschooling, of filling little minds with creativity, freedom, and discoveries.

No one told me writing all day long through winter would leave me lonely and torn between friends calling to go to coffee and the words fighting to fly out of my fingers. Or that the words would come slow some days. Others, I fought my old workaholic tendencies and snapped at the kids from dawn to dusk because I couldn’t live with the tension of motherhood and writing.

I wondered if showing up to a blog with a minimal readership, a little ebook, and article submissions were really all they were cracked up to be. The light I wanted to light up the night, my own creations, were not lighting up my soul.

On Thanksgiving Day, after spending 15 hours on one guest post, I hit SEND, and realized this was not the writing life I wanted. The life I wanted was the one that chased the lightning bugs for the sheer joy of it. I wanted to be the a little girl who loves the world and all the wonder it holds. Who runs creative and free into the fields, who stops and admires the bats circling overhead, and doesn’t think twice when a fox peers at her from behind a bush and her jar is empty.

Turning toward Thankfulness

I took a break over Christmas and turned to gratitude. I started looking at the discoveries I’d made on this writing journey.

That I love doing blog series (ten to be exact), collaborations, ebooks, and longer projects. That the blog was not a means to an end anymore but a place to share the light I’d caught, and then, a space to release it into the big wide world.

It would have been nice to get discovered or get all the answers, but let’s be honest, why do any of us write? To hear ourselves. To follow a calling. To find our voice. To work out the rough edges. To confess our sins. To make sense of life.

Good or bad, these were all the reasons I wanted to write.

New Discoveries Made

What I found in this blog was a place to make friends and to know I’m not alone.

A place to hear from God and know I am loved.

A space to ask better questions and reach out to people vastly different than me.

Here I stopped trying to be a teacher or a preacher or a hundred other things I am not, but to be a poet and an artist, a dreamer and a voice.

To write from my greatest needs (which are to be loved and known and special), and realize most people feel this too.

A place to realize ordinary days make for extraordinary stories.

Small words can make deep, connecting impact.Tweet This

That God loves me deeply.

That He is the light (not me).

When we gather our stories + words in the darkest corners, we can put on quite a light show.Tweet This

No jars, just wonder and praise for the privilege to live creative + free.

Your Turn

How do words help you catch the light?

Five Minute Friday

One of the brightest lights in this year of writing has been the Five Minute Friday writing community. Our one-word prompt was WANT. Confession: I didn’t write this week’s post in five minutes. Sometimes the words just keep flowing. Do check out this amazing community. They are generous and extremely creative.

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June 10, 2016