I recently shared with Maeglin, our Community Manager (and so much more), here at loved+blessed, that I had been experiencing a sort of writer’s block for a few months.
I had been writing, but it hadn’t been flowing like it usually does. It had felt more like a chore than something I was doing from the depths of my soul. That’s how writing usually feels for me, like I’m pouring my heart onto a page.
If you regularly read my blog posts or have read the keepsake devotional cards that we include in each box of encouragement, you know I write with what some would call “reckless abandon”. Which basically means that if a bunch of misplaced commas, grammatical errors or run-on sentences offend you, you’ll definitely be triggered.
That’s actually something I had to get over as a writer. I never got the highest grades in school when it came to grammar and the format of my writing, but I’ve realized that’s because I write how I talk. And although I do think learning how to write and spell (that’s a whole ‘nother conversation…thank you spell check inventor) are important, I got to a point where I had to get over myself.
I realized that God had given me lots of stuff to say. Lot’s of “word hugs” to encourage you. But if I held back because I was worried about the criticism I’d receive for grammatical mistakes, those messages would never get out. They would just be locked up inside my heart.
So I had to shake off the comments I would get correcting my grammar in a post (yep, I have received messages from people pointing out edits I should make) and focus on what matters to me most - expressing what I feel the Holy Spirit has given me to say. I write how I speak and I write how I pray and I’m okay with that. I don’t edit myself when I pray. There are lots of run-on sentences and dangling participles that would make any English teacher cringe, but I’m confident that God would give me a high grade because I’m following His direction, fulfilling the assignment He has given me.
In the last few months, I’ve actually found it hard to write. Something has been holding me back. I thought my writers’ block was because I didn’t have anything to write, but I’ve realized that that’s not what it was.
I was scared.
I’ve been scared to write. I was scared to write because of what might come out.
As I said, writing for me has always been like pouring my heart onto a page. My house is full of lots of my old diaries, journals full of my poetry and random papers with my thoughts scribbled down.
I think in some ways, writing was my therapy when I was a child and has continued to be the way I release my emotions.
But somewhere in the last year I started to stuff those emotions down again. There was so much going on that I felt like I just had to push through and I think subconsciously I stopped fully opening myself up when I wrote because I was scared that the depth of the emotions that would come out wouldn’t be controllable. That if let them out I would loose control. If I let them out I would spiral into negative thoughts.
I’m sharing this for a few reasons.
It is cathartic for me to write these things out loud. When I admit them publicly I feel empowered and unashamed.
It’s a testimony to God’s faithfulness in my life. Writing and praying are intertwined for me and as I’m typing this today, God has given me a vision to take my writing to another level (more on that later…stay tuned) and I know this revelation is part of the journey He has put me on so that I am able to fully bring that vision to fruition without fear.
I hope to encourage you. Have you felt the tug from the Holy Spirit to write? Maybe it’s some sort of Christian devotional or book or maybe it’s a novel or children’s book or even a movie or a play….whatever it is, don’t hold back. Don’t let the fear of other’s judgement hold you back. Don’t let the fear of being “not good enough” hold you back. Just write what is on your heart and trust that God will get it to the people He intends to read it.
The only person who’s opinion matters is His. So join me, throw caution and commas to the wind and write with reckless abandon.
Jamila is the founder of loved+blessed. On her personal mission to leave a legacy of encouragement, she blogs about her own life lessons with the hope that it will bring joy into others’ lives and help them find the courage to keep walking in faith knowing that all things work together for the good of those who love the Lord. Read her testimony of how God turned her misery into ministry.