a novelist's dabblings · Owlish Contemplations

Stammering Tongue

Here I come to my dear little blog once again, staring at a blank computer screen, wondering what in the world to type in that will make a difference to the big, wide world out there. It’s not that I have a lack of topics to talk about … hardly! The ideas constantly barrage me throughout the day, whether at work or in the car … little snippets of words and phrases lodge themselves in my brain waiting to be fused into something bigger. And yet – I cannot write. My tongue sticks in my throat, as it were, and I fear that first key stroke that will take me into the unknown.

Friends, the real reason behind my spotty blog posts and long waits between each one is not that I haven’t the time (though sometimes I truly don’t!) – it’s merely that I fear my own inadequacy. It’s that way with most of my writing … vivid colors dance in my head and entice me with their endless possibilities, and yet that fear of failure – of judgment from others – stops me before I even begin. Why this fear, you may ask, when I’ve received affirmation in the past about my writing? No matter how confident I may feel about one bit of writing I’ve done, as soon as I read another’s well-worded and thought-provoking entry, I fall into a pit of doubt and questioning, just knowing that my words will never compare nor ever spark that type of interest or debate. When I look at all the great writers of the past that I so greatly admire, I have to laugh at my foolish contributions, and wonder what new thing I have to offer to the world of thoughts & ideas spelled out by pens of old.

Though it’s a title I’ve long coveted, I’ve always assumed that the title of “writer” belonged to another – to someone else whose craft has been refined and well-accepted in upper-class social circles … and yet these ideas and formulations of words & sentences simply won’t stop coming to mind, and I must pour them out or be overwhelmed by their flood in my mind.

And it’s at this moment that I must stop and ask myself if I am truly being honest with myself. No one’s words are perfect the first time they come tumbling out on paper … every good writer knows they must be rearranged and refined and sanded into something picture-perfect – and yet, I was expecting perfection from myself on the first try, and disregarding any other type of attempt as failure at this trade I love so much. Is this why I shy away from the paper and the computer keyboard? Is this why I let so many ideas slip away down the drain – letting inspiration trot in and trot out again without inviting it to sit a spell and weave something beautiful and magical with my hands?

If these dozens of notebooks – spiral-bound and book-journal, large and small, college- and wide-ruled, sitting on shelves and in boxes – mean anything, I’d say that I might have just a small bent towards writing. These stories that I’ve been penciling away since age 7 may mean nothing but silliness to the outside world, but to me, every word is precious and reveals a bit of my personality and character from then until now. I can look back upon those pages and remember vividly each character imagined out and put to paper – all the things I saw that no one else did – the people that fueled my imagination and took me on journeys galore in my childhood games. They certainly are not best-sellers that you will see on the shelf tomorrow, but they were the training-grounds for this brain … this brain that just might one day be considered a writer’s brain (one of my deepest dreams).

You see, there is a wealth of information to be shared with the world … experiences I’ve personally had – experiences only dreamed about and imagined – experiences that others have had and shared with me … there are things to be described, feelings to be espoused, deep colors and possibilities waiting to be unveiled … all with a few keystrokes or pencil scribblings, so that others may feel what I feel and empathize with another human being on this planet we call Earth. And when I can hold it in no longer, that is when I know that it matters not what the rest of the world thinks. I must express myself through words or I shall explode with the energy waiting to come forth. Yes, it is an art that must be refined … but we all have to start somewhere, do we not? So I must begin now, by putting words to paper – all the time – no matter what, no matter where. I must allow my ideas to come tripping out and abide – give them a place to live and come alive … and I believe when I stop looking for originality before I even begin, it will come forth when I’m most completely unaware of it.

It is a gift to take paper and weave a tapestry with your pen … to bring colors and emotions to life and open up new doors and windows of thought … a gift that I have always longed for with all my heart. And perhaps those gifts that we long for the most are within us just waiting to be brought to bloom and surprise even ourselves with their capacity. It’s not something of my own that I can claim any credit for … it is God who brings the words to my mind and who spins such beautiful pictures in my head that I must share them with the world, no matter how pitiful I might feel they look in black & white. Somehow, someway I must be obedient to His call, and trust that He will use my stammering tongue in ways bigger than I could even imagine.

2 thoughts on “Stammering Tongue

  1. Dear Sister,

    The point in writing is not whether you sound as polished or more so than all the other writers. The point is that you are bestowing a gift upon your audience and giving them a glimpse into your inner being. You are sharing a special part of you with others and showing them that you love them because you consider them important enough to share your thoughts.

    You do indeed have a talent for writing, but even if someone does not have a talent for writing and yet they long to put their thoughts upon paper, then I say, “Let them write!”

    I absolutely love to read the writings of all my loved ones and wish they would all write more often. I don't go around thinking, “Well, this person doesn't express himself well in their writings, so I wish he wouldn't write anything anymore.”

    On the contrary! Written words, whether well-written or not, from my loved ones, draw me closer to them and fill me with joy that I have been allowed that special glimpse into their souls.

    Please, please don't worry about what others think of your writing or how you compare to other writers. You have such a wonderful way with words, but more importantly, your writing is an act of love to all those who know you.

    Like

  2. Thank you so much for your words of encouragement, Joy … they truly do mean so much to me.

    I agree – I love to read the writings of my loved ones and see life through their eyes, so you are right – all writing that comes from those we love, no matter how “eloquent” or not, is a gift, for we are brought closer to them and their views on life …

    I love you so much, my dear oldest sister!!

    Like

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