• Laura

Write Anyway

Sometimes, words start swirling in my head, feelings and emotions that beg to get down on paper. I stop where I am, open the Notes app on my phone, and start typing. On those days, I have no choice. The words inside me have to be put into writing.

Other days, I’m not sure what to write. I have no clear direction, no clear purpose when I sit down in front of my computer. Sometimes the words make it onto the page, only to be deleted later, edited out.

I write anyway.

Sometimes my writing is only for me to read, to help me organize the chaos in my head. Sometimes I want to share it with others; there is something I hope to communicate or an event I need to process. Sometimes the words flow easily, and sometimes I struggle to string them all together. Some days, I hit the backspace key more than I type actual coherent sentences.

I write anyway.

I don’t have time. Chasing after my children, washing and folding and putting away the never ending laundry, and attempting to keep everyone fed without allowing the kitchen to become a complete disaster zone keeps me busy. Would my time be better spent on the never ending project of trying to declutter our house? Should I be spending more time on dusting and mopping now that I'm a stay at home mom?

I write anyway.

My skills are rusty. I don’t have anything important to say. There are so many other, better, writers out there. The world is already full of bloggers. Am I really adding anything to the internet when I press publish on a blog post? Is the vulnerability that writing requires worth it?

I write anyway.

When I was a little girl, I wanted to be an author when I grew up. I surrounded myself with books, with stacks of Nancy Drew novels and the Chronicles of Narnia, the adventures of Laura Ingalls Wilder and Anne of Green Gables, and all the library books I could carry. I wrote stories and plays in notebooks and was thrilled when a homework assignment involved creative writing.

In high school, I wrote for the school newspaper. I remember the thrill of seeing my name by an article, right there in black and white. I loved the idea of chasing a story and seeing it in print, reading and editing the words of others, painstakingly laying out the paper by cutting out articles and advertisements and rubber cementing them to the layout pages.

When I got to college, I turned to journaling as a way to get my words on paper. I loved standing in a bookstore, in front of the journal section, picking a pretty new book with blank pages just waiting to be filled. I always started with a favorite pen and my best handwriting, but as I worked my way through the journal, my words would pour out in markers and colorful pens, cursive and print mixing together, some barely legible and some worthy of a penmanship award. After college, I eventually stopped journaling as I started to find other creative outlets. I collected a mass of canvases and paintbrushes, watercolors and acrylic paints, fabric and vinyl, ribbons and glitter as I tried new ways to fill the need to create. I was drawn back to writing here and there, starting blogs only to quickly abandon them, because I could never quite find my voice.

New jobs, new homes, marriage, babies. The years went by, and finally I couldn’t ignore it anymore. I needed to write. Regardless of if anyone would read it or like it or share it or care. The words inside me needed to be written down. I couldn’t keep them inside anymore.

Writing requires you to show your soul. For years, I started and abandoned blogs, because I wasn’t ready to put my soul on display for anyone who might happen onto my little corner of the internet. Writing requires me to put myself out there, pieces of my soul, available for anyone to read and judge and comment on. It is terrifying.

I write anyway.

Will I ever achieve my little girl dreams of being a published author? Who knows what the future holds? Regardless, at my core I am a writer.

And so, I write anyway.

This post was written as part of a blog hop with Exhale—an online community of women pursuing creativity alongside motherhood, led by the writing team behind Coffee + Crumbs. Click here to read the next post in this series "Write Anyway."

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