If you were to show up at my house right now, you would find me in the cluttered, messy and dusty basement. I came down here and cleaned off my writing desk. I’m pretty sure that it’s been at least a year since I sat here! The shelves are covered in a thick layer of dust and there are cobwebs at me feet. Ugh. Everything in me wants to skip writing and make it shine. I know that would distract me and I’d become overly obsessed with making my space beautiful. Then I would run out of time to use it. So, here is the plan. I’m going to write for 45 minutes, then clean for 15. Let’s see how that goes.
You may be wondering what the sudden interest in my writing area is. Well, I am joining a critique group, and the first meeting is on Monday. It’s been over ten years since I have been in a group. Basically, I have nothing to bring to the table on Monday. I have some old manuscripts and I have a play that I wrote a few years back, but there is nothing new.
I’ll let you in on my deepest writing fear right now. Since it has been so long, I am afraid that my imagination has shriveled up. I’m afraid that I’ve become a grumpy, tired, unimaginative, middle-aged lady, and that the dust and cobwebs on the right side of my brain make this desk that I’m sitting at look immaculate. I’m hoping that writing is like riding a bike and that with a little practice, I’ll get my balance, those gears will get turning and I’ll be cruising whimsically along before I know it.
The reason that I am committing to pursue writing once again is because I feel like God is asking me to. I gave it up all of those years ago in order to give myself to raising my children. I don’t regret that one bit, and I know it was the right thing. However, in recent months as I have sat in prayer, I have felt the Lord calling me to write again. I don’t think I have great talent. I don’t like exposing my inner thoughts to people. For me, to write words that other people will read brings a certain gripping, twisting anguish. However, not to write also brings an anguish, like that of trying to hide a flame under your shirt.
I love this quote by Madeleine L’Engle.
The artist is a servant who is willing to be a birth-giver. In a very real sense the artist (male or female) should be like Mary, who, when the angel told her that she was to bear the Messiah, was obedient to the command. Obedience is an unpopular word nowadays, but the artist must be obedient to the work, whether it be a symphony, a painting, or a story for a small child. I believe that each work of art, whether it is a work of great genius or something very small, comes to the artist and says ‘Here I am. Enflesh me. Give birth to me.’ And the artist either says ‘My soul doth magnify the Lord’ and willingly becomes the bearer of the work, or refuses;
That quote makes me cry every time I read it! There is some work inside of me that may never be born if I don’t obey and give it life.
This is my prayer:
Oh Lord, My heart is willing. I was made by you and for you. Who am I to tell you what I can and cannot do for you? I belong to you. Use me however you choose. Be glorified through the works of my hands. ~Amen
I’m going to give some love to my basement now. Maybe Monday’s work will come to me as I sweep away the cobwebs.
Have a lovely weekend!