The birth of a writer

Post by Crystal Lee Pash for the Kind Kindred series.


photo courtesy of HowToStartABlogOnline

I am a writer. Or at least, that’s what I’m telling myself and anyone who will listen to me these days.

I am a writer. And yet, I am sitting here unsure how to find that place of inspiration that will magically pluck something meaningful and magical out of the ether and transform it into a post that will blow your minds, soothe your hearts, or at least bring you a smile in what is my very first guest blog post.

I am terrified. Now that I’ve admitted that, I can relax a little. Very little, but it’s a start…

For the bulk of my life; I have written for love. Sometimes about love, but that’s another subject…

I have written simply for the love of the written words, the magic they contain, and their ability to transport, propel, and wrap themselves around us.

I have written in pain, from delight, out of confusion, and with anger. I have written for solace, for comfort, as an escape, in release, for fantasy, for fury, and for longing.

It has been my addiction, my secret, my shame, my suffering, my friend, and my salvation.

I have lived, loved, lied, lost, and lamented within the pages of many a well-worn notebook relegated to dusty boxes in the back of my closet.

Why?

Fear.

Of not being enough. Of not being good enough. Of not having or being a voice to reckon with. Of not having a message worth telling. Of being rejected and dismissed. Of watching my love go up in flames. Or, of being recognized and discovered and then, never measuring up.

I spent so much time writing in secret, hiding my voice and denying my passion that I wasn’t sure there was anything more of it for me.

Life has a funny way of calling us out sometimes. Of challenging us to be more, to do more.

This is my story.

Last summer, I spent a weekend with one of my dearest friends. Over the years, we’ve shared many a letter, emails, and Facebook messages and as such, I’ve written countless things to her and she is well aware of my writing love.

During our visit, she made a small request- that I share some written work from my latest notebook with her. No one ever reads my work. For me, it was completely out of the question. Impossible.

She persisted. Finally with much coaxing and tons of encouragement, I agreed to let her read a little of my work.

That would simply not do. She had a bigger request. She wanted me to sit down on a stool much in the same way you would do for an open mic poetry or songwriting event and read my work to her!

Was she out of her mind?? Did she think I was??

There was no way on earth I was about to do that. I adamantly refused. I will skydive but not this. I don’t mind talking but speaking in public is not my thing, even in a public of one when I am the sole intended center of attention. I’d rather extract teeth. Then to top it was the idea that I would then read out loud something I wrote. Something that came from the very depths and heart of who I am…

I visibly recoiled from the idea. For me that is akin to expecting an animal to willingly bear its most vulnerable soft spot in the face of imminent danger.

NOT happening. Forget it.

I had countless reasons and excuses. Good ones too. Truth be told though, it all came down to fear.

The reality is that it wasn’t the face of danger at all. It was my dearest friend asking me to share. To open up and be vulnerable in a way I simply have been too afraid to do.

With her assurance that she wouldn’t hiss or boo me right off my stool, I finally agreed. I was petrified. How did I let her talk me into this? Why?? I figured I’d get through one thing and she’d realize how bad it was and just how horrible I sounded and then I’d be off the hook.

I sat down, fingers trembling as I turned the pages and I tried to decide what to read. My voice quivered. I rushed through the lines, not giving proper utterance, cadence, or respect for the words or their meanings. I gave plenty of qualifiers, explanations and excuses for why the work was the way it was and left it clear that none of it was truly finished in hopes that the criticism when it came would have less sting.

She was incredibly and unbelievably receptive to my work. She did however tell me to stop qualifying/excusing everything and just let it be what it was.

Somewhere near the end of my reading, something truly remarkable happened. I began to smile. Breathe. Relax a little.

I began to read from the heart and then, when my voice cracked; it wasn’t due to nerves or fear or stress. It was from heart-felt emotion. Honesty. Vulnerability. Connection. Being truly heard. Being at one with my words, my heart, and my voice.

I felt a weight lift. It was amazing.

I won’t tell you that the fear suddenly died or that I stepped into the glorious sunlight of life as a writer. I suppose I could tell you that, but it would be a lie.

The fear didn’t die. I doubt it ever will. It did subside a little though.

I finally claimed, finally owned that part of me I spent so many years denying and dishonouring. I can say out loud, ‘Yes, I am a writer.’

My friend told me later that I gave her a great gift in that moment I honoured her requests. I can’t speak for that but I can tell you that those requests turned out to be life changing for me. For that, I am convinced I received the greater gift.

As I said, life has a funny way of calling us out. And it keeps calling.

Three months after my first terrifying moment sitting on that stool on the ‘stage’ that was my living room, I stepped onto a slightly bigger stage.

I launched my own blog. Once again, I was petrified. I had no idea what I was doing or how to do it. It has been a stiff learning curve all the way. But I did it. I am doing it. I’ve begun sharing my words with a larger audience, giving and sharing my heart, my soul, my voice and my passion in every post.

Now, some months later, I am sitting here doing my very first guest post. And yes, I am still terrified. In fact, I’ve considered contacting Lara several times and offering up my lame, “I’m sorry, I can’t do it.” Lame for me, because I know now that I can do it. It’s just fear trying to stop me.

Fear really likes it when we play small. When we dim the light inside us. It feeds power to the fear, gives it more control. Let’s face it, we can all get a little heady when we taste a little power, right? And fear is a hungry beast.

I am more than my fear. I won’t say I’m not my fear because that would deny part of who I am. I am my fear, sometimes. And that’s okay. I’m also bold and brave and crazy, other times. It’s just one part of who I am. Right now, fear is taking a back seat as I work.

So here I am. Out here. With you. Sharing. Being vulnerable and open and telling you how scared I am to be here but showing up anyway. That I’m a bit afraid I may have little to say that you’ll find helpful or relevant. That I’ll get a big fat ‘reject’ on my post. It may happen. I know that.

What I have learned about fear is this:: When you walk beyond your present fear line, you get bigger. Your world expands and your comfort zone grows. You find a sense of liberation and a shot of confidence I cannot describe. You simply have to experience it for yourself. For a few brief moments, you are fearless.

It doesn’t have to be an earth shattering step. Mine wasn’t. And yet, it was. An audience of one can change your entire life, even if only in how you feel and what you believe is possible.

For a few moments, the hold that fear has on you softens. You can bask in the connection with your own truth and the beauty of who you truly are when you live in the fullness of your heart.

When life calls you out, be ready…and willing…

If I’d known what that feeling was truly like; I’d have sat on that stool a long, long time ago! 😉

 

Crystal combines her loves of writing, photography and a passion for connection into a strong desire to help others connect with their own hearts and the magic within. Pursuing and expecting to find the best in life, Crystal passionately embraces her world. She is personally and creatively moved by life’s beauty and brokenness and draws upon her own experiences as she reaches out with hope, help, and love. Her blog, My Crystal Vision can be found HERE.

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