my 1am letter to writers

'plink, plink, plink'

I'm listening to raindrops slosh off the roof and land like tap dancers on the wood slats of our porch. Inside the house it's dark and sleepy. Jonathan is at work. The next time I see him will be when I mumble something about me being glad he's back while I shuffle on by to put Behr back to sleep. Poor buddy almost always wakes up daddy gets home.

I'm tired. I should be crawling in bed right now. But, I needed to write. I've learned to just go with the urge when it hits. That's why I keep a moleskin tucked in my diaper bag. That's why my notes app is chock full of quickly scribbled out, half-written sentences. You see, I'm a writer. If I'm not writing, I'm thinking about writing. I've been carrying around a book in my brain for years. It's a story about this girl who grew up a soldier in world with an ongoing underground war and there's this rebellion and a prophecy about a dark-haired child and---well, I'm not ready to share it yet (maybe ever?). I'm just saying that so you'll understand a bit of what's constantly going on inside my head. I'm always writing. That's why I'm up way past my mommy-bedtime, propping open my eyelids and coaxing words to life in the same way you would a wilted blossom. Easy does it now.

They say when you go to write something, you should be able to sum the main point in your mind with one sentence. If I could do that with this post I'd say something un-clever like, "I hope someone reads this and decides to not give up on writing like I want to."

I don't know, maybe you're a writer too.  Maybe that's why you're reading this. Can I tell you something? Don't stop writing. Your words, the way you carve them straight out of your heart into reality, it's beautiful. If you're anything like me, you're doubting yourself. Why am I doing this? Does anyone really care? I don't have as many followers as she does. I feel like I'm wasting my time. (Yes, these are all thoughts in my head right now. No I'm not proud.)

Am I allowed to just say, it doesn't matter? As in, it doesn't matter that someone else is getting more recognition than you. Your gift still matters. And since when did using our gift for the sole purpose of gaining an audience produce good work anyway? To be fair, the 'audience' should always be considered. If you're just writing for yourself than you're not going to reach other's hearts. The problem comes when you only write for others and what you think they will think. Let me just speak for myself here: I need to have a healthy mixture of boldly using my voice to write in a way that will relate to others, all while ultimately pointing them to Jesus. Does that make sense?

Anyway, I'm rambling. What I really wanted to do was encourage you. Maybe you don't have all the time in the world to write. Maybe you're tired too. Maybe you find yourself scratching out words in the backseat next to a rowdy toddler with a floorboard of crumbs at your feet (see picture above). If so, we're in this together and I'm here to tell you, "I see you. Your gift is important and needed. Keep breathing life into it. Keep cultivating those word-seeds in your heart until they bloom."

After all, I really don't think anyone ever looked around at Springtime and wished there were less flowers to enjoy.

So that's just it. In the simplest way I can say it, from one tired-aspiring-author-I-write-because-I-can't-help-it fellow sister to another: Don't stop writing. Please. Your gift is needed here.

As always, you can chat with me about this by leaving a comment on my latest Instagram post.

ps. If you're experiencing writer's block, allow me give you some links to a few songs that always get my creative juices bubbling. Yes, they're all soundtracks. I can't listen to words being sung while I'm trying to write out words at the same time. It freezes up my brain. 

>>This song first--you have to take time to listen to the whole thing. If your heart isn't pounding by the end, you must be dead.

>> This song which makes my insides weep. True story, I once wrote a death scene for one of my characters with this one. It's that good.

>>This song that will simultaneously make you cry and ache with happiness. No, I'm not overreacting. (please, please tell me you've seen this movie. If so, you better tell me).

>> This old song which you either never head or forgot about. It's the one I listen to when I want to know what Summer sounds like. Just wait 'til you get about a minute into it....

>>This song which is what I feel like it will feel when we finally get to Heaven. No lie, I'm completely serious. Can you imagine the relief? And laughing for joy with Jesus? Listen to the song in that context and tell me it doesn't make you think of that. And now I'm crying tears of happiness.