What I didn’t write last week will never be written because time marches on and my mind is determined to keep pace and current. But I know in the past I have written some amazing things when I didn’t interfere too much—amazing even to me because some of what I have written was not planned out, not mulled over, not intellectualized to death.
So I am writing intentionally . . . but I must not write about what has already been written. I must write out of the storehouse of those personal experiences and from fresh revelation that is presented to me. I will write as I learn to let my logical, critical, self fade into the background and then to welcome my free creative self to come forward.
It’s amazing how my creativity can be stirred up just by getting out my file of quotes. Here’s one that lights my way forward as I write:
The two most engaging powers of an author are
to make new things familiar
and familiar things new.
—Dr. Samuel Johnson
When the surge to write hits me, it feels like the tide—rolling in but not staying very long before it recedes. If I can catch it coming in, then I can ride it like a surfer would—lifted higher on a wave or two—higher than I could have imagined going on my own and then moving along faster than I wanted to go. But if I linger, finding other things to do, I miss it and am left poised, fingers on the keys to my laptop, waiting.
If it isn’t the tide that takes me, it is the depths of the ocean. Sometimes it feels like the ocean is inside me—deep places, big places, even secret places where childhood memories, ideas, dreams, quotes, random thoughts, snatches of past research, first lines from books, and so much more seem to drift around, silently moving from here to there by forces completely unseeable. I have tried to make sense of my ocean clutter, and I have aspirations of encircling bits of it with a big net, much like fishermen do to catch bait used to catch bigger fish.
So I needed a change of mind about my ocean clutter. I got quiet . . . learned to watch . . . and wait . . . and listen . . . and then accepted and embraced it enough to create something akin to pure gold—something new.
Then I wrote The Impostor Affect: A Closer Look by a Classic Case (2017).
My secret longing was that once I got my story of being an impostor “out there,” I would be free of it. For I had never been free, not really. And because of the way my early life unfolded, I struggled with who I was. What was I to become when the Lord formed me in my mother’s womb? I have come to know that He created me with a personality, unique and specific. He gifted me with talents and aptitudes. He had a husband for me somewhere who would have loved and cared for me like He loves and cared for the church. But I didn’t know all that when I began making decisions that would forever alter my path. But my story, my experiences, are reaching those who have also suffered from the impostor phenomenon, and I am hearing from them. Their words are so encouraging, so rewarding, so comforting, and they keep me writing.