Monday, February 25, 2008

Writer's Block

November was a long time ago...and just about every day between my last blog post and this very minute, I think about all that I could write. But I don't do it. I find other "more important" or "necessary" things to do, or convince myself that what I really want to write about is too intimate or vulnerable to be posted on a website that is accessible to anyone who happens to stumble across it. But then I do not write at all. And I feel the hole that widens because I have not.

I had the extraordinary opportunity to go on a 5-day (mostly) silent retreat at a wonderful retreat center on the Peninsula, not too far from here, in January. Most of those 5 days, I talked for only 1 hour a day. For one hour each day, I met with a spiritual director. I was most nervous about that particular part of the retreat - could I really, after all, talk to a perfect stranger about my life? Would I honestly be capable of revealing myself to her? Turns out, God's hand was all over the whole experience. My spiritual director was a gift straight from the heart of God for me that week. We talked about many things, one of which was my love for writing and my desire to write more, to find time and make space for regular writing in my life. She had read some of what I had written in my application for the retreat time, and she had me write some that week as well. And she told me that for me not to write was a sin - a word she used rarely. I had a gift, she said, and God intended for me to use it.

Some days I think she's right and I feel the blessing of words that flow and express heart and soul and mind and glimpses of the holy -- other days I'm certain I dreamed the whole thing because how could anything I say be worth reading? No matter what end of that internal argument I inhabit at any given moment, I know that at the heart of my writer's block is fear: fear of vulnerability, fear of sounding stupid, fear of not having anything worth saying after all.

So here's my prayer for tonight, that confronting my fear of vulnerability out here in the wide open world will push through this writer's block, even a little.

2 comments:

Elane said...

Some random thoughts:

"If I cannot be myself in what I write, then the whole is nothing but lies and humbug."

H. Ibsen

"One had the right to write because other people needed news of the inner world, and if they went too long without such news they would go mad with the chaos of their lives."

A. Miller

Writing is vulnerable. As are living and loving. One has to decide to risk all to gain some.

As with following you know who.

Heather Dillashaw said...

Thanks...it all feels a little like learning to be naked, you know? Which is often exactly what it feels like to me to surrender my control and follow...