Our writing prompt for this month asks, “Can you think of a time in your writing life when you felt that you were stripped bare, but in the end it clearly was an opportunity to sprout new leaves?” I’ve been thinking that prompt through as I write this post.
As I write this post I reach back to part of my personality as a way of answering the prompt. It is a part of me lacking confidence and more than willing to hide from the world. I guess as a more introverted person I would rather not be in the limelight and go about my life quietly.
When I was a boy I was content not to be noticed by other people. Sometimes when at school I would be bullied by more outgoing extroverted type kids. We might call them bullies today. I had to learn to stand up for myself. I also learned to hang out only with people I came to trust. It was a slow and sometimes painful transition from my old way of trying to be invisible to recognizing I mattered.
My writing life has mirrored my personality for most of my life. I spent years as a closet writer. I kept my words to myself. I knew they would be safe with me from the mocking of others. I didn’t think anyone would care about what my words wanted to say.
A few years ago I realized my words would benefit from making their way into the world. I wanted them to grow and know they mattered as well. Resulting from a personal experience with grief I reached out to a Facebook group. Does that sound strange to you dear readers? This Facebook group helped me gain confidence as a writer. The name of the group is Grieving Grandparents of Angels of Any Age.
I post on Grieving Grandparents of Angels of Any Age on a regular basis. The group has 478 members and the discussions are often emotional and heart breaking. I was at a point where I believed I needed a breakthrough in my writing. I was beginning to wonder if I could do more with my writing. I asked myself questions like, “What difference do I make in the lives of people through my writing?” I was asking if my writing mattered.
One day as I looked over the Facebook page I received a brief message from a group member. She wrote something that she wanted to share with me. She noted, "Though we know each other only online, your kind words and wisdom were the very first that put me on the path to peace and transcendence 3 years ago after we lost our 3 year old grandson." The words of that brief message were humbling to me and caused me to look at my writing from the eyes of someone else.
The message from a grieving grandmother motivated me to “sprout new leaves” during a time in my writing where my soul was laid bare. Since that time of reawakening I have also been encouraged by a number of our Inscribe family to continue writing. The most recent sign of new leaves is the opportunity to contribute to a book with other authors. God has opened doors for my words to journey through.
My timidity as a person and writer have both known times of being stripped bare. I now venture on with confidence and assurance that my writing matters. Thank you to InScribe for being such an encouragement to me as a man and as a writer.