September 24, 2009

Frozen Thoughts by Brenda Leyland

When it comes to writing something that's been assigned or has a more formal tone, my thoughts start to freeze like icicles on a mid-winter day.

Yet, I can sit down and dash off a note to a friend, no problem. Letters to friends and my own blog posts have a personal, conversational style -- I feel free to write what comes up from my heart.

But, when it comes time for me to write here on this writers' blog, every idea for a possible post seems to freeze. Nothing flows.

I asked myself some questions. Why do I feel this way? Why do wonderful encouragements flow so easily from my heart to my pen in letters and notes? Why is it easier to express myself on my blogs or in e-mails, but more difficult to craft a more formal article, e.g. an article for a writer's blog? Or an article in a magazine like FellowScript.

In my pondering, two reasons are uncovered....

One. I start to feel more tense when I think about writing something that's on assignment, whereas I feel relaxed when I write to friends either personally or on my blog. An article for a magazine or a writers' blog needs to be more structured, maybe a little more academic. Which I now recognize, makes me feel tense, a little nervous. Perhaps because I now feel there's some expectation for something I might not be able to deliver. That I 'should' write to purposely teach and encourage the reader or to write something with a more lofty and noble purpose. We all know what 'should' makes us do -- it cuts off the spontaneity and our creative right brain shuts down and goes into hiding.

Two. Childhood negative writing experiences still hold sway after all these years. As I write, I suddenly I see myself sitting in a school room filled with squirming classmates where we're told to get out a sheet of paper, we're going to write an essay. I intensely disliked writing essays.

First, they were boring, yes, don't forget b-o-r-i-n-g, because I was seldom interested in any of the topics available for discussion. There was the list... now choose something that I had little knowledge of and no heart for it. Blech!

Second, essay writing in school was always a nervous time for me. I could never figure out what I wanted to say; my classmates' pencils were scribbling across lined pages and there I would be still chewing my pencil eraser, panicking on the inside because time was running out and the teacher will call me up to read my piece and my page will still be blank. I felt stupid. And, on top of that, as I sat there with a blank slate in my head, I was well aware of the fact that there would be Mrs. Teacher grading this with her sharpened red pencil to tell me everything I did wrong.

No wonder my thoughts still freeze. I can feel the angst as I type. It would seem that my unconscious memories, and more importantly, old beliefs attached to those school writing experiences have me sitting here 'trembling'... what will Mr. or Miss Reader have to say about this little posting? Will it bring a good response? Or will there be a 'sniff' at the impertinence of said writer?

Well then... the bottom line of this little online pondering is that if we are to thaw frozen thoughts so we can begin writing with more ease and flow, we need to uncover what it is that is causing the flash-freezing in the first place.  For me, operating under the fears and beliefs of old school days has held me back. But, thankfully, we don't need to stay there.

I'm very grateful for today's blog assignment. Time for renewing the mind and moving forward.

Post rewritten February 2015


  1. But Brenda, look at the lovely post that came as a result of your inability to post! Lovely; real; honest. "When you write from the heart you will touch other hearts!" One great piece of advice I received from an editor ever so long ago. Joy!

  2. Yes, Glynis, that's what I'm starting to realize!! Thank you so much, m'dear! You have a gift for saying something that speaks deeply to the heart and encourages it!

    So I too, shall take that bit of sound advice and let it also guide my scribblings!

  3. Hi Brenda, thanks for being honest. I am the scribe that has no difficulty penning a 'formal' article but long for the ability, like you have, to gush with heart-felt and honest emotions. I LOVE reading your blogs! So you see, God has gifted us each uniquely. Keep on writing, please! And press on in your journey to Jesus.

  4. Hey Pam, thanks soooo for your take on this!! You made my day, because you confirm once more that we should just relax and enjoy the way we've been wired by Him.

    So as I enjoy your style, and you mine, we'll each touch the people He knew we would by being ourselves and doing what we do best. And that's for all of us!

  5. Oops...should have proofed that last comment. It should say 'thanks so much for your...'

  6. I never thought of things this way before. Thanks, Brenda. This was insightful.


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