September 21, 2015

The Reluctant Author ... by Jocelyn Faire

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What would you have to write about?
I wanted to excuse Mother's comments to her short term memory loss, her dementia, but the words stung. They returned to feed my doubts. What did I have to write about?
But I knew. I knew I had to write.
I came to writing later in life. I recall being a speaker earlier on, the one asked to give bridal and baby shower talks in church. My first official speech had been as a festival entry in the sixth grade, where my nerves twisted the lines. I said Eskimos eat when they are tired, and sleep when they are hungry. Obviously I had to write my speeches, but the focus was always on the presentation, more than on the writing. Many times I was told I had a way with words.
And then ten years ago the clear directive came:
Some day you will have to share your story.
That instruction came from the higher voice. While Isaiah 66:2 says: But there is something I'm looking for: a person simple and plain, reverently responsive to what I say. (The Message) Initially I was not very responsive to the writing directive, I was busy in survival mode. And when I considered how to respond to the call, I spent time bargaining with God. He and I wrestled through issues of obedience following disappointment.  Soft words of encouragement came through scripture, a poem, a song or people's affirmation. Knowing that if I was going to do something, I wanted to do it well, I began taking writing courses. The courses taught that writing was a craft that could be learned, and improved with practice. As with most early writers, I feared the vulnerability. My story was very personal, and I felt as though I was standing naked before a crowd, but I realized I had to be authentic. There was no point to plastic words. I felt called to write what I wished had been there for me in my time, the words of struggle I needed to hear as I traveled the grief journey. Brene Brown taught me that vulnerability was a strength, not a weakness. 
*First and foremost I knew I was writing to an audience of one.
My published sister recommended to have my work professionally edited. I felt I could not pay for the second round of edits, and let that be known to the chief editor. But when I spoke to the woman working on my manuscript; she confirmed my writing with her words: “This is a story that needs to be told, I would like to help you bring it to completion, without further charge.” Her final comments were: "I want you to know, I share the same faith background as you." I had randomly selected an editing group in Calgary through a Google search and God confirmed it with a believing editor. Small and large miracles spurred me along the writing way. Unbiased and unsolicited words from editing mentors, course instructors spurred me on. 
I've included a small selection of verses, from Isaiah (The Message) that continue to encourage me along the way:

Is 43 “But you are my witnesses ... You're my hand-picked servant, So that you'll come to know and trust me, understand both that I am and who I am.”

Is 48:(?7) You have all this evidence confirmed by your own eyes and ears. Shouldn't you be talking about it?
Is 49: (2) He gave me speech that would cut and penetrate. He kept his hand on me to protect me. ... “You're my dear servant, Israel, through whom I'll shine.” (4)
(7&8)   ... The Holy of Israel, who has chosen you .... I form you and use you to help reconnect the people with me. ...(13) He has tenderly nursed his beaten-up, beaten-down people.  
My mother has read my book, and in her better moments of clarity she approves.

Jocelyn is the author of Who is Talking Out of My Head, Grief as an Out of Body Experience.
She blogs about Hope in the Hard Places at: 


  1. "He and I wrestled through issues of obedience following disappointment." It's encouraging to know that the Lord has had to work this hard with other writers as well. My, but he has his work cut out for him. First he carries us through living the story we're to write, then he has to gently bring us to writing it! I find that with many of our Inscribe writers - the lived story has to be told. Only then can we share the comfort God gave us with those who need it now. I love that the Lord gave you the needed affirmation to bring your story to fruition! God is good!

    1. Isn't that the way, He helps us live through the story we are to write-an interesting truth. Yes, that is what helps write with authenticity.

  2. Anonymous4:38 am GMT-7

    Beautiful encouraging scripture verses. May God continue to lead you in His way.

  3. Thanks for sharing - and for your obedience

  4. Beautiful post Jocelyn. I have never read Isaiah 66:2 in The Message but find encouragement in these words--and in the quote from Maya Angelou. Don't you love how God orchestrates life? The way He gave you exactly the right editor for your writing? I love how He shows up in our lives all the time. Your post is an encouragement to me to keep on writing.

  5. I got your book on Kindle, Jocelyn. What a powerful, horrific story to live through. Such courage to write about it. I'm learning much as I wade through your grief with you. God bless.

  6. Jocelyn,
    Thank you for sharing your path with God. Thank you for listening to the call and learning the craft of writing and working until it was completed. Well done.

  7. I appreciate what you are saying, Jocelyn, about using authentic words rather than plastic words. From reading your blog and a few blogs on your own blogsite, I would say you ". . . write so that people hear it and (what you write) slides through the brain and goes straight to the heart."

    As for gaining strength through weakness, we can personally express what Paul says in 2 Corinthians 12: 8-10. Paul let's us know that, like most people, we ask to be exempted from weaknesses, persecutions, insults, hardships, and difficulties in general. To this, the Lord responds, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Paul concludes this discussion with, "For when I am weak, then I am strong." May we use God's strength in our writing and in our daily lives.


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