I started writing when I was seven. Basically as soon as I could physically script letters onto wide-ruled notebook paper, I was constructing stories. (My mother will tell you that my story-telling started much sooner- the moment that I developed the ability to string words together verbally and that I would wear her out by telling her one grand tale after another with barely a breath in between.) When my story-telling transitioned to paper, I would run to her enthusiastically after completing each new narrative, but would refuse her the right to read it for herself, insisting that I read it aloud to her.
As I grew older I continued to write and added numerous friends to my “audience,” remaining convinced that they would not, could not, understand my tone if I did not personally read it to them. So I developed the habit of reading my work to everyone with whom I chose to share it. Seldom did anyone’s eyes ever physically graze the pages of my poetry, short stories or the like.
In high school, I was a journalism student at a local art school. During our story board meetings, I avoided most of the hard news in favor of feature or op-ed assignments. As I completed each article, I could not wait to share it with my class. Rather than letting them read my piece for themselves in the monthly school newspaper, I would often climb up onto one of our long rectangular classroom tables and read my assignment aloud to everyone.
I was 16 and not-at-all too insecure to put myself out there. Something happened though as I “grew up”. Maturity brought with it a sense of guardedness. I became aware that each of us is under constant scrutiny and I had the sense to taper my behavior. As time progressed, I largely stopped sharing things that I wrote. While I continued sporadic writing, no one beyond my husband, my mom, or sister-in-law were privy to my words. Thus, I retreated as a writer into a safe, judgement-free zone.
So that brings me to where I am today. I’ve come to wonder: if residing in such judgment-free zones means shelving one of my greatest God-given passions, then is it really worth the cost? Short answer: not anymore.
So this is me, no longer hiding my words safely within the cocoon of my computer’s hard drive. This blog lives as a digital expression of me standing on the table.
“I have not hidden Your righteousness within my heart; I have spoke of Your faithfulness and Your salvation; I have not concealed Your lovingkindness and Your truth from the great congregation.” Psalm 40:10 New American Standard Bible