09 November 2006

Writer's Block

I'm sitting here staring at my computer screen typing a sentence, then deleting that sentence.  Then I type two or maybe three sentences, and I also delete them.  I need something to write about.  Something fiction.  Something uplifting.  Something encouraging to the stay-at-home, homeschooling mom.  You would think that I would be an expert on this, but I'm not.  The thing is that I haven't written fiction since I was in high school.  I have several beginnings of stories that seem to go nowhere. 

Why am I doing this?  My hope is to enter a writing contest.  I have until December 15th to submit my entry.  I know that God is prodding me to use my writing skills, but actually getting myself to do it is challenging and intimidating to say the least.

Our homeschool co-op knows that I am a writer.  One of the other moms actually brought me a book that lists thousands of publishers and tells me what I need to do to get published.  I don't know if I'm actually any good at writing.  I don't know if I actually  have any kind of insight that would be worthy of the page.  Writing is so deeply personal that it truly is a massive step to let others see, hear, and, in a sense, feel my thoughts and feelings.

All this pressure is leading me to one thing:  writer's block.  I once wrote a fictitious story about writer's block.  I can't remember the details of the story.  I was in junior high school, and I was writing as a part of my Creative Writing project for 4-H.  It was far from my best effort.  In other years I had pieces of writing win the county award and go on to the state fair, but this mediocre piece of writing all about writer's block won an honorable mention ribbon at the county competition.  Not too bad considering that I was suffering from a rather lengthy bout of writer's block.

The good news is that I will be spending some time alone this weekend.  My parents are going away for the weekend, and I am taking a personal spiritual retreat to their house.  I'll spend a little time with a friend and a little time with my sister, but most of all, I'll be spending a lot of time with God with no interruptions.  I've wanted to do something like this for years, but it's hard to get away when you are a mom to young children.  It's difficult to justify the get-a-way, and even more difficult to actually make it happen.

I have been blessed with this opportunity, and I still have fears running through my head.  Am I abandoning my kids and husband for the weekend?  Can they really get along without me for two days?  What will other moms think of me?  Am I being selfish?

I don't have the answers to those questions, but I do know that a mommy has to keep herself healthy spiritually above all else.  That's what this weekend is going to be about.  Maybe while I'm away, God will give me some divine inspiration and heal me of this treacherous writer's block.  I'm certain He'll give me an idea when the time is right.

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