Today marks the first post of a series I have been wanting to do for a very long time, but was afraid to begin. It’s just not something I’ve done before. And doing new things is always scary.
But I feel very passionate about the journey of finding your voice. Because I actually wrote my first book Finding Spiritual Whitespace: Awakening Your Soul to Rest while under extreme duress — at a time in my life I would have NEVER chosen to write a book. Panic attacks, insomnia, anxiety did not stop for over a year. I thought I was doomed to fail.
I was only able to write it because I found my voice with you, in our Faith Barista community.
So, out of gratefulness for you, I want share all the things I’ve learned on this long and hard-fought journey to find my voice. To be the real me.
Before I share my first Finding Your Voice Tip, I want to show you a video. While I was hiking one morning around new year day, I stopped two passer-bying strangers to ask them if they journal and why they did or didn’t. Then, VERY SPONTANEOUSLY, unprompted, the topic about why writing is scary surfaced.
Click here to watch my unscripted conversation. It’s fascinating and worth the watch, friends! I hope it inspires you to think about why it is you write or don’t write…
I want to share these Finding Your Voice posts because I whole-heartedly believe the encouragement I received to find my voice will speak into your life and your journey with God.
Because what I learned about getting unstuck with writing my book applies to our journey in life with God.
Because finding your voice is not just about writing.
Because finding your voice is something we all long for.
Finding your voice is about being who God created you to be.
Finding your voice is about living your story. As is.
And discovering what God may be saying to you in the moment.
Not to anyone else.
The writing tips I’ll be serving up aren’t about the nuts and bolts on the craft of writing. There’s lots of amazing experts already on those topics.
I’ll be serving up spiritual encouragement to find your voice through writing with God. I’ll give a soulful tip & a Bible verse that inspired the tip.
Although the tips may be about writing, you’ll find that they apply to however you express God’s voice in you — whether it be through drawing, painting, photography, dancing, music, crafting, baking, decorating or any creative expression.
Finding Your Voice Tips inspire you to be you.
Why is writing scary? A FASCINATING Conversation!
This is a hard thing — finding your voice. It’s scary — not just for someone who has PTSD.
Writing is scary for everyone.
Today’s Finding Your Voice Tip was inspired by the girls I met on a hiking trail one morning.
Writing is scary because it is organic. It’s live.
You can’t control what comes out.
Maybe we get stuck because we’re afraid of what would come out, if we stopped to let our pens flow or fingers type.
It’s much easier to just get things done and be disengaged with our heart.
But, this is the thing, God speaks to us in our hearts. And that’s we need to go, if we want to find our voice.
When you feel stuck, afraid to write,
here is one thing I do to finding my voice.
Finding Your Voice Writing Tip #1
A Heart’s Roadmap
I stumbled on whole-hearted writing by accident.
During my journey through PTSD, all I could do was confide in you about the journey I was on, unguarded. You didn’t leave. Instead, you shared your stories. And stayed.
For one year, there was NO book. No words. Nothing. The book contract was on pause indefinitely and I did not know if eventually the publisher would just terminate it and say, “We’re sorry this is happening to you, but we wish you the best and our prayers are with you.”
If you’ve ever dealt with anxiety, depression, grief, heartbreak, or anything that sidelines you from everyday life, you understand that there is no timetable for recovery, healing or getting over it.
The heart has its own roadmap and we must be a willing pilgrim on that journey if we are to travel through it.
And so, there I was in limbo.
Except once a month, I’d crawl over to my keyboard, panic-attack riddled, shaking, heart pounding, I would write to tell you what was happening to me.
I would confide in the unexpected and disorienting journey I was on. It would literally take me a month to write those posts. Because I’d write a little and stop. I’d hit a fog of blank nothingness. my fingers would grow cold. And I’d start having trouble breathing while sitting there, my brain and heart numb.
And this is the amazing thing. I found I could only write if I simply confided in the unexpected journey I was on. As is.
What came out was not what I wanted to share if I had any choice in the matter. If I tried to write my in my old “Faith Barista blogger” voice, I would have panic attacks and get so scared and upset (even though I didn’t know why). I literally would have nothing to say.
But, if I just wrote what was happening to me — from my journey as is — the words would come. Not a lot. And not even in the voice that I would choose.
Then one day, words started unexpectedly flowing and Finding Spiritual Whitespace was birthed.
I never would’ve guessed that the book that garnered Publisher’s Weekly’s coveted starred review and a PW author profile, selected as one of the Best Books for Christian Women in 2014 — would be written this way. By confiding.
It’s scary to write, but it doesn’t mean it isn’t beautiful or worthy.
In fact, when it’s scary, you’re standing closer than you ever have before on sacred ground: your heart.
Write. Hit publish. As is.
Did you enjoy today’s post? I’d love to know if this series speaks to your heart.
Share any thoughts or questions.
Pull up a chair. Click to comment. You know I love to hear your words.
Join our #BelovedBrews Thursday Linkup
This is the community where I found my voice.
Write as the Beloved. Be You.
a heartfelt thank you for everyone who used the new Beloved Brews Badge to link up Your One Words for 2015! The badge helps us build community and recognize each other with new friends. See the directions below, including writing prompts for the week. (reminder: click here to go to share your One Word for 2015 & enter the #BelovedBrews Launch Giveaway: $100 worth of (in)courage Letterpress Blocks!)
1) To join this linkup, please use the Beloved Brews Badge in your blog post & place a link back to http://bit.ly/belovedbrews in your post. It’s a welcome sign, so we can recognize you are part of this community when we visit & invites others to join.
2) To link up: click the blue linkup button at the end of today’s post to submit the url of your blog post. You can also join by sharing a comment.
3) Visit & comment on the post before yours. Saying hi refreshes the heart when you feel heard.
Today’s 1/15/15 Writing prompt: What is your One Word for 2015?
Next Thursday’s 1/22/15 Writing Prompt: What I Love To Do that Feeds My Soul
Our Spiritual Whitespace (Face)Book Club Begins Next Thursday
Order a copy of the book & Get your journal ready!