All of that was in me?

   Sometimes, when I sit down to write, it is because I have an assignment, or something specific to say; my heart and minds are clear and concise about a matter that I simply need to get down on paper. Other times, when I sit down to write, it is because I need to get something off my chest, a bit like a psychological release, a way to deal with the “stuff” that life is made of. Some people eat, cry or scream; I write.
   But often, when I sit down to write, I have nothing to say. I sit down to write not because of what I am going to write, but because that’s what I do–it is part of my daily routine, a promise that I made to myself, a discipline. I believe that in order to prepare for the future God has for me, I must do my part, and writing is a small portion of that. So at times, I happen to be a writer with nothing to write, but with a strong drive to fulfill the calling on her life. So far, so good.
   So, what does one write when one has nothing to write about? Well, there are lots of little and big nothings to write about. Maybe I heard a quote somewhere and I use it as a launching pad; maybe I just write out a plan for my next meal, my next meeting, my next day; maybe I’m in the mood for love, and I write a love letter to my husband of twenty-five years; or maybe I recall my children’s childhood, or their latest life-happenings.
   When I make myself stay in that chair and continue to write, a fascinating phenomenon happens, almost every single time: my writing takes on a life of its own. I may have started with a simple observation of a bird building a nest on my deck, but I wound up with a lovely story about my children’s coming of age. I may have sat down to announce to the world that my friend Petra died today, but I received an essay on what we can see with our hearts if we allow them to look without prejudice.
   I had no idea all that on the inside of me. And I would never have known if it wasnt for the simple act of putting my behind in that chair and making up my mind to begin typing. Sometimes, God has a funny way of giving to us. When I put the last period on the last sentence of those “nothing” essays, I am filled with a deep sense of joy through and through. The words on the page called to the deepest part of me and pulled me out of me. The words on the page made me utterly happy and fulfilled. All the way down to my toes.


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