My junior year in high school I sat at my computer kicking myself for picking such a difficult essay topic—the definition of love. I had many thoughts and ideas to try and fit into a short paper, but I couldn’t seem to get past my thesis.
All I could do was to keep typing out whatever came to mind and then hit backspace until the right words came out on the screen. The quote by Isaac Singer, “The waste basket is the writer’s best friend” never felt truer to me.
As I struggled to get over my writer’s block, my friend encouraged me with these seven words: “All writing should come from the heart.” This friend was seeking to help unlock whatever it was that I really wanted to say, how I really wanted to say it and what I really thought—to make it personal.
Those words have stuck with me for the last 1 1/2 years of writing. Every time I write a blog post, a letter or a journal entry, that phrase pops to the front of my consciousness, reminding me to be honest about who I am and what I think. This is the internet—it would be easy to put up a screen in order to skew peoples’ view of who I really am. But that phrase has kept me transparent and real.
A month or two ago I mentioned all of this in a “matter-of-fact” way to the friend who had helped me with that essay and I got a “really?! I don’t think I even remember that!” He had no idea that his words had made that much of an impact on me…or that those words were even capable of having such an impact on me.
The fact that I chose to listen to my friend’s encouragement has led to some rather open posts about my own spiritual struggles and life-battles. As a result, I have had the blessing of giving back to the people who have invested in me, and who have spoken into my life by writing about how they’ve blessed me. I have touched a few friends, family members and random people on the internet who I will probably never meet. All by being open, by writing from my heart, by sharing my story.
You will never know the profound effect that your words can have on a person’s life. Your sphere of influence might be doubling without you even knowing it…
An quick endnote:
My last three posts (Me? An Artist?, Not Drowning, Girl at the Beach) make the list of my favorites, but they were spread out over a long period of time. It’s time for me to get focused and a little more regular with my writing.
As of now, September 2013, I am going to be doing a bi-weekly publication. It’s not as often as I’d like, but due to school, work and another writing project, it’s really all I can give. They’ll make a writer of me yet…