So I have this thing about writing, and it’s a problem. I want to do it and do it so well that I over-think it and never get words on paper about the topics that are on my heart. So I thought instead I would write about the writing process I’m learning about.
I know there are other voices that compete with my creativity, like now it’s Alex Trabek on Jeopardy. My Mom has it on the TV in the next room. A contestant is talking about her camping experience in a high-pitched voice, and another is explaining her choice for English as her college major and she’s using a run-on sentence.
Besides those, there are the negative voices in my head that say I won’t be able to write anything good or that I need to get something to eat instead and then will be creative.
Voices. They are everywhere. I must silence them to be able to hear the writer’s voice, concepts, depths, and originality that want to seep from the right side of my brain and onto my yellow legal pad.
I am told that the right side of my brain is the loose, flowing, creative side where things want to emerge like they did when I was a child. The left side then brings those things into order and focus. They were intended to work together. The problem is that as we grow up, we are taught to fit into a mold and follow the rules and the right side of the brain is told to be quiet, submissive, and obedient. It learns that it doesn’t want to be heard from if you grew up maybe in public school, with church 3 times a week in rural America in the 60′s and 70′s.
We grew up with ample discipline and respect not just for parents, but for all in authority, which is a good thing in balance. We also received from our parents and culture lots of respect for the rules that go along with each area of life. Would I have ever thought seriously about playing a trick on a school teacher? Would I have sneaked cigarettes and smoked them? Would I have intentionally broken any of the Ten Commandments? No, no, and especially no!
I grew up in this way with an idealistic personality so I became this submissive woman in a way that not only let others run over me at times, but focused so much on keeping the rules that I forgot who I was in a sense, what made me different, beautifully different.
So now I want to write and have this problem in waking up my right brain hemisphere. This year I have done some things to hopefully make progress. I have taken creative writing classes, I have chosen books that I would not ordinarily pick up in Barnes & Noble, and I have attended lectures on art. I also enjoy a glass of wine regularly so that I remind myself it’s OK to break the rules a bit. Excuse me while I reach for the Chardonnay.
I have also added hiking and traveling more to my life, and I watch more movies and listen to music I wouldn’t ordinarily choose. The activities, learning, and subsequent thoughts are overthrowing the self-judgment of the linear left-brain function that criticizes my every move and written word. More time in the Bible is also reminding my soul that I am eternally loved. The additions of positive activity and truth is making a difference in how I see myself and my writing.
I find I like people more and want to see what makes each one tick. I want to find the uniqueness in each person and encourage them to be who they were meant to be. At the same time, I feel encouragement and love flowing more freely, not just to others, but to myself as well.
I’ve always given everyone the benefit of the doubt, but it’s gotten me in trouble a few times where I’ve felt stomped on by others. So I’ve asked God for more discernment and feel I have it. I realize this practice of expecting the best is still good and one I want to keep. I want to be a person of grace, and life, and leadership in a way that accepts and loves, even if I get hurt doing it.
So as my creativity is waking up, stretching, and reaching for that hot cup of spiritual and mental French Roast, I want to let it live the way God created it to operate – His design of me, becoming more and always multiplying and reproducing what He has put in me – His likeness, “my way” – one of a kind, like an original work of art by a master artist. A master artist, I learned, is one who has studied and practiced all the mediums and techniques and rules of art and then breaks those rules in her own unique way.
I want to be an artist of creative words, one that fashions those words to bless and encourage others. I pursue it, asking for God’s anointing on it. And I can know for certain that God wants my mind to work creatively in His design as well. So I thank Him for putting His creative ability in me as His child, and fully expect Him to draw it forth from me and into my life and onto paper. I trust that it will continue to come and in greater measure.