Writing Sick

Today I’m spending a sick day at home. Somehow in the fever daze I found myself drawn back to a book I had written a couple years ago. I’ve written this book over and over again, I’ve torn things out, added things in, rearranged, edited, rewritten from scratch… You get the idea.

But reading it today I was somehow able to be a little less critical of myself, and actually halfway enjoy the story. It makes me want to consider picking it back up again, finishing the missing gaps in the second half, and maybe doing something with it.

I’m so afraid to show my writing to other people. This blog is one thing, I’ve tried to squash my perfectionistic tendencies by writing stream of consciousness and hitting publish. Occasionally I’ll allow myself to read over it, but oftentimes I don’t, because if I do, I know I’ll never post anything at all.

Because of the state this book is in, I really can’t do that. So I have to try to find a balance if I do decide to pick it up again. I’ve written a few books, but this is the one I really cared about, and I think sometimes that’s the most difficult type to write, because when the product doesn’t match our vision… It just ends up disappointing and leaving a lot to be desired.

I’m running completely off track though. I came here to ask a question.

So in this book I have two very different worlds. One of them is more the origin/backstory that lead to my character developing PTSD (one of the things that was “accidentally” added). In the current state, I have all the origin world in the beginning, and then transition away from it. But reading it again, I was wondering if it would be more effective to have that laced throughout in PTSD flashbacks. (There are already some of those in the later part.) And I was wondering what all of you think?

I’d love to hear your thoughts! I know it’s hard to give an answer with so little information, but which way sounds the most interesting to you at first glance?

Notebooks

I seem to have an ever expanding collection of notebooks and journals. I like to stay somewhat organized, so I need multiple notebooks for multiple purposes. I have one for the books I read/have read, one for free-writing, one for journaling, one for scriptures, one for a particular story I’m working on, one for brainstorming, and the list goes on.

Maybe I have too many, but I like having a place for everything. This also means that my life is scattered in little bits in all different places. Is that a bad thing? Or is it curation? So maybe my “organization” just ends up being messy. I suppose it does make it harder to find everything from one particular period in time, but I almost like it that way. It’s interesting to see how things have changed, and I like knowing that there’s more I could find somewhere else.

Well, I do love notes… And I suppose notebooks are the perfect place to keep them.

Do you find yourself collecting many notebooks? Or are you more organized than I am?

On The Bus Of Judgment

Yesterday on the bus there was a man. Not too unusual, I suppose. This one had a very gruff demeanor; his voice, the way he muttered under his breath, his clothing, the way he looked at the side of his seat as he repeatedly punched it lightly.

Right before he stepped off the bus, he stood there in front of the door, pointed to the driver and said something in a rough voice. For a moment my heart stopped in my throat and I was a little nervous about what might be going on.

Then his words registered with me, “Hey! You take care.”

He wasn’t being harsh, or rude, or angry, he was being nice. It got me wondering what his story is and why his general demeanor was so unhappy. But then it also got me thinking how quick we are to judge things we don’t understand. Or, maybe not what we don’t understand, but things that are typically thought of as scary.

I had always been really good at reading people, though I’ve felt as though I’ve lost that ability in some ways. I’m beginning to gain it back, but it will take some time. I’ve been suppressing myself for so long now…

But why, just because someone has a different tone of voice, or general look to them, do we jump to the worst conclusion?

I guess, before I get too far in this, I have to say that my first reaction was to feel bad for the guy, he seemed so sad and alone. I don’t know how to describe it other than that. He seemed abandoned. Isolated. And in that, I could understand his potential frustration at the world.

But maybe he wasn’t. Maybe those were just traits he had within himself. Or, maybe he was having a rough day, and chose to overcome it by being kind.

Either way, maybe we need to be willing to give others a chance, no matter their outer appearance, because we have no idea what’s underneath in the state of their heart.

Upon Self-Discovery

I think I knew it all along. My reaction to finding out I was an introvert was pretty much non-existent. I grew up in a large family that accepted each of us as we were. I never felt that I belonged, but I never felt completely… I was going to say odd, but I certainly did feel that one. But I suppose, I felt accepted even though I didn’t feel the same.

I don’t know if I had ever heard the term introvert before or not, it was so long ago. I first took an MBTI test because my husband (then boyfriend) sent it to me. (I guess he was more in the interviewing mindset than I was. haha)

Looking back on it, I’m kind of surprised by my reaction. I didn’t think much of it, though it was really powerful. I took the test and read the description, and it was like someone was reading my soul.

I had those four little letters, and didn’t think much of it beyond that. I suppose I didn’t really know that there was more to it than just a little test that people take.

So I went on a few years without anything really happening. And then I was working on a story, and I was stuck with the characters. Those four letters came up in my mind and I decided to look into it again.

I retook the test several hundred times, and also did it for characters. Suddenly things became more clear. I got so wrapped up in typing my characters that I forgot about writing them! And I learned SO much.

Everything in my life started to make sense and I wondered why I hadn’t looked further when I first took the test.

Learning I’m an INFJ has been so influential for my personal development. I had no idea that four little letters could provide as much explanation and insight as they have.

I’m curious, do you know your MBTI type? (If not, you can take a test here, though they don’t always give accurate results.) How has knowing your type influenced you?

Over And Over

I write the same things over and over and over again. Maybe it’s in a slightly different form, but it’s still the same. I deal with issues of self-doubt, insecurity, fear, and trusting God through life’s storms. Is there ever anything different or unique in what I say? Will I ever break free from this cycle of repeating the same steps, the same message, over and over again?

I want to be important, I want something useful to say. I think we all do on some level. Maybe we have different ways of expressing it, but everyone wants to be seen, and heard, and loved.

It’s not always easy to admit that. And it’s even harder to admit when we feel we fell short. I’m grateful that God’s grace is not dependent upon me or my shortcomings, because I know if it was, there wouldn’t be any way left for me to win.

There’s an inner struggle I seem to face time and time again. I’m not sure what the solution is, or even what each of the sides is. What am I fighting for? What I do know is that it does no good warring against myself. But maybe that’s easy. It’s easier to face conflict internally, when I know I can look at it and make it right… Someday… Than it is to deal with the possibility of an external conflict with others.

Maybe writing and saying the same thing over and over is part of finding a voice. Maybe it’s part of the path to healing and understanding. I know it’s cathartic. And maybe this is my way of expressing something inside me that I haven’t been able to fully face.

What if the patterns and repetitions are just ingrained into us. Like a series of fractals, or a spiral staircase. Always upward, always deeper, though the resemblance can make each level look the same. Maybe it’s part of the fabric of who we are. A new way of processing old information, or peeling back the layers that have yet to be discovered.

Maybe my perspective just needs to be different, and that’s what I’m subconsciously aware of, so that’s why I repeat. Slowly changing, and evolving, with every step I take.

Snow Day

It’s a snow day today. The world is coated in white, and I’m cozy inside, writing the day away with a cup of tea nearby. The tasks pile up like the snow outside, but today, I’m oddly feeling more calm and peace.

Sometimes we need a chance to step back, take a break (or just be more planned and intentional), and refocus on what truly matters. I’ve gotten more done this morning than I have the past several days. I find it interesting how when I loosen up and let go of the pressure I put on myself, how my productivity is far greater. Why do I still struggle to step back and take rest when I need it?

I’m thankful for the snow day today, and thankful for the calmer mindset. Sometimes we need to be snowed in to realize that what we have inside is enough. Why is it so hard to just take time for me?

I have a hard time saying no. That’s one of the things I want to work on this year. I feel pulled in multiple directions, so I end up standing still, breaking beneath the tension and only doing the bare minimum. This leaves me feeling more worthless, and more like I’m not enough, because nothing I ever do is good enough, because nothing I ever do is my best.

I’m slowly learning to breathe, though there are plenty of days I’m still caught up in the lies my mind whispers. I’m thankful for days like these that force me to step back and look at things from a different perspective. And I’m thankful for the time to self-reflect with a blank page and whatever time I need.

What things are you thankful for today? What lessons are you working to bring into your life?

Anxiety Writing, Triggers

Everything’s moving too fast. It’s moving too fast and I can’t keep up. Life swirls by around me and I’m left staring into the blur, attempting, desperately, to catch my breath.

I’m frustrated that anxieties still haunt me. Every time I think I’m beginning to break free, it pulls me down again. Even good things can serve as a trigger, and I’m frustrated with myself and disillusioned at the world. Left wondering if I’ll ever truly be able to have hope and peace again.

No warning, just shell shock that reverberates through my being.

I know these things are in the past, but it can still feel so vivid. I know it’s likely never going to return to the horror it was, and yet, the fear of going back still leaves me paralyzed and breathless. Just knowing that there’s any possibility that it could happen again, it’s too much, and I break beneath the weight of it.

How do we move forward to face a life that’s nothing like what we thought we’d have? How do we pick up the little pieces and just move on as if none of it ever happened?

Sometimes I feel like I’m drowning. Today is one of those days. And I consciously know it isn’t going to last forever, and yet, the fear still whispers to me that there’s no escape.

One step up, two steps down, and we’re still moving backwards. I have days like today where I fall down again, but it’s becoming increasingly less frequent. I know this fear can’t ultimately win. Perfect love casts out fear. And someday, I may not know when, but someday, God will provide the way of escape that death so cunningly tells me does not exist.

And with that knowledge, in this moment, I take a step back. I don’t have to have all the answers, and I don’t even need to be okay right now. This moment is not forever, and tomorrow will bring a new day.