Where Do You Find The Strength to Write

I had an email from a reader a few weeks back asking me where I find the words to write what I write. The writer also wanted to know where I find the strength to write what I write, where I find the time to write what I write, and where I find the heart to carry on writing what I write if life is a continuous challenge. The reader phrased her questions differently, of course, but after reading the email several times, I thought, who could ask for more perfect blog topics?

All were good questions, which I thought I had more or less addressed over the last year in one way or another but after a glass of wine and a mental archival review I decided why not answer her questions one at a time. I filed the email in my cluttered mind thinking I’d come back around to the questions in a couple of days. 

Days piled up behind the email and then others arrived after hers requiring immediate attention. Then there was the on going search for an agent, the writing time allocated to the twice weekly Blog posts, the reading of other Blogs, the work on the new WIP, the career that funds the hosting bill for Passionate Pursuits, pays for pedicures and other necessary sundries, and wasted fragments of minutes allocated on breathing and sleeping. In short, I forgot about the questions until this morning when I was deciding on the song of the week—the song of the week sets the theme for week’s posts—and remembered the email. 

Where I find the strength to write what I write…

  • It wasn’t when I lost a childhood friend to cancer,
  • It wasn’t when my heart broke into pieces watching my first love walk out the door
  • It wasn’t when I watched my friend, Frank, lose his battle with AIDS,
  • It wasn’t when I said I do,
  • It wasn’t when I held my first born,
  • It wasn’t touching down on US soil after living abroad for too many years,
  • It wasn’t when I found true passion in the arms of man not my forever after destiny,
  • It wasn’t the first time an editor wrote me telling me she was publishing my piece,
  • It wasn’t when I dropped my daughter off at college, said good bye, and watched her run with delight into the arms of her destiny without ever looking back at me,
  • It wasn’t when the light left my father’s eyes,
  • It wasn’t when I received the first impersonal rejection letter from an agent
  • It wasn’t when Oprah didn’t read my poem, A Woman’s Spirit

No it wasn’t these astounding firsts, although each fortified my steely resolve and helped me get to where I am now.

Where strength and I collided…

  • When I recognized that I was beautifully flawed,
  • When I appreciated my own self as a priceless painting hanging on a bare wall of my inner art gallery,
  • When I gave way to reckless abandonment,
  • When I had faith in tomorrows,
  • When I learned to trust in every moment before the one I was in,
  • When I stopped doubting who I always was,
  • When I stopped neglecting myself (it’s OK to put yourself first once and while, trust me on this one), 
  • When I caught a glimpse of myself in the dirty storefront windows and the eyes looking back at me were mine, only wiser
  • When I saw my lost hope, dreams, and wishes made with tossed coins into fountains still waiting for me to make them a reality,
  • When I wasn’t afraid of failure or failing, 

But the moment I embraced my inner Xena, was the moment I found my voice to write what I wanted and followed my heart.

Where were you when you found your inner Xena?

 

Thanks to K, at Bloggit Write, for sharing Hold On by Alabama Shakes.  It’s fitting for this week’s theme.

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by

I’m a writer and hoarder of one-size-fits-all panty hose. Until the hose fits over my bum, I write to provide an alternative view on writing and perfection.

54 thoughts on “Where Do You Find The Strength to Write

  1. Gosh this is a one of a kind blogpost … and I am book marking it, and sharing this on Facebook, with your permission of course. This is simply beautiful

    • Thanks kindly, Phoenix, and of course, sharing is what we do with our words. I am so glad you enjoyed and thank you kindly for stopping by.

  2. December 2004, I sat down with my laptop (old clunker of a thing back then) and decided I was going to right a novel because I had always wanted to. It was terrible, but I thought it was wonderful. I rewrote that book four times but it eventually landed me an agent and I signed a four-book deal for it. I’ll never forget that moment when I decided to open the blank document and just do it. :)
    Kelly Hashway recently posted….Monday Mishmash 6/25/12My Profile

    • Kelly, I love your story. You worked hard, cried tears, worked harder and now you’re living your dream and proof why passion and hard work pay off. I for one, can’t wait for Touch of Death to hit the book stores.

  3. I have always written exactly what I wanted and never needed to find strength to do so. What I do need strength for is believing that otehrs actually want to read what I write. More often that I should probably admit, I stand on the brink, filled with thoughts of failure because I think no-one actually gives a flying you-know-what about my writing, so what’s the point. Then some lovely fellow blogger comes along and says just the thing I need to hear, gives me the strength to carry on.

    • Gill – you’re not alone in this feeling. I can’t remember where I read it, but a lesson I learned a while ago was to write for one person (you) and not to worry about the others. Writing is a solitary passion and we writer are a solitary bunch. You’re right about how a comment or something unexpected can make the day in the life of a writer. We’re kind of silly that way.

  4. I’m with you entirely, Brenda – the better we understand and accept who we are, the better writers we become. Excellent post!
    Oh, and I apologize for just now getting to your comment left on “Didn’t You Hear me Calling You?” Somehow, it eluded me until today. Go figure!
    Blessings to you!
    Martha Orlando recently posted…."Blue Skies, Smiling at Me . . ."My Profile

    • No worries, Martha, I am AWLAYS BEHIND with reading and commenting. I get back and around eventually, but it takes a while. You’re right about us being who we are, and writing what we write after is so much stronger.

    • Jennifer, it is like that.. we get lost now and again only to bump into ourselves at unexpected places. I am ever thankful to you for doing the same for me. The writer in a writer becomes stronger with each page they write. I never thought blogging would help me, so thank you for encouraging me with your thoughtful comments.

        • My pleasure, Jennifer.. I know what you mean about finding other women writer’s whose words you enjoy and feel a kindred connection to.. Keeps me sane and going when I get the blues and ask the big question, WHY AM I DOING THIS?

  5. Couldn’t agree more.
    The day I met my inner self and learnt that I had it in me to move on in life despite the hurt, the failure, the rejection and everyone going against me, was the day I actually started my blog.
    My Era recently posted….What’s going on?My Profile

    • Hi Linda.. sniff sniff. Honestly woman, sometimes I’d cry myself a river, but after the storm come the words and the sunrise.

  6. Yes! Never be afraid of failing. In fact, for me–failures are a source of energy to continue on. If I failed, it means I can do it better next time. Great post, Brenda!

    Heartbreaks give me strength. I couldn’t ever write about love if it weren’t for the constant process of heartbreak and healing.

    • True, Kiersi, without the pain and joy of passion our words would fall flat on the page. As for failure being a driving force, again true and agreed. I push myself harder. Thanks, it’s been a rare couple of weeks of creative sprints for me. I love the highs.

  7. Beautiful post…suitable for framing and rereading!

    I found my inner Xena when an illness temporarily (thankfully) took away my ability to write. It’s the only time I ever remember bargaining with God, but I promised that if I got well, I wouldn’t take my gifts and passions for granted. During that time, I lost nearly everything I held dear — children, a marriage, financial security, and health — but through all of that, I kept my promise, and I became strong and fierce.
    Nadine Feldman recently posted….Book Of The Week: The Knitting CircleMy Profile

    • Oh my, Nadine. that’s a hell of a way to find your inner strength. I am so pleased to learn it was only temporary. It does make you wonder if what happened was the reason you found even more now. I know you’ve wonderful husband and life.

  8. Jo

    Again, I love this. I like the obvious and the underlying from start to finish. Strength to write was never an issue for me, now strength to PUBLISH, that was an issue! I used to fear criticism and rejection because my writing is ME. I know now that me can’t really be rejected if I don’t let that happen and that criticism has helped my grow my own art. My strength right now is keeping me from just walking away from this blog thing until that idiot troll disappears. grrrr Not giving in to him/her, though… I am writing!
    Jo recently posted….STRENGTHMy Profile

  9. I hope you save this on your poetry page because, if you ask me, this reads like a beautiful, eloquent, and oh so elegant, fleeting poem. My favorite line is this:

    “When I caught a glimpse of myself in the dirty storefront windows and the eyes looking back at me were mine, only wiser.”

    Priceless, and so true!
    Monica recently posted….Huffington Post – Pundits on ParadeMy Profile

    • Hey Monica, I hadn’t to be honest. I don’t think of it as a poem. It’s more like me talking inside of my head or my friend, the wall. It never occurred to me have a tab for my unconventional poetry, but now, so glad. Hugs for that one.

  10. Fantastic post, Brenda. 90% of the reasons are mine too :) Not reading your poem was Oprah’s loss. I am sharing this all over, thanks.

    • Sulekha, I can’t imagine Oprah missing it, can you? :-) I am glad you liked. I don’t have oodles of women friends, in fact next to none, but I pay attention and listen to others and when I write my aim is to capture the essence of those hard to reach sentiments we carry in our hearts.

  11. Brenda, sometimes I ask that question myself…and I don’t always have an answer. For the most part, I began writing when my daughter was diagnosed with Celiac and food allergies. We wanted a way to reach out to others, letting them know that they didn’t have to feel alone and overwhelmed. Our blog has evolved in so many ways and I still find myself wishing that whatever I think could just be put down on paper somewhere so that it could be formatted into a post later. The time is not always on my side. Since our blog features recipes, I lose quite a few because I’ve forgotten to take a picture or write down the exact measurements of what I’m throwing together. I’m trying to get better at this aspect ☺ Great post!
    Mary Hudak-Colllins recently posted….Taking 2 Weeks Off…My Profile

    • Mary, that must be tough, but what your are doing so worthy and inspired. I wonder, have you tired caring a digital recording device with you during dinner? It might help if you talked aloud as you cooked. Thanks much for stopping by and for helping those with Celiac.

    • Becky, many thanks. I dare say the reflection in the window is common amongst many of us gals. You know we get lost in the business of a life and forget to notice ourselves. No foul so long as we come back around.

  12. I don’t think I ever made ONE decision to write, I’ve made thousands. And then I’ve made thousands of resolutions to give it up, I’m not good enough, nothing I ever write will hit the market at THE right time to be published, I’m too old; I don’t write fast enough; other people have more enchanting writers’ voices (like yours, Brenda, so often you leave me breathless).

    And yet, I write on, because I must, because there is this one little spark inside that says it doesn’t matter about age or market or other people – this is our story to tell, and I cannot rest until we tell it.
    Beverly Diehl recently posted….When I’m Stuck, I Read. (Also When I Eat, I Read, When I’m Happy…) #amreadingMy Profile

    • Bev, I had one occasion (and it was only recently) when I considered giving up this folly to be a writer. I came on the heels of rejection letter from an agent. It was impersonal and heartless and nearly broke my dream in pieces. It took another three before I crawled out of the pit of self pity. I don’t know where I am headed, if I will land an agent or if I will self-publish my books, or what magic is needed (besides blind faith) to climb this rainbow, but I’ll not stop writing. As I know you will not. There is always a story to be told, written, and read by a hungry reader looking for a fresh voice (age has nothing to do with it). The feeling is mutual by the way. Although our voices are different, your words give back to me in equal measure.

  13. When I couldn’t work any longer due to osteoarthritis in my knees, when I lost my nice 8th floor apartment and vehicle and when I thought the world was truly over, that’s when I found my inner Zena and began to write with more zeal than ever before. Things have been difficult but enabled me to proudly say: “I am a writer.”

    • Elizabeth, you continue to amaze me in your words and what you have overcome. You’re a big reason I took the plunge on hitting the publish button with my free verse unconventional poetry. You are indeed a writer my friend.

  14. I was blessed with a mother who celebrated her children and encouraged each of us to simply be who we are. I don’t remember a time when I didn’t have my voice, and I think that’s a credit to my sweet mom.
    Beth recently posted….SabbaticalMy Profile

    • Beth – that is probably the best ever gift any parent can give a child. My mom was/is ever encouraging of anything I do, but in all honesty, she doesn’t understand my creative streak. I’m certain in the back of her mind she is convinced babies were switched in the hospital nursery. :-)

  15. Great question, great answers in your post. I especially relate to when you say your strength to write came when you stopped doubting and neglecting yourself. Also for me, I find strength to write when there are things in the world not spoken of that need someone to give voice to them.
    Adriene recently posted….Down the Shore (in real time)My Profile

    • Adriene, it’s such a memorable moment is it, when we find our wings? I believe we have them all along, but get caught up in ourselves and forget. Thanks kindly the tag, truly appreciated. And you my dear, keep soaring.

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