Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The Voice vs The Blank Page

Hey. So it’s been over a week since I’ve taken time to write. In that time I have been reading, listening to music, talking with my kids, laughing with my husband, planning lessons, correcting papers, attending play rehearsals and performances, preparing taxes paperwork, paying bills, belting show tunes, and walking with my dog. All good stuff. Even the paperwork.

But all those items listed above cannot be the only reasons I speak of as to why I haven’t taken time to write. There’s been more to it than that.

Writing is hard work. There are some days when the words flow easily onto the blank page, but other days, a number of obstacles jump into the way. And those are not solely the lovable ones forever there in my daily life. The obstacles that are the hardest to leap over are those in my head, the ones I place there myself. The doubt. The guilt. The confusion. The hurt. The frustration. I type, then hit delete. I type again. Delete. I remind myself to breathe. Be patient. I expect more. I want to write but I think of my school bag with unfinished grading. I look at the clock and calculate when I have to get in the shower. I see cleaning that needs to be done. I think of tomorrow’s work agenda and what I need to do to prepare for the day.

But then I silence the To Do list. I push away the blank page that has haunted me with a few reminders that have dropped into my lap. One, from Shel Silverstein...

The Voice

There is a voice inside you
That whispers all day long,
“I feel that this is right for me,
I know that this is wrong.”
No teacher, preacher, parent, friend
Or wise man can decide
What’s right for you--just listen to
The voice that speaks inside.

Thanks, Shel. And thank you, God. For I know these reminders meeting me today are no coincidences. I hear the whispering again. I do know what is right for me. I’m listening to the voice. And what do you know... I’m writing. Left jab. Right. Go the distance, Anne.

Writer Elizabeth Berg wrote on Facebook yesterday. In part she said, “Each time I write... I want to say something about how beautiful life is while acknowledging that it ain't always easy being homo sapiens on planet Earth. And I want a reader to feel not alone. That is what writing gives to me..."

This is why I write and why I share my writing with others. Life is beautiful. It’s not always easy but I’ve never been afraid of a little confrontation, a little hard work, if it gets to the heart of the matter.  Honesty. Love. Having and using my voice to aid others, and myself. This is exactly why I’ll keep fighting the good fight. The blank page may win every so often, but this round isn’t over yet.

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