Do you want a breakthrough in your writing work?

I sure do. I got one this morning. It feels so good to just let the words flow with nothing hindering. What worked for me this time? I think there are a couple of ingredients in this soup.

First, I’ve been working hard on allowing myself to write imperfectly. Normally my inner critic/editor is right there with me, reading as I write, constantly interrupting me with her opinions and directives. This is maddening and makes me give up more than anything else. I’ve been in talks with her to convince her to allow me to just get it all written and then I will hand the project over to her. She doesn’t really want to do all of her editing and criticizing at once. She’s a bit low energy like me and prefers to do it a little bit at a time in real time. But for now she has agreed to step aside. This really helps me to let down my guard and just write.

Second, I’m taking off the masks. I’m not trying to “be good” at what I am doing or make it sound like any certain “good writer” that I’ve read. I am not trying to do it like Jeannette Walls or Ann Lamott or Cheryl Strayed or even Elizabeth Gilbert. I’m going to do it like ME and I don’t care if it doesn’t look the same or look like what a memoir is “supposed” to look like. There’s no law. So I am committing to a.) being myself, right to the bone, and b.) telling the truth, as impoverished as I may think it is. I never made anything up but I did try to make it sound a certain way. Not doing that anymore.

The result? This morning I sat down and poured out 1000 words and could have gone longer but I wanted to get a blog post in before it is time to take coffee to my man. It feels so good. I hope it lasts this time.

What do you do to get the words flowing? Do you ever struggle with your inner critic?

Photo by Alexa Mazzarello on Unsplash


Going for beautiful broke (a post from the archives)

Sometimes it seems appropriate to pull up an old post. This one was published 3 years ago today on, my super up close and personal blog. I enjoyed reading it again today, I hope you also enjoy it.


This morning as I was writing about my life in Tampa thirty years ago and how I met my first husband, I was reminded of how I would so many times allow myself to be carried along by circumstances in such a paradoxical way. Sometimes I had no choice, other times I did, but I never resisted or made a choice for myself for something better. Whatever happened, always happened TO me and I always just let it. I went along what was for me the least resistant path, fueled by my desire to be loved. Yet, my submission to the path was actually a choice for my ultimate good; for adventure and change and transformation. I was carried by that desire into many adventures and experiences that shaped me, hurt me, maybe permanently damaged me, but ultimately led me to the place where I am now, into the person I am now, the person I was meant to be.

The pattern I see is one of relentless searching and discarding, searching and discarding. I was searching for love – I was willing to go anywhere and be with anyone as long as I thought they might love me. I was repulsed by a number of people who I thought loved me and I was willing to push through that feeling if only they would accept me and appreciate me for who I was, who I am. Whenever I realized that yet again I was not loved, I would wash my hands of the situation, jump back into the current of circumstances, and allow that current to take me wherever it wanted to in my search for transformational love. I had no fear of the unknown, no foreboding of danger, no desire to hide and be safe. I only knew I had to keep going. I wasn’t really searching for a mere human love (I thought I was); I was searching for the one true love, the eternal love of my creator, the one who has always known me and always loved me all along; the one who was always with me even when I didn’t know it, always protecting, always covering, always holding, always cherishing.

When I look back on the course of my life, I can see that God was with me always; walking with me, whispering to me, encouraging me to never give up, declaring that the journey I was on would eventually lead me to the love I so desperately wanted. Perhaps that is why I don’t conform to traditional expectations in my faith journey. I know that God does not “follow the rules” in his relentless pursuit of us; he is an adventurer, calling us to journey with him down the beautiful path of dangers. Why should I follow manmade rules? I will not.

We can choose to be safe, to bury our talents as we wait for the master to return, to lock ourselves in a cage of playing it safe, sitting down and waiting, walling ourselves off from a big wide world and all the scary things; or we can choose to risk everything, to live dangerously, to take a gamble, to live a life of beautiful danger with potential disaster around every turn, to invest it all in hopes of a glorious bountiful return. I choose to go for broke in the dangerous beauty of journeying with God. Anyone up for a walk today?