Monday, May 16, 2016

Hand Jitters and Hope*Writers

Here's how a typical work day of mine has gone, lately:
  • Sit down with my piping hot Earl Grey around 8:00
  • Spend the next five straight hours typing and deleting words, jotting random phrases in a spiral-bound notebook like it's 1992, artfully avoiding necessary emails/decisions/deadlines.
  • Remember somewhere around 1:00 I still need to get groceries, take a shower, eat lunch, and get dinner on the table.
  • Welcome my littles home at exactly 3:00 with tremendous relief, and not just because their arrival signals the (temporary) reprieve from that which ails me.
True story: A friend of mine, also a writer, once mentioned how self-indulgent authors tend to be about our "work". On the one hand, it really does deserve air quotes. I will never take for granted the fact that I get to "work" in my cozy home, in near-solitude, wearing whatever I darn well please. That I don't have to fix my hair on a daily basis is a luxury no woman as quarrelsome and crabby-prone as me deserves. I am able to throw in loads of laundry on a lark and vacuum my floors with too much force, if the day warrants such. Lo, I can even chuck work altogether, keep Ruby home from school for the heck of it, and pretend there is no job. (cough cough, "hypothetically speaking")

On the other hand, I don't know what to tell you. Or my friend.
Writing, some days, feels impossibly beyond my social, emotional, psychological, and mental constraints. It feels like wrestling myself into a button-up shirt backwards, then convincing everyone it was an accident. It feels like all of my recurring dreams at once - my teeth fell out, I forgot to show up for class all semester, I'm jumping out of a swing on the playground, I'm being chased, I'm lying to someone I love...

It's terrifying, humbling, and exhilarating.
And I'm hooked.

Here's some insider scoop for you, my dears. As we speak, some of my favorite writers on the planet (and yours) have an unofficial copy of Falling Free on their nightstands. They're reading it, and putting their thoughts about it in actual writing. It is the strangest, best feeling. Most days, sweeping denial just feels right.

I honestly don't know why I'm sitting here spouting off at the mouth when I could be chopping vegetables or taking a walk. I guess it's just one of those days where there's a lot of self-talk happening, it's all feeling kind of big, and I thought it might help to yammer about it to you. You are, after all, a big reason we all ended up in this mess. ;)

I'm also telling you because I know so many of you are also writers. We might not be at the exact same phase of writing, but I promise you, there is no "best" phase. The best phase is whichever one you find yourself in, sort of like parenting. Wherever you are, keep on trucking, sister. Whatever those voices are telling you, do me a favor and round-kick them in the teeth. Our stories were meant to be shared. This, after all, is one way we are afforded the privilege of reflecting God's goodness.

In other words: I'm preaching to myself.

In one of my desperate avoidance attempts today, I put myself through the unique agony of watching an interview I recently taped with one of my faviest-faves, Emily P. Freeman. (<<- She's one of the people reading my book right now, eeeeekblergohmyword.) After a while, I couldn't bear my hand-flapping and strange expressions, so I switched tabs and just listened. But those things probably won't bother you quite like they bothered me.

{I want to stop taking screen shots, but it's cheering me up right now so bad!} 

{Me in every single frame: flap flap flap. Emily (thinking): Hmmm, I don't know about that...}

{This feels like a good bow to tie on it. Inhale!}

My video with Emily is one of twelve Hope*Writers videos featuring writers at various stages, discussing all of the nitty-gritty stuff we all want to know. My video was filmed back in October, the week I turned in my manuscript. It's full of angst and the sort of juicey, behind the scenes turmoil I wrote about at the beginning of this post. Only it was even more fresh and raw because I clearly lack a filter when it comes to airing my insecurities.

The videos are part of a special Hope*Writers Summit that begin TODAY (Monday, May 16) and run through May 19th. I have big plans to watch every. single. video. If you're already a Hope*Writers member, you already have full access to the content. If you're not already a member, you can sign up for free for the special, 3-day summit, pop some corn, pull on your comfy pants, and join the fun.
Click here to get started.

I'm completely smitten with the entire Hope*Writers site and the way they're guiding people like me through the details of blogging and writing. I simply cannot say enough about the quality of the content they're offering.

As for me, I've got "work" to do.

Happy Monday!


  1. I am so excited for your new book! I've loved reading your words here and I know your words in long form will minister to many.
    Thanks for the encouragement that where we are in our writing journey is the sweet spot. I've been blogging for a few years and I often feel pulled between extremes of wanting to be 9,456 steps ahead and wondering why I even started this crazy writing adventure. But every time I work my feelings out in key strokes or hear a friend say my writing impacted them, I know it's worth all the doubt to be truly doing what I feel God placed in my heart.
    Looking forward to your hope writers talk. I loved the sessions today. I've been thinking of joining the community and I have a feeling this summit will be the final push to take the leap.

  2. I love your writing and appreciate you sharing your process, and the information about Hope*Writers. I signed up! There was a time that I fancied myself a writer. In high school, "they" told me I was talented. I did well in my English classes in college, but now I'm 43. UGH. When I do write, it seems cliche. I feel pulled to write, but I'm disgusted with the end product, and I think to myself, is the Lord pulling me to write, or am I just hanging on to a dream? What a whiner, huh? :)

  3. I'd I thought I was the only one still have the dream about missing class all.semester.long. Nevermind that my last class as a student the last century. (Am I really THAT old?!) :)
    Looking forward to reading your book.

    1. I still have that dream too! That one and waitressing dreams are truly nightmares!

  4.'ve talked me into it! great work! (see what I did there?, you're welcome).

  5. LOVE your fresh honesty- and the pics of you talking with your hands- I not only do that I seem to have a propensity for waving my gorilla arms too!! I just tell myself I am an expressive person and leave it at that- lol!!

  6. Hand motions are a MUST when communicating! Trust me....I know! :-)

  7. This made me laugh out loud: "Whatever those voices are telling you, do me a favor and round-kick them in the teeth."

    This was just what I needed to read today. Thank you for sharing!

  8. I am sure I NEED this book. Yes, with all caps! <3

  9. I just joined Hope*Writers, I am excited to dig in, I was impressed with the site when I first clicked onto it and now I am even more excited to dig in and watch your video!

  10. Girl, I read this yesterday and was cracking up. Now we all want to take funny screen shot moments of our interviews and piece them together to make a comic strip.

    But seriously, I loved your interview {which I actually heard back in October because I was sitting on the floor of the entryway waiting my turn. Also, note to self: never wear a WOOL SWEATER over a long sleeve shirt while sitting in a hotel room with the air turned off under bright lights.} Thanks for your honesty about the whole angsty process; it's comforting to know that a book deal doesn't mean you suddenly know all the things.

    Cheering you on my friend! I can't wait to get my hands on your book. : )

  11. Saw it, and loved it. Thank you for making me feel less... I don't know, neurotic? Alone in the fact that I am neurotic?.... and for making it clearer to me that this writing thing does open up our souls to a lot of insecurities (and not just for me and my little tiny blog, but for writers I look up to, too.)

    Ally- from

  12. I enjoyed your words about writing here. I am looking for a traditional publisher now for my first solo book and hope to find the ideal one for me and my gardening book. Putting our writing out there means there will be rejections, as even J.K. Rowling tells us.

  13. I did just kick all those voices in my head in the teeth, as you said to do, and joined hope*writers the other day. I just watched your video with Emily and enjoyed all of it, hands and all. There is bigger picture to all of this--thank you for the reminder.

  14. I enjoyed your interview with Emily so much! I have often heard the term "birthed" in regards to a book and I feel that from so many of you, pouring yourselves out, giving it your all to see it through. And your book - not on my nightstand but definitely pre-ordered : )