Is this really such an important question? – “Why do you want to write?”

*there is a list of books at the bottom of every post*

I have been chewing on this question all week, trying to figure out why it seems to be so important.

There was a one day writer’s seminar here in town last weekend. I was there at the urging of a writer friend who knew I would find it helpful. I’ve attended seminars before but never one with writing as the purpose. I admit to feeling a little out of place, especially identifying more as a reader than a writer. I say a little bit, rather than a big bit, because they gave me a warm welcome and didn’t seem to be too bothered by my rather minor writing aspirations or the fact that I was a stranger to them all.

The topic of the keynote address was authentic writing. I was looking forward to this  because it was lining up with my thoughts about the style of writing I should be using and I was sure it would be helpful, which it was.  Meeting with this group of ladies was a positive experience I hope to repeat in the future.

My chewing on the question of motive came after the fact, you know how it goes, it’s all over and now you go back and take more time to think about those things that stood out through the course of the day.

This question – why do you want to write? –  was asked at the beginning and the end of the day. And, to make matters worse, it was asked again on the first page of the book I won as a door prize. On reading this page, suddenly, all my deliberations were coloured by  the appearance of my many insecurities.

Several days ago, looking for resolution to all this negative self talk, I decided to reread the first page of the book, to see if maybe I had gotten off track somewhere. This time I read it with a more positive, open frame of mind and found, I was off track. Now I am looking at this question in a more positive light and  want to read the whole book to see what all he has to say after asking such a question.  The book, in case you are interested, is  – Unleash the Writer Within by Cecil Murphey.

I’m sure there are times when speakers and other writers ask this question with the wrong motive in their mind, we are all human after all. I think, in this case though, rather than trying to discourage us from writing, the question was meant to encourage us to take a more realistic look at our motives and expectations. I can see that it would be difficult to do a good job of writing if our reasons for writing spent more time in the clouds that they did on the ground.

Maybe a good analogy, from another part of life, would be, the view people have of love and marriage – some people love the idea of marriage, some people love the person they are about to marry. Successful marriages are those where the person, not the idea, is loved.

Maybe it needs to be the same way with writing. We need to love being a writer, rather than loving the idea of being a writer, because, like marriage, writing is a lot of hard work and just loving an idea won’t work out all the well for us.

My mind is still going round and round about all this and the subject has not been exhausted yet. That’s okay, there is still lots to learn.

Maybe I am so worked up about this subject because I know everyone has a story that needs to be told, even if they are not writers by the normal definition of the word. The writer benefits by telling her/his story, and even if there is only one, or maybe no, other person in this world who reads their story and benefits, then the writing has still been worth it.

OK, time to quit because my day job is calling, loudly, and this subject is not finished by any means. I feel like I am just getting started! 🙂

I will only mention one book this time since I am out of time

The Elusive Miss Ellison (Regency Brides: A Legacy of Grace) – Carolyn Miller…. this book is written in a similar style to Pride and Prejudice. I quite enjoyed it.

Happy reading!…… and think about writing your story! Someone in your family may thank you one day, even if you are not around to hear them say it.




Have your ever tried to figure out why you didn’t like that book?

*there is a list of books at the bottom of every post*   

I have been thinking about this subject a lot over the last few days and have come to the conclusion that; even if I were to think about why, there is much that I don’t know and would need to learn first, in order to figure things out.

Every week I attempt to read a few books I thought I would like but didn’t. I close the book, or remove it from my e-reader, mid stream, with superficial consideration, and move on to the next book to catch my eye.

Sometimes, as I think about it, I have a general idea about why I am abandoning a book,  too much over the top detail, too much re-sharing of background details, a weak plot with a predictable end, and a few other reasons.  Rarely have I looked deeper before moving on.

A comment in a review recently is what started me thinking about some of the deeper issues.   One of the reasons given for not liking the particular book under discussion was weak character development. I’ve never really thought about character development all that much. However, now I’m thinking, maybe I should be, thinking about such things, it could be a good thing, to be able to verbalize my reasons for not liking a book, right?

It may have even helped with one of the books on my list this week. The book had an interesting story line but the reading of it was frustrating and I had no real idea why.  Looks like there is some digging and learning to be done to answer that question.

I consider myself to be a reader not a writer, since I don’t have any stories floating around in my mind just itching to get out, but I’m thinking that even a reader could benefit by knowing what makes a good story a good story. It might even relieve a little of the frustration if the reasons for the frustration could be identified……hmmmmm…………or then again, maybe not. Maybe knowing more things could make the frustration worse instead of better? I’ll keep an open mind, dig a little, and see what happens.

Do you think about any of these kinds of things when you read a book you don’t like much? Do you abandon books you don’t really like all that much? I hope you do, abandon them I mean. I’ve heard it said that there is no law that says you must finish a book once you start it. I have to say, it feels good to close a book I don’t enjoy and try another one. If you haven’t tried it, I hope you will.

A few more books to mention…. read and enjoyed….

When Crickets Cry – Charles Martin …. Emma and Reese, elementary school best friends, he is her protector as she deals with a major heart defect and a need for a transplant.    Also…. previously read by this author but not yet mentioned here, Water From My Heart and Down Where My Love Lives. Reading these books is to experience the rawness of life in a way that changes your heart. 5 stars

Write Me Home  (Home in You book 1) – Crystal Walton …….. He comes back to town to help his grandmother…she comes back to sell her inheritance (youth camp), and get back to her job in the city.  Two people thrown together by circumstances. Not everyone in town is happy to have one of them back. A good book.

Healer (The Brides of Alba Series)  – Linda Winsor …. historical romance set in the time of King Arthur, a family feud sees parents murdered and a child in hiding. Will the feud ever be settled? Can the daughter safely come out of hiding?

For Love Alone (Secrets of Savannah book 4) – Belle Calhoune …. Six best friends have inherited a large historical bed and breakfast and have come back together to manage it. Each book in the series is from the perspective of one of the girls

From Russia with Love (The Heirs of Anton Book 1) – Susan May Warren and Susan K Downs …..  Contemporary Inspirational Romantic Adventure set in Russia. Interesting  novel with historical considerations. Lots of danger as she tries to find her roots.

Lulu’s Café – T I Lowe ……. Gabrielle is running for her life, Lulu sees a hurting heart, stopping in town for a night, and decides to help. Small towns can be suspicious but supportive too. A good book

At Bluebonnet Lake (Texas Crossroads book 1) – Amanda Cabot …… a nostalgic trip with her grandmother to a resort from life years gone by, a bucket list wish; a nostalgic getaway for him alone as he contemplates his future after selling his successful software company.

Where Love Begins (Where there is Love Book 1) – Donna Fletcher Crow ….. a historical novel set in the time of Charles Wesley. An eye opener about those who paved the way for all of us.

Murder at The Courthouse ( The Hidden Springs Mystery book 1) – A H Gabhart ….. A body mysteriously appears one morning on the courthouse steps, everyone knows everyone in town and no one knows who this is.  A cozy mystery.

Happy reading.


Everyone has a story…..

*there is a list of books at the bottom of every post* 

We all have a story…. most of us with hurt in our lives are reluctant to tell it… sometimes we are even reluctant to tell it to ourselves.

Much of the time we are unaware of this reluctance. Hiding behind repressed memories is a way of survival for many of us. Our minds take on the self protection task of supressing painful memories and  our hearts are grateful. The last thing we want to do is come out of hiding to think about, or talk about, any of it.

Here’s what the mind is capable of – as a preteen, my brothers and I went to stay with our grandparents while mom went back to the hospital for further cancer treatments, life was now like a whole new world for us, absolutely everything changed, for the better. With this change a switch was quietly flipped in my mind; that’s who I was – this is who I am now. My mind, without my conscious permission, literally amputated (and buried, deeper than deep) the painful memories of my first 12 years and then created a new and sanitized version of me. Dad was still in and out of our lives so there was no denying what his life was all about but there was a huge denying of what my life was like while with him. Forgetting the past, looking to the future, was the theme of my life.

The years went by, decades even, and I still lived life as the new sanitized me. Occasionally I thought about my early life, especially during  those times when inner healing surfaced as something important to be pursued, definitely a worthwhile exercise for me, but in limited measure.

Even with these new examinations of my life, denial was still a big issue and basically my story was still a secret. Well, maybe not so much a secret as just something rarely mentioned to people close to me, and never mentioned to anyone else.

I don’t think I would have ever bothered changing anything about this view of myself except that life has a way of catching up with you and changing your perspective.

As a society we have long held to the position – what is in the past should stay in the past, stop dwelling on it and move on. What can be gained by dredging up all that old stuff?

It turns out, actually, quite a lot can be gained by facing the past and much can be lost by ignoring it. It turns out that emotional injuries affect the rest of our lives, much like physical injuries do, except that they affect the very core of our being rather than just a single body part, and as a result have a great impact on the whole of our life rather than just a small segment.

Could my life have been different if I had faced all of this stuff earlier? No, I don’t think so,  I wasn’t in a place where I could have successfully faced it earlier, and, because my story wasn’t the only story affecting my life, the timing was not right. God knew my mind couldn’t handle facing reality any sooner, so, later was his perfect timing.

Has everything been faced now? Not by a long shot. Have I received healing despite only facing part of my past? Absolutely!

The truth shall set you free has proven true in my life. The telling of my story has had a huge role in my freeing process. Peace has been the reward. Through it all I have been careful about where to share my story and careful about which opinion to listen to after the sharing of my story. And, I’ve learned through all of this, my heart is worth protecting.

If you have never told your story, be sure to look for a safe place to land before sharing your story but do share it. Denial and self protection are jailers that will keep us in bondage behind protective walls. Breaking down the walls can add a new dimension to our relationships and bring peace to our hurting hearts. Telling our story won’t remove the difficult places from our lives but it will bring a measure of relief and start us on a healing journey. The road to healing and peace is not an easy road to travel but it is definitely worth it.

Books have always been a very important part of  my healing  process and one very helpful book at the beginning of this current 12 year journey  was a book called “Love is a Choice -Recovery for codependant relationships”  in the Minirth-Meier Clinic Series. It was special to me because it helped me begin to see many important things, including the difference between normal and abusive. We accept familiar as normal because it’s all we know. The truth about what we have accepted as normal can be stunning and life changing.

I have also learned not to make comparisons between my story and others and then write mine off as unimportant. We are all different and there are as many responses to injuries as there are people. The important consideration is this – did it hurt you?

The sharing of your story will help you discover the truth about hurts, remembered and suppressed,  and how much weight should be given to those hurts. It will turn out, sometimes, that the hurt really was bigger in our memory than it needed to be, and sometimes, it was smaller than it needed to be. Telling our story helps to bring things into right perspective. Perspective is highly under rated.

Are you feeling encouraged to tell your story and break out of prison? If you are, like many of us, having a hard time with this thought, take your time, there is no rush, move at a speed you are comfortable with. The important thing is to move, baby steps. Take any healthy opportunities that come your way to address this need in your life. For me, it was a neighbour friend with a gift for helping people like me, and through her, connection with a support group.

As your first step toward telling another person your story, see if you can identify a possible someone in the circle of your life, someone with a healthy heart to hear your story. That’s very important. If we share our stories with someone in the same boat, it will turn into a vicious circle rather than a healing journey. You may have to step outside of your comfort zone to find this person or persons but it will be worth it. Most importantly, if you trust God, he will help you recognize the right opportunities. Help is always a welcome thing.

Peace that passes all understanding is the goal!

In this age of instant gratification we may be dismayed to find that one telling of our story won’t be the fix we were hoping for. Your story will need to be told many, many, times over before you reach the end of the healing journey. The beautiful thing is, everytime you tell your story (even if only to yourself) it will change, some things will be added and other things will drop off, as your perspective changes so will the telling of your story. Some things will cease to be part of the narrative because healing has taken place and now they have lost their place of importance in your heart, cause for celebration! New things will be added because there is a new measure of understanding, also cause for celebration!

The truth about this journey; it is not for the faint of heart….. but it is more than worth it.

If you also really trust God on this journey, he will be with you every step of the way, and when you need it most, you will feel his arms holding you.