Yes, my insta feed, twitter feed & FB feed was all abuzz from my time at the #FFWgr.  At the Festival of Faith & Writers, I was entirely inspired, convicted, guilt-ridden to begin writing consistently again.

Let’s just keep it real, y’all: 75% of the reason I went to FFW was Annie Lamott.  That, driving distance & blogging peeps!

  And, true to form, she IMPACTED me.

1795588_10102134027388922_8850413355432063648_nI met & leaned on Annie’s leg. O Magnify, Lord Jesus.  I asked her to sign my boob, but she didn’t have a Sharpie.  =)

“With all of what we waste our time on every day, if you can’t find an hour to write, not even Jesus can help you,” she says.

“Write through the abyss.  And if you can’t make it across the abyss, go to Ikea & buy an area run. And then write,” she says.

I can blow through 15 minutes at a time on Facebook, several times a day. SIGH.  I need to begin capturing those moments no matter what it is: a prayer journal to the Lord, a 10 minute honesty session with myself, a 5 minute blog post, 0r 10 minutes on my book proposal.  I have the time.  I have the time.

Loosely connected is that I *gasp* often wait for inspiration to hit.

“Don’t wait for inspiration to hit,” Annie says. “Inspiration has not been much use to me over the years,” she says.  “You just sit down & you do it.  Every day.”

When life is exorbitantly hard, I’m not as inspired and I write & I read less often.  As a result, I am inspired less often.  Life has been exorbitantly hard for 6 months.  At least.  I’ve written so much less.

“The hour before the world gets to you in the morning is a precious and sacred hour. If there’s a way to claim that, do.”

Here are the problems with me not-writing-when-I-should-be:

1.  Writing helps me figure out life, to make sense of the evil and the beautiful.  Writing -whether publicly or privately- is a (mostly) relaxing hobby that brings a lot of joy and peace.  Writing gives me something constructive and life-giving to do when I’m feeling anxious & depressed.

2. Writing publicly gives me an outlet to serve others when I’m feeling nothing but selfishly narcissistic.

In these ways, writing has been a tool in my tool belt towards greater healing for myself and others.

////

Something really beautiful happened at the Festival of Faith & Writers.

In a seminar on The Issues Facing Writers of Color, a woman stated that my blog had meant all the things to her & then others began to agree.  For a moment, I blushed & teared up –mostly because she was tearing up explaining how meaningful it is to find an honest voice-of-a-minority-woman on the interwebs.

It’s humbling y’all.  On the one hand, I want to keep re-iterating what a screw-up I am so no one will think I’ve tried to trick them.  On the other hand, I want to be a servant to my readers and say all the things you need me to say…even while I struggle myself.  I feel this tension almost constantly.

There’s times I’ve fully believed & owned the voice that some tell me I have. I’ve written through the pain & I’ve allowed others into my world.  There’s times I want to shut it all down, Netflix binge & weep for days.  And then there’s times like this, when more than a few encourage me to Just Keep Writing and I choose to believe, I’m still an A-O-K person to do it.  You lovely readers & a few good friends have gone out of your way to REALLY –LIKE REALLY– ENCOURAGE that God is in fact calling me to use my gifts to serve the body of Christ.

My good friends know my dirt, my gunk, my tomfoolery & have still said, “yes, blog! Yes, finish your memoir! Yes, write the Bible studies for Converge! Yes, use your gifts!  Yes, write through the abyss! Yes! Yes! Yes!

So.  Here I go.  I am facing an abyss.  I’m going to write through it.  And I might just run to Ikea to buy an area rug too.

Also, a lil’ somethin’ somethin’ I shared on my  Facebook page yesterday on Holy Week.

Day 1. Check.

 

 

 

Signature
  • sarah

    Yes – please keep writing. This girl in Australia finds you inspiring, challenging, clever and fun.

    • http://www.GraceSandra.com/ Grace Sandra

      Thank you, Sis! I will! =)

  • http://www.leighkramer.com/ Leigh Kramer

    LOVE this, Grace! I wish so badly we’d had more time to talk at FFW- how on earth did it go by so quickly? It was such a treat seeing you face to face. I’m excited to see what’s next for you. Face the abyss, buy the area rug, and by all means use your voice. We are ready to listen.

    Also, I’d love to hear more about the Issues Facing Writers of Color session. I planned on going and then got waylaid elsewhere. Hoping it’s one of the sessions that was recorded!

    • http://www.GraceSandra.com/ Grace Sandra

      Leigh, I agree! What a whirlwind!

      I believe the session was recorded….but yes, it could be something to write out. =) you always have such good ideas for me. =)

  • http://greatlove.postach.io Sarah Silvester

    I really love this Grace. I adore Anne Lamott, what a treat to hear her. I might pick up Travelling Mercies again for a re read.
    Please keep writing. Your blog is refreshing, interesting and challenging and thought-provoking. We need it and appreciate the sacrifice you make to share in this space.

    • http://www.GraceSandra.com/ Grace Sandra

      Thank you so much, Sarah! xoxo

  • mongupp

    You better keep writing, Grace…..or else! :)

    • http://www.GraceSandra.com/ Grace Sandra

      hahahaaha, M! Duly noted!

  • Jerry

    All I can say is … “Lucky” Napoleon Dynamite
    My wife and I have been reading through Bird By Bird. I also recently read Stitches. This was the first year in ten that I wasn’t able to attend FFW. Was Luci Shaw there? She is one of my favorite poets. After an abyss of sorts I am back writing through it again and it feels good, even if I am the only one who sees the words. Keep on pounding the keys sister!

    • http://www.GraceSandra.com/ Grace Sandra

      Luci Shaw was there but I missed it. oops. =)

      So glad you are writing again, you are one of the best out there. Truly. I hope to see some of yours soon!

  • Natalie Hart

    I’m so glad that you got the encouragement you needed from FFW. The power of that incredibly simple “If you can’t find an hour, not even Jesus can help you,” was galvanizing for me, too. I will pray for both of us as not only the abyss, but also Resistance starts to hit hard to prevent us from writing more.

    • http://www.GraceSandra.com/ Grace Sandra

      Yes! Yes! this! This is a great prayer for us both!

  • Jillie

    KEEP. ON. WRITING., GRACE BISKIE. That’s all I can say!

    Read your lil’ somethin’ somethin’ on FB. No truer words spoken. Lots of folks in the same boat, Grace, believe me. And I’m one of ’em. Thanks for expressing so well what I so often feel.

    • http://www.GraceSandra.com/ Grace Sandra

      Thank you, Jillie. We are in this together! xoxo

  • http://sandraheskaking.com/ Sandra Heska King

    “Anything likeable was written in the abyss.” ~ Annie

    What a joy to meet you face-to-face and hair-to-hair. :)

    • http://www.GraceSandra.com/ Grace Sandra

      Sandra, YES, that line got to me as well. So. So. So. true!

  • http://www.jamiewrightbagley.com/ Jamie

    “Writing helps me figure out life…” That. Right there. That’s what drew me back into writing and taught me to love it even harder. Writing saves my hope when I feel dragged down. And yes, your voice is so needed, so important. I’m glad you are writing through the abyss.

    • http://www.GraceSandra.com/ Grace Sandra

      Well, Jamie, I’m going to be learning from you then, because here I goooooooo.

      THANK YOU!

  • http://neyhart.blogspot.com/ Jennifer Neyhart

    you write my thoughts!!! i NEED to be writing for many of the same reasons you listed!!! Thank you for this post. It encourages me today to write through the abyss!

    • http://www.GraceSandra.com/ Grace Sandra

      Yes! Do it, Sis! We all need too. Annie’s wisdom never fails! =)

  • pastordt

    Amen, and amen. Preach it, write it, say it, sing it. Just do it.

    • http://www.GraceSandra.com/ Grace Sandra

      in other words…get it OUT somehow! =) Amen. xoxo

  • http://clbeyer.wordpress.com clbeyerWriter

    I am fairly new to your blog, but this was lovely. I was at the Festival as well, and Anne Lamott’s love spewing out all over everyone made me feel like I was in the best collective hug ever. Your recap so accurately echoes what I’ve been feeling from my first time at FFW: Yes, there’s a place for your art and creativity (and your motherhood). Yes, keep writing. Yes, yes, yes.

    • http://www.GraceSandra.com/ Grace Sandra

      Thank you for stopping in and commenting. Yes, I did feel like it was a big collective hug & SUCH a holy moment. There’s a place for you too! For all of us….

  • http://www.rocksinajar.com/ Aubrey

    Sometimes I feel like a broken record when I hop on your blog to comment something along the lines of “Grace. I needed this. Thank you.” But, it’s true. I needed this. I’ve got some junk that needs to be sorted through and my mind has been itching for a pen-in-hand moment for far too long. Ten minutes here. Fifteen minutes there. I can do that. Thank you.

    And I’m still rooting for you and Detroit’s Daughter. As always. :)

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