What A Writer Knows (And Why a Writer Keeps on Writing)

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The writer knows that she’s not gonna live on this earth forever. That one day, these dirt-digging, creek exploring, laundry folding, baby holding, toilet scrubbing days will be over. She feels it now– how she’s actually only got a little bit of time left here to be helpful to the world and influence others.

And the writer knows that her words will last longer than her earthly self. Because words have this ability to stay on the earth long after a person is gone. And she hopes that someday, when she’s standing barefoot somewhere on the warm shores of a certain Kingdom, that her kids and her grandkids will still have a little piece of her left. And they’ll be able to read again and again all the most important things that she would tell them if she could hold them close.

The writer knows that her scribbled down words are the same as her spilled out heart. So the writer keeps writing.

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The writer knows that she is just one person who can only be in one place at a time, and she’s limited there inside her physical self to do much good in all the places that she deeply cares about. But, her words aren’t limited. Her words that have been prayed over and jotted down can miraculously take flight, across the country or the continent and reach people whose faces she’ll never get to see.

Because words that are printed in books and published on screens can stay up late at night and speak to someone laying awake on the couch or desperate somewhere on a bathroom floor, while she herself is tucking her babes in, or getting some rest.

And God can take her broken stories and personal reflections and He can breathe life into her muddled musings and somehow make them help a lot.

So, the writer keeps writing.

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Now, the writer knows that her words won’t reach everyone. She’s aware that there will be folks who won’t give a rip about her story or appreciate her perspective. There will be some who simply see differently and then those who can’t stand her voice. And she’s okay with that. Because every artist has a critic and successful artists have a thousand critics, and she’s not writing to please the masses, anyway. She writes because there are words that won’t stop burning inside her chest and she has to have relief.

She writes because she can’t not write. And the writer knows that there are some people who her words will get to and those people are valuable and significant and worth reaching out to.

So the writer keeps writing.

The writer knows that there will be days when she will have her doubts whether or not what she makes is any good. There will be days when she wants to unplug, like forever, and shut it all down and never open up again.

But, every great once in a while, she’ll get to look into the eyes of someone who her story has touched. Someone who read her scrawled out heart, her willingness to peel back the layers and let others see inside her fragmented, messy, but hope-filled self.

And so she’ll keep struggling along and pushing through all her misgivings and self-doubt because the writer knows that she’s not alone and there are others, too, who are wondering this, and no one was ever meant to feel all alone.

There are people who ache and people who hope and folks who just want to feel God and be loved and are trying hard to believe and somewhere, on the other side of her, perhaps just across the screen, they are reaching out, too. They are holding out for someone to just show up and speak some light right into them.

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The writer knows the power of her words, so she chooses carefully. Because words can be hands reaching out to cup another person’s face and words can be the kindest gentlest eyes that tenderly hold another person’s gaze. And words can be arms that wrap around a tired, worn out heart and isn’t this all really worth it in the end?

A writer knows that words, rightly spoken, heals souls. She knows this, because she keeps on being healed by the Word Himself. (John 1:1)

So, the writer keeps on writing.

“Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16–The Message)

 

6 Comments

  1. by Cindy on December 10, 2014  9:03 pm Reply

    Ahhh....Maggie...you are so spot on here...sometimes when I have to do all the stuff of life...I feel like a part of me is missing and it's always the writing. Thank you for sharing so eloquently what is heartfelt.

  2. by Erin Mauney on December 11, 2014  2:09 pm Reply

    Keep on writing Maggie! You blessed this Texas Mama as I paused to read your post in between paying a feed bill, wrapping Christmas presents, and tending to a little almost one year old baby girl who was tugging on my legs...not to mention her brother who was trying to "help..." Lol, blessing to you friend.

  3. by Danielle on December 12, 2014  1:18 pm Reply

    A beautiful, life-giving, encouraging post.
    My mom forwarded this post to me, glad she did! I have popped in here from time to time before, after I was introduced to you via Ann Voskamp's blog.

  4. by Debbie on December 12, 2014  1:49 pm Reply

    This is such encouragement to me. Thank you.

  5. by Rebecca on December 12, 2014  11:21 pm Reply

    Sweet words of encouragement and correcting my perspective. Thank you for writing!

  6. by Donna on January 2, 2015  2:38 pm Reply

    Exactly what I needed. Very inspiring, encouraging and timely. Thank you.

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