(Who's job is it to determine if words are worth putting to paper? No idea. I used to think this thought stemmed from a purist attitude toward writing. It's a skill, an art.)
Lately I've wondered if being a writing purist is just another name for being a snob.
Really, what may draw people into writing is honesty. Whether a writer expresses what I'm honestly feeling, or honestly, what I wish I felt... both suck me in.
Maybe that's why people like Ernest Hemingway. His honesty (even in fiction) reminds me of a car wreck that you can't pull your eyes off of, or someone scraping their nails against a chalkboard.
Or why J.R.R. Tolkein's great trilogy, The Lord of the Rings, has been poured over. I believe many hearts' honest and unexpressed desire is to be brave and do what no one else can.
While in Colorado for the summer, all the college students in the program my husband and I help staff are reading Chazown. It's a book about finding your true purpose. A unique purpose.
When wrestling through some of the questions they ask in the book, I heard my Father whisper, I have called you to be honest, and sometimes I know things are from the Lord when they simultaneously produce a sense of coming home, and venturing forth. Of peace in the present, and hope for the future. Of the already, and not yet.
I have never been good at not being honest. Like in a, "no, everything's totally okay, just ignore the deep shade of red my face is turning and tears spilling over," kind of way. For the longest time I felt my easily displayed emotions were a hindrance.
Now, maybe not. I've heard many times, that what ministers to people most when we sit down over coffee is my vulnerability. Not eloquent words or knowledge or pat answers or wisdom, but real-ness.
Now I will attempt to carry that over every time I sit down to write. What is real, honest, true, vulnerable, transparent? What is the stuff of sustenance? The ropes of life I can hand down to others that are made of something worth grabbing hold of? Not just the painful bits, but the glorious ones too. The humor and joy and awkward moments and conviction and painstaking process of conversion.
Thanks for reading my thoughts so far, my pledge is to write more - in quantity, if not quality. But I desire to hear more too. (From you, believe it or not.) More honesty, more hope, more humor, more grief, more desire, more loss, more joy.
I'd love to hear about it.