Here’s how I work sometimes. When something BIG presents itself… I tend to let it rest.
My husband gave me a sewing machine for my birthday years ago. I left it in the box for over six months.
I won an iPad three years ago. I left it in the box for three weeks.
I got a Ninja blender. I left it in the box for two weeks.
I know, it’s a little odd, and I’m not entirely sure why I do this but I’m guessing it’s either that I want the excitement of the “new” to last. Or, I am overwhelmed by the idea of actually breaking that fancy thing out of its box and using it!
Why it’s important to get Write in the Moment as a writer
Now… I’ve had an idea since October… but I’ve “left it in the box” for the past six months. Because frankly, I’m overwhelmed with the idea of letting it escape out of my head and into this blog space! What will happen? Will I follow through? Will the idea take hold? Will I hear crickets? Will it fizzle out? Will it run like wildfire and become bigger than I can manage (oh to have that problem!)?
The truth is, writing is a scary thing sometimes. You just never know where it will take you!
The story leads us, not the other way around.
My pastor’s wife asked me to write up “a little something” about the backstory of the Woman at the Well for a ladies’ fellowship event. Oh, sure, I thought. I little bio? Not a problem.
Then I thought about what that would actually MEAN! And I let that idea sit “in the box” for a few weeks. Postponing my fear – of failing at telling the untold story. When I finally started to write though… her character came to life beneath my fingers. I could envision more and more of her history (fictional though my imaginings were). The writing grew to six pages of backstory, as I worked in symbolism, metaphor, and characterization.
My point is… once I started writing, the story materialized as fast as I could type! And that was a made up story! I’m living a beautiful story daily with my little ones… and I want to cherish each moment, both on the blog and in my personal, private writing.
Your story is worth capturing
Now, I write nearly every day. But a lot of the writing work I’m doing is informational – tips, recipes, reviews, news. My goal has always been to work my personal experiences into the posts I write. But after my October 31 Days challenge where I wrote parenting poetry nearly every day, I knew I wanted to do more.
So you know what I did, of course. Yep. I sat on that idea for the past six months. Writing my usual blog posts, scribbling notes and ideas away on post its and in notebooks. But not actually bringing the idea forward to you readers.
Because writing is a scary thing sometimes.
But… I’ve decided, so is the passage of time. Time has a way of erasing those narratives, the sweet moments I’m sharing with my children. Smudging the edges just a little. Blending them in with other memories.
1000 words of story is worth more than a picture to me
I envy people who are great photo journalists. With a simple click, they capture smiles, joy, surprise, secret moments. I don’t have their skill for storytelling with photos, although I am trying to pick up a few tips.
But the way I tell stories is through my words. If I fail to write down these stories, it’s like a photographer who never develops their film.
You’ve heard a picture is worth a thousand words, I’m sure. And while it may be true that a picture can convey so much in an instant. But there are things pictures cannot convey. Your thoughts as you hold your baby for the first time. The smell of your son’s hair after a day in the yard. The squeeze of a baby hand in yours. When your toddler sighs, “I love you so much, Mommy.”
No. I can’t see how a photo quite nails those moments. And those are the moments I want to get right into and make them stick in my fuzzy Mommy memory.
Write the moments – right in the moment
But how can we capture those personal narratives in a tangible way, a way that lets us remember them, share them?
That’s my challenge. I invite you to grab a pen and notebook, and join me in this personal narrative writing workshop. And you don’t have to be a mom. Mom’s don’t corner the market on cherished moments! I don’t know what your situation is, but chances are, you have a story to tell.
I want to help you gather those seeds of story. Save them, nurture them, help them grow into your own story.
I’m calling this the Write in the Moment Writing Workshop series, and I hope you’ll follow along, and write along. My plan is to share a writing tip or lesson each week to help you along the writing way, then also share my writing work with you so you can see the results of the lesson. I have about 10-12 lessons planned so it’ll be a gradual process, and all the posts will be here for you to follow at your leisure!
Will you join me for this writing workshop? I’d love to read your stories too!