Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Tuesday Monday Meeting: Smiles for a Runner

Rarely do I really know how I am feeling until I slip into my jogging shoes, tie my car key into my laces, and step onto the trail for a run.  Running is emotional, almost spiritual. I connect with all of me. From my smallest breath to my biggest idea. I connect with the ground beneath my feet, the sky above, the snakes slithering past, and the other people on the trail. We strangers smile as we run past each other.  Connected.

I have a strong faith, in me, in my writing, in my understanding that we as people are all connected to one another.  That connection may be the most conventional part of my faith.  Maybe what people call God.  That force that moves within me, through me, and connects me to everyone else. What provides the possibility for growth and personal evolution.

You can't go far in the writing blogosphere without stumbling upon people talking about and experiencing doubts.  Or bigger, experiencing a crisis of faith.  Of writing faith.  Am I a good enough writer?  Am I strong enough to be vulnerable, and open to writing growth?  Can I hear what others say about my writing and get better, stronger, and take what I need, and leave what I don't?  Can I survive the rejections?  Am I good enough?  Will I ever be good enough?  Should I give up?  What if I never...?

But the thing that we forget is that in order to have faith, there must be doubts.  And, that when you have doubts, you also expose your faith.  So, I ask you, in this very connected world, what do your doubts tell you about the faith that you have in yourself, in your writing?  How do your doubts help you understand the depth of the faith you have in your writing?

My writing goals this week include finding a balance between writing and my kids' lack of school.  My youngest is home all the time now, so things will be shifting.  Writing every day is a goal I'm hoping to achieve. What goals do you have this week?

If you would like to connect with other writers, check out Tina's Practice Room, our WIBIJ game (STARTING THIS WEDNESDAY AT 1:00--WOO-HOO!!), or Sheri's Graffiti Wall--an interview today with the awesomely wonderful Casey McCormick.  Put your doubts aside, and just sit with your writing faith this week!


  1. I love this post. There is much to consider here! It is like a blog post sermon. For me it works as one. I think you have to be connected, you have to be close to god to write well. It brings me back to Elizabeth Gilbert and her TED talk. You know that one don't you. My faith is tested all the time.

  2. Such a great post! What do my doubts say about me? Hm, that I'm crazy and neurotic. :-) You're absolutely right - our doubts say more about our insecurities than about our actual abilities. Must keep that in mind this week as I keep charging through my revision!

  3. Wow, excellent post, Heather. It really got me thinking. I'm not sure I have a lot of faith in myself as a writer. Not yet at least. But I do believe I'll get there someday... and that is what keeps me going. I doubt myself every single day, but when I write something that suddenly clicks and I think "A-ha! That is what I've been trying to do all along!" it makes moving on to hit my goals a whole lot easier. Unfortunately, it often takes me week, months, and a lot of deleting and angst before I have one of those A-ha! moments... but when I do, and am reminded of the reason I do this to myself... I know I'll get there someday. I refuse to let all this hard work be for nothing!

    Thank goodness for The Practice Room... all the support from you and T, and the rest of the gang definitely keep me motivated more than any thing else!

  4. LOVE this!! I think my doubts just tell me that I'm scared. Scared to be wrong, or not good enough! SIGH!

  5. Great post, Heather. I'm still in writing-crisis mode. My doubts tell me I have little faith in myself. I'm trying to reconnect and find the missing pieces. : )

  6. Great post. My self doubts are like a roller coaster. up when an agent asks to see more. down when they pass. Ugh.

  7. bravo to you.

    what a beautiful post!

  8. Very much love this post, Heather. At a perfect time, too!

    Why do doubts have to be so much louder than faith?

  9. My writing schedule will be changing soon too - in exactly 2.5 weeks when my kids are done with school. Don't know what it's going to do like.

  10. Tina--I get such inspiration from your blog posts, so turnabout is fair play, I guess!

    Anna--I'm glad that you are charging ahead on your revisions. I hope you use me as a connection this summer when you are holed up with your writing!

    Marisa--those A-ha moments are worth their weight in gold. You will get there someday. (Soon, I hope!) The longer I write, the longer this road seems to be. I second your "thank goodness" for the Practice Room. That connection is amazing!!

  11. Christina--I know. It's so scary. As long as we jump in despite the fear, I think we're okay. :)

    Casey--Let me know if you need a cheerleader. Cheers help a lot!! GO CASEY!!

    CQG--I know, up and down, up and down. That's supremely awesome that you are getting agent attention!

    Tahereh--Thanks. I was definitely inspired by a fantastic run.

    Natasha--I have to say, we probably repeat the negative stuff to ourselves 10x as much as the positive, faith side. At least, I do.

    Laura--we'll explore our new schedules together!

  12. This was a BEAUTIFUL post Heather.


    I love the different styles you have. When you are funny you are BLOODY FUNNY (as we say in England. It's not meant as a swear word - just for emphasis. HONEST!)

    When you are serious - you totally draw your reader in. As Jon has said - your analogies are PERFECT!

    You are a deep and talented writer/mother/friend/cat babysitter and of course an amazing blogger!

    I have been caught in a tide of family stuff this week; operations, hospitals etc, so have been scarce. Hope to do more refining on 2 wips this week. Started yesterday and made some headway.

    I LOOOOVED this post my friend!

  13. Ann Marie--I hope that things are looking better for you soon--it sounds like you continue to have too much on your plate. I will fly over in my dreams tonight, and help support you as you take care of the WORLD!!! HUGS!

  14. Beautiful post, Heather. Doubts are looming large, but sometimes faith means "acting as if" and making myself keep on going. Goal for June = finish the draft of the book I have no faith I can write well - or get the inner editor to just shut up for a bit. Good luck w/your goals. I'm racing to write as much as possible before school lets out for summer.

  15. Great post Heather. I have doubts daily & was just thinking about it last night. All the ones you mentioned. When I have faith, I get through them. When I'm tired and discouraged, they make me think of quitting. I always come back to that I enjoy writing whether I ever get published or not. I hope those thoughts keep me going.

  16. What a beautiful post. I share a lot of those feelings when I am running.

    I think the doubts that come up help me to keep pushing forward--eventually. I also think about the writing journey and success, and define success with writing as being engaged in the journey. Am I fully exploring the possibilities in my writing independent of whether I get published or not? Getting published is not the goal but being fully engaged is. This week I've had a lack of engagement, lots of distractions, but I think I'll come around soon.

    I did have a great run yesterday and that helped get me pointed in the right direction.

    I hope you do some writing everyday:-)

  17. I had to come back and read this again. Your thing about needing the doubts in order to have the faith makes sense to me. It is like what Jon Kabat-Zinn says about not practicing being practicing. I think that means that we have something to learn from everything that we do. And if that is not true with writing I don't know what is. Thanks!

  18. Lori--Good luck getting that draft done. I'm glad you are getting words to page before summer bursts onto the scene!

    Natalie--I love that reminder of loving writing for writing's sake. And, I do too--so that is a wonderful motivation to keep heading in the right direction!

    Paul--being fully engaged is such wonderful advice--for every area of life. Thanks so much for that perspective!

    Tina--thanks so much for stopping by again--that is so powerful--to learn from everything we do. To be open to everything is so wonderful--and then to take it one step further and learn... Thanks!!