Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Physicality of Writing

In this world of computers, of word processors, of recorders, we don't often get the chance or the encouragement to just write. To put pen or pencil to paper for anything other than art. To grab a book off the shelf not because it is full of words, but because it is empty, waiting for you to fill it. But to me, that simple act of writing your thoughts down, watching as the curve of the 'A' moves to the curl of the 'S', and the sharp lines of the 'K' is an amazing process. Yes. I just spelled ASK. Why? Because that is often what one does with and when writing. You pen your thoughts, asking yourself what you should put and what you should leave out. Why you acted so, or Why you chose not to act at all.

In it's simplest form, writing is a tool to expressing, developing, and understanding ourselves. That is why I often start my stories by writing them feeling the name of a character flowing from my dipping my feather pen into various inks and illustrating a passage I find interesting or important.
The most personal forms of writing though for me are not writing books per-say. It is three things, really.

One, the situations or characters in my story that I infuse with  parts of myself and my experiences...often parts that I don't want critiqued. Thankfully I am learning to endure and learn from such critiques, because, if I have done my job right, those parts are almost indistinguishable from the other story elements, and thus it is not my experiences and feelings they are critiquing, it is just the presentation of them.

Second are my journal notes. I have a journal that is my gratitude journal, Bible study and quiet time journal, and deep, personal thoughts journal. I'm happy to say that when I write my thoughts down in it's white pages that I feel a release...a cathartic healing if I am feeling raw from a bad encounter, or a deep peace when I write something that God uses to comfort and encourage me or to help me grow. I haven't felt, you might say, in years. So picking up that journal that has only been around for about a month now already fills me with a longing to further fill its pages and find out what new thoughts and ideas will present themselves to me.

Third, and most special, are the letters I write to other people. It may seem like a simple gesture, but for me, when I write down my feelings and emotions to someone, when I open myself up to them, and choose to spend my time in crafting a letter in which they will be able to find love and that is something special. I can remember letters I have received, when they are simple and straightforward, and state a friends love & devotion, I feel calm all over, my heart seeming to flutter and skip a beat. I think it is because I realize how much a person needs to feel in order to put the words "I Love You" on paper--on something that that special someone can keep forever--on something that could last generations. How you must truly mean the words "I am here for you." to write it down. How they make an almost binding promise of "supporting and praying for and encouraging" you.
You can now see why this is my favorite and most special form of the written word. A small smile creeps in, and my breath is slower and deeper when I think of letter writing. It's a passion. It's a love. It's an obsession.

In fact, I am writing two letters as we speak. They are both sitting on my desk with my maroon and green feather pens and colored inks, ready to be given their final touch ups. I am praying that my words will bring their recipients at least some joy. I am beginning to pray over my letters as well, to ask that God will use them as He sees fit, using them to help others if at all possible.

So, to all of you reading this, I encourage you to write. Actually, I have a challenge for you. On the day that your read this, take a piece of paper, and write a two paragraph description of yourself as you are now. Then, analyze it. Next, write a two paragraph description of what you want to be. How do they line up? What can you do to reach your goals? What can you pray about, and ask God to help you change and grow? Make sure you are actually WRITING this, not just typing it up. I promise that you will find at least one thing to work least one thing to think least one prayer to pray.
If you are successful in this, post a comment or send me an email. You don't have to give specifics. Just a quick note saying "Pray for me" is enough. I will add you to my prayer journal, and make sure that I pray about you the next time I come before our Heavenly Father.

Alright. I will sign off now. My doctor is changing my sleep pattern and medicinal regime, and thus, I must at least try to sleep *chuckle*. May you all be blessed with our Lord's unending grace and bounty. May your days be fruitful, and your choices wise. And may you find peace even in the hardest and most challenging of  situations.
This I pray.

Be Well!


Casey Elizabeth Ruble said...

What a great post Rach! Only from the true writer. :) I agree with you on pretty much everything in here, especially the letters. I still have every letter you've ever written me and will often pull them out and read them again. Doesn't matter how I'm feeling, happy, sad, excited, whatever, they make me smile and I'm yet again reminded of how blessed I am to have you as a friend. And if I remember correctly (which I'm pretty sure I do), you were the one who encouraged me to write in the first place! Heh, even if we never finished our adventure in Itheryn, we definitely had some good times. And who knows! Maybe one of us will pick it back up one day and finish it! :)

You've helped mold me to what I am today and "thank you" just doesn't cover it. I am blessed beyond compare!!! Love you girl!

Rae Hitchings said...

I TOLD you you would enjoy writing! I'm so glad you proved me right...or we wouldn't have had NEARLY as much talkie time...we talked for hours on the phone about Itheryn *laugh* And those long emails? Whew!

The letters are my way of saying "thank you" as well. I'm blessed with you :) It's a win-win!
Love you muchly! <3

Merry said...

"Just write.
- Me."

:) I like that comment.

Rae Hitchings said...

haha :) Tis true! One must always take the first step to begin the journey.
And, I'm blunt.

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