I have been writing, now, for decades. It started back in elementary school, when we were given blank books in second grade, books that were pure white, inside and out. The covers, the pages, the seams of the binding—all of it, whiter than winter clouds. There were no lines, no rules. Just space. For a student who went to school long before photo websites offered personalized books for any and every occasion, a blank book was a mystery and a rarity. It felt like a prize.
And all of these pages were given to me—for filling. I was given empty space and also the opportunity to fill it. It felt, to me, like a great gift.
It also felt, to me, like a burden.
All writing is like that for me—a gift and a burden. I am not handed blank books anymore; there is no teacher setting one down on my desk every month. Instead, I open a new screen and seek to fill the space with meaningful words that recall moments and share stories and offer truth. It is a gift to be able to write. It is also a holy burden to seek to do that well, and faithfully.
I have spent the better part of the last ten years studying words, learning how to tie them together with strands so thin they part like fumes in the wake of a whisper. I have spent time with words, learning how to train them like sentinels waiting for the trumpet blow, ready to release the hammering blow of truth to any ready listener.
I love words. I spend my days, now, teaching college students how to use them with grace and with power, for a purpose greater than themselves. I write in this space, I write for other publications, and I write in my journal as a way of knowing God more fully. I am, it seems, unraveled and built up most easily by words.
With these things in mind, I am starting #WritingWednesdays here on the blog. I want to offer some of what I have learned over the last decade to others who also want to write—not because I am a spectacular writer, but because writing is one of the gifts I have to offer others. I teach it to others for a living, and I thought this might be a fun space to share some writing prompts, tips, and tools.
Let me know in the comments (at the top of the post) if you have any particular questions you would like answered in this series. I’m also offering a “Linky Party” for those of you who want to join in the conversation about writing. If you are writing about writing or want to respond to the question “How has writing been important in your life?” through a blog post, feel free to link up below so that we can get to know one another and enjoy one another’s writing! If you’re on Instagram or Twitter, use the #WritingWednesdays hashtag so that we can connect!