hello courage

a small piece of art hanging above my desk
a small piece of art hanging above my desk

I’ve spent the better part of an hour letting my last cup of coffee grow cold, sifting through pounds of advice on how to overcome writer’s block, looking for that one perfect and inspiring blog prompt. It finally struck me, though, that my three-month long writing drought  is not due to insufficient inspiration or a lack of living, but more about the courage to write about the truth of my days.

Days filled with average things.

Days seemingly unimpressive or worthy of writing in detail.

Days that pass in predictable succession.

In my heart of hearts, I know there is no shame in living a life void of monumental drama, a life overflowing with family, friends and a future. It doesn’t mean there aren’t moments of frustration or loneliness. It certainly doesn’t mean that every aspect of my story is bound in happiness and success. My children often disappoint. My husband and I sometimes disagree. My friends and parents can be frustrating. My health declines and rises as rapidly as my weight and as sharply as my mental stability. And I am well aware that at times I am the same disappointment, the same frustration and most definitely, the same amount of disagreeable to others at any given time.

I am deeply flawed.

I fail as often as I succeed. Sometimes more.

“I am my own biggest critic. Before anyone else has criticized me, I have already criticized myself. But for the rest of my life, I am going to be with me and I don’t want to spend my life with someone who is always critical. So I am going to stop being my own critic. It’s high time that I accept all the great things about me.”
― C. JoyBell C.

Last month I pushed myself to go to a small writing workshop facilitated by Capital City Writers. The guest speaker was author and screenwriter Ted Kluck, focusing on writing creative non-fiction. Writing non-fiction is scary. There’s a level of fear when crafting anything riddled with truth, creative or otherwise. And there is a whole other level of fear that someone will either be offended by our truth or poke holes in the very memories we hold as truth, forever changing the way we see ourselves and the life we have built.

My intent was to slip in unnoticed, blend in with the walls and just absorb everyone else’s energy. I am not a member of this writing group, nor had I met anyone present.

I am quite foolish.

The room was small, speckled with a handful of professional writers currently working on projects. Not only did I not slip in unnoticed, but I sat on the front row, a dear friend in tow as my shield. Ted’s down-to-earth, tell-it-like-it-is, personality engulfed the room. In a matter of minutes the atmosphere ceased being thin and started filling my head with thick possibility. I sat with pen in hand and a stack of blank paper most of the afternoon. Eventually a trickle of ideas splattered the pages. I questioned everything that came to mind, catching as many words and phrases possible before they could fall to the page, fearful that somehow my thoughts wouldn’t be good enough.

Not even good enough for an audience of one. Me.

And then I went home and avoided writing some more, until I received the phone call yesterday that my domain name was expiring. There was a moment I thought about not renewing. For a moment my eyes glazed over the computer screen as I thought, “perhaps I should just let myself disappear”, questioned if it was worth the few dollars needed to ensure my identity as My Pajama Days. After all, it has been more than three months since I last wrote.

But here I am again. Renewed yet fearful.






19 thoughts on “hello courage

  1. I think I might have left one comment since finding your blog some years ago.I’ve been keeping up with your entries for what seems like at least 4 years and I suspect maybe longer.Seems like it was 2007.I could be wrong.I’m a single 59 year old man ,who has no immediate family of his own but has parents and a sister and we are all ‘Brady Bunch’ close.It might seem unusual that a single male with no immediate family became so interested in your blog when he was in his early or mid 50’s. I actually thought it was weird myself at the time.I’m very glad that you decided to continue your blog.Your entires show up automatically in my wordpress ‘blogs that I follow’. I think one reason that I enjoy your blog is the fact that I’m a retired Christian Minister and your blog is refreshing in that it’s so family oriented and stuffed with passion for family and living life ‘goal minded’.I’m happy that you intend to keep your readers happy by continuing to publish your positive and enjoyable life circumstances.I look forward to continue being a fan.

    1. Thank you for your kindness! And yes – you have left me a few heartfelt messages, especially after my dog Chelsea passed away a few years ago. It is amazing how our lives connect and interact with the world around us, even when we least suspect.

  2. OH you cannot go anywhere! your “un-noticed” mission….has helped me be more of who I am, and who I do or do NOT want to be. So funny how we see our selves, have you seen that dove commercial? the one where “you” are your own worst critic, and the person that sits next to them tells a different story, that’s all of us, well, a lot of us. See….when I go to the writing conferences, and class’s, my serious insecurities charge through my chest until I can almost not breathe anymore, I hear of every ones accomplishments and goals, and I……well…..I swell up within myself and think, I am not good enough, I have no college degree, I would never be able to do this, what am I suppose to do in life? what…..My head tells me one thing and my soul tells me another. I have spent my entire life on taking care of “someone else” – my mother, my sister…I had little to no one there for me. I have no idea how I did anything at all. Oh I can tell a story alright, and I am getting closer – all because of YOU !

  3. Thank you for choosing not to disappear! It’s so good to hear from you again. All things ebb and flow; be gentle with yourself and wallow for a while in that thick possibility. (I love that phrase!) Welcome back. 🙂

Leave a Reply to My Pajama Days Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s