Writing. It’s something I’ve referenced here on the blog a lot, both by literally writing my posts, and also by telling you about my passion and love for the art of writing that runs deep in my soul, coursing through my veins. Even when I’m not writing, I had a writer’s spirit. Even when Lyme and friends have stolen my ability to write on any given day, I still have a writer’s heart. And even when I feel like I’ll never again be able to write as I once did, I still have the soul of a writer…and the fire in the soul of a writer is one that never abates.
It’s there, anytime I’m listening to or reading anything; be it books, audiobooks, the radio, the television, YouTube, movies, Spotify, the newspaper, songs that randomly pop into my head throughout the day, anything that contains words in any form, my mind is working. It is editing, writing, correcting grammar, thinking of rhymes, writing raps, writing entire chapters of books in my head, thinking up plots and immediately shooting them down and coming up with another. The writing, whether I’m physically able or not, is always happening. The soul of a writer is always with me.
(You may be thinking, “Whoa, hold up there, aren’t you a Christian? This sounds awfully sacrilegious.” To which I reply, YES, I am a Christian, and having the Holy Spirit in my soul, being the very reason I exist, is also the number one reason I’m alive and able to write this today. But for a moment, I ask you to please indulge me as I talk about the soul of a writer, and please understand I’m not using it to replace the fact that my soul is committed to, and inhabited by, the Holy Spirit and Light of the World. I’m merely emphasizing, to excess, the writing-fire who flames sometimes engulf everything in sight, and whose coals sometimes smolder a deep red, but whose light never goes fully out. Meaning, it’s the light of a passion I’ve had since before I entered Kindergarten, and it’s only grown stronger with time.)
I was talking with a friend the other day, and she mentioned a scenario I’ve mentioned on here before, which is also a scenario with which I am intimately familiar. It’s that writing bug. It’s late at night, even early-AM hours, and you are lying awake and a thought hits you. Following that thought is the thought, “I HAVE to get this down onto paper/my phone/my laptop, etc., or I’m not going to be able to focus on anything else.
I say that to emphasize this point: if words demand to be written, a writer will always find a way.
My writer-soul cannot abide having something already perfectly formed in my mind, yet not being able to immediately translate it to paper, at least not without major anxiety, along with the aforementioned internal turmoil that comes from not being able to concentrate on anything else until my thoughts are written or typed and therefore tangible. It may sound ridiculous to some, but I know other writers understand this. It’s a very real phenomenon. So real I think it deserves its own name, and while I’m in no position to say this is the official term (heck, there may already be a scientific term, but I’m unaware of it), I’m going to propose: Write or die. Because that’s how it feels sometimes, like I’ll physically explode if I don’t get my words out of my head.
Ever since “the crash” in January of 2012+1 (which landed me in the hospital and eventually down the long, winding road that is finding a doctor who was knowledgeable and looked at my full health history and complete picture, then getting diagnosed with Lyme and trying various treatments over the past nearly 6 years in an effort to heal), I’ve not been able to write as I know I once could, and as I’d love to be able. It’s not a matter of time, because being mostly-bedridden for the better part of 6 years, but rather is a matter of the cognitive effects of chronic Lyme disease.
I want to clarify that CHRONIC LYME DISEASE IS REAL, I’m not talking about “Post Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome,” just to make that clear, since there’s a lot of talk happening these days.
Yes, I started this website and blog near the beginning of my official diagnosis, but over the years, I’ve become less and less able to keep up with posting regularly. I’m not going anywhere, though. If I think about it too much, this particular reality can really get me down in my emotions, very down, in a bad way. I start to question if I’ll ever be “me” again, when I can’t even commit to being able to write to type just 1-2 sentences daily, never knowing what a day is going to bring. That’s how much writing means to me.
But the thing is, I know my identity is not defined by writing, even though the diploma on my wall suggests it’s a major part of who I am (and it IS; I wouldn’t have devoted 4 years to getting an English degree if it weren’t the case), because like I mentioned near the beginning, I know my identity, at its core, is found in Christ and Christ alone. On a day to day, human-functioning level, however, writing is very much a part of who I am and is something that can get me excited more than just about anything else when I AM able to write.
“But Becca, why are you writing this blog post today?”
The answer is actually quite simple.
I am able to write this today.
But even more so, I was inspired to write this based on how I’ve been feeling lately, and also because I have had some important writing-related news to share with you! If you’re not in my immediate family, you don’t know this, but I spend a good portion of my time at home, alone in bed, thinking about the memoir(s) I’ve planned on writing for over half of my life, and I also get easily overwhelmed when doing so, because I’ve never been able to figure out a format that makes the task seem manageable.
I NOW HAVE A FORMAT AND I’M BEYOND ECSTATIC!
I obviously can’t disclose all the details about my format, but I found a way in which I can share stories, anecdotes, and lessons from all times in my life, without the familiar “Oh no, I can’t do this, it’s too hard to write down, I can’t just pick a few things, I can’t handle this,” etc. feeling. I’ve found a format I know it doable, and now I’m excited to get writing, as often and as well as my body is able. It may still take years, but at least one is getting written, and I also have plans for a fiction series, along with many children’s books, but the memoir is what I’ve wanted to write for over 15 years, and now that it doesn’t seem impossible daunting, I’m more excited than I’ve ever been when it comes to this memoir matter.
Maybe some of this seemed unnecessary, but as I’ve said before, and as I again discussed it with my friend, sometimes the words just need to get out. And the fact I’ve been about to write over 1,200 words is one of the biggest victories I’ve had to date. No exaggeration. Praise the Lord for just the ability to type these words!
Thanks for sticking with me if you’ve made it this far. I really do hope to start posting more frequently again, but we’ll see how my body decides to act.
For now, I love and appreciate you all, and I’m forever thankful for any and all of you who visit this site and are able to maybe find a little encouragement, or even just solace or camaraderie. We’re all in this together, even if we’re each behind our own screen/in our own bed/house.