What Do I Write?….Oh, And How Did I Get Here?

Have you ever gotten in your car and driven somewhere, only to reach your destination and realize that you don’t remember a significant portion of the trip?  I hope I’m not the only one this happens to, or I’ll have to add it to the list of possible signs that I’m losing my mind.  That list is getting pretty long (and convincing).

Well, this is how my life feels at the moment.  I’ve been writing around something for a couple months now because I didn’t know where to start.  How do you find the beginning of a circle anyway?  To put it simply, the “something” I’ve been writing around is God and my life and writing.  It’s funny how all three are intertwined.  What’s even more hilarious is the fact that I’ve managed to not fully acknowledge it for this long 🙂  Yes, I am a dense one…but I have a great personality.  The personality argument doesn’t work here?  Oh.

Before I go further, I feel like I should put in some disclaimers.  You know; like the scrolling window of fine print you see (and have to click “I agree” to) when downloading software or the fast-talking at the end of a car commercial.  Only I will write slowly and concisely.  Oh, who am I kidding, I don’t do concise.

Disclaimer 1:  I plan to do my spiritual sort-out posts on Sundays. I know some of my readers may not be Christian, so I wanted to ‘warn’ you.  If the topic offends or makes you uncomfortable (or bores you to tears), don’t stop by on Sundays.  I don’t want anyone to feel ambushed 🙂

Disclaimer 2:  I’m NOT going to get “preachy” or anything.  I want to see if I can figure out how I ended up where I am without even realizing it – that’s all.  For several weeks, I’ve been debating about whether or not to post about this.  I’ve chickened out several times, but the idea keeps nagging at me, so I’m guessing this is where I’m supposed to suck it up and “just do it” (to steal the Nike slogan.)  Since it affects my writing, and this is my writing blog, it kind of makes sense.  And who knows, maybe others can relate.

On a semi-related topic, I started reading, “The Art & Craft of Writing Christian Fiction” by Jeff Gerke earlier this week.  There are two questions he asks that would be helpful regardless of the genre you write.  And, they are so basic and obvious that I can’t believe I never put serious thought into them.  I am now, and it’s an enlightening experience!  Ready?  Here they are:

  • Why do you write?  Examine motives to make sure you write for the right reasons.  Writing for approval or validation of others will not fulfill you or give you a sense of accomplishment.
  • What drives your desire to be published?  Look at motives and expectations.  The strong desire for publication could be a form of greed.  Publication won’t fill a void by making us content with life or making all our dreams come true.

Have you ever consciously thought about these questions?

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21 thoughts on “What Do I Write?….Oh, And How Did I Get Here?

  1. duke1959 January 21, 2011 / 7:57 AM

    This is a tough one and one struggle with on a regular basis. I have noticed that when I write about these topics my views drop like a rock. In the end you need to be true to yourself.

    • jannatwrites January 21, 2011 / 8:22 PM

      Well, Duke, I wondered if that would happen. Then I decided I’d have to take the chance. At least I gave fair warning so people who aren’t interested can avoid it. I may have to pay more attention to the stats after all 🙂

  2. nrhatch January 21, 2011 / 9:59 AM

    Good for you.

    Since I maneuver through life on a mindful basis most of the time I am often asking myself (and others) these questions:

    http://nrhatch.wordpress.com/2010/08/27/stay-focused-on-the-journey/

    http://nrhatch.wordpress.com/2011/01/08/blogging-a-waggish-waste-of-time/

    http://nrhatch.wordpress.com/2010/07/27/why-write/

    http://nrhatch.wordpress.com/2010/09/30/pop-goes-the-ego/

    And on writing from the heart:

    http://nrhatch.wordpress.com/2010/05/18/our-field-of-dreams/

    Whether or not something I write resonates with a given reader depends on the reader. If I write honestly, my intended audience will appear while those who are not intended to be in my pool of readers will drift away.

    When we are enjoying the journey, we stop worrying about finding our intended audience ~ we trust that our intended audience will find us.

    Enjoy!

    • jannatwrites January 21, 2011 / 8:52 PM

      Thanks for providing all those links, Nancy. I read all of them 🙂

      I love the philosophy that the “intended audience will appear while those who are not intended to be in my pool of readers will drift away.” Wonderful way of putting it.

  3. dorcas January 21, 2011 / 10:42 AM

    Bring it on Janna. I sure will read on sundays 🙂 God bless your desire.

    • jannatwrites January 21, 2011 / 8:53 PM

      I’m glad you’ll hang around on Sundays. I do appreciate your support 🙂

  4. pattyabr January 21, 2011 / 1:04 PM

    Very thoughtful post. Why do I write? I don’t think it is for fame. I was a horrible writer until age 24 when I had to be taught how to write for survival in graduate school. I saw writing as an adjunct of my “self” and also learn to self critique without bashing my “self”. I find writing to be a form of therapy and expression of creativity. If I wasn’t writing I would be pestering someone in my family, cleaning something, watching mindless TV or at the therapist.

    • jannatwrites January 21, 2011 / 9:03 PM

      Your reasons for writing seem sincere and honest. I love the things you shared that you would be doing if you weren’t writing – great list 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts – I’m glad you did!

  5. Aligaeta January 21, 2011 / 4:14 PM

    Writing is a necessary for my sanity. It gives me purpose and at the same time defines my purpose. I write so I can breathe, I breathe so I can write. It brings me closer to God, it brings God closer to me.

    You mentioned wanting/hesitation to venture this path of spiritual enlightenment on your blog in response to my post : http://aligaeta.wordpress.com/2011/01/10/god-speaks-through-the-scotsman-at-the-bar-2/ and I am so glad that you have chosen to commit to doing so.

    I didn’t want to influence your decision because I believed it would happen when you were ready for it to happen. Now that you have your disclaimer out of the way – what a trip, please explore your spiritual experience without self-censorship, allowing it to bring you where you need to be.

    I didn’t give a s**t what people would think when I wrote about my conversation with Alistar. I have no shame in writing the story of God in my life. Yes, its personal, but that I can see it is wondrous and a great story, a gift to be able to tell.

    Janna, let go of the conventional, and write, write, write! As you have been blessed to do so.

    • jannatwrites January 21, 2011 / 9:20 PM

      Thanks, Aligaeta. I will do my best to be open and honest in my writing. The hardest part is breaking all of the jumbled thoughts in my head into logical pieces for analysis. I just have to find out where that circle starts 😉 Oddly enough, I’m not fretting over where to start (and I haven’t written a single word of the first post yet.) Part of my growth is to let God direct me on where to start. As a person with control issues, this is a frightening step!

  6. knotrune January 21, 2011 / 4:15 PM

    I know exactly where you’re coming from. I began my blog as an eclectic random thing this January, then decided it was too blurry and needed the focus of a daily subject area. That forced me to make the decision I had been prevaricating over, same as you. God is central to my life, so I could hardly leave Him out of my blog! Yet I found it hard to write the post, and that bothers me.

    Like you, I have gone for Sundays as my God blog day! I think it’s a bit like having a fish on your car. You think people will judge your whole religion by how you drive! (I don’t have a fish on my car…)

    That sounds like a useful book, I might get it. I have considered those questions and the answer has changed through my life, the biggest shift being when I came to know God, but it’s still shifting now.

    • jannatwrites January 21, 2011 / 9:46 PM

      Yes, I think we’re in similar places. It was hard for me to even put this ‘warning’ post out because I wrote the “G” word and people seem to get freaked out about that. But then I had the internal struggles because I knew I shouldn’t hide the fact that I’m a believer in Christ.

      I think as we go through life, our views do shift – and that’s normal. I read your last Sunday post and I’ll back on Sunday to read the next installment. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment that I can identify with so well.

  7. clarbojahn January 22, 2011 / 7:34 PM

    My latest post dealt with the G word and as I said in the beginning of the post , I had been afraid to push the publish button. I, too will be making more God posts as He is central to my life and I can’t leave Him out of something as important as my writing. I will be making more posts on this subject, also not preachy or evangelical. But more in the way as to how I’m growing spiritually. I too was afraid I’d lose the few readers I had acquired. Thanks for being brave.,Clar

    • jannatwrites January 22, 2011 / 10:53 PM

      Oddly, it helps to know that you experience the same fear that I do. I read your post about your struggles and it seems we are going through the same process. I look forward to your future posts on God.

      P.S. I chuckled at your comment about me being brave, because that’s not me at all – I’m a big chicken. But if I am considered brave, then you are too – because you are doing the exact same thing 🙂

  8. suzicate January 24, 2011 / 7:08 PM

    Ha, a spiritual quest was the last place I thought I was headed when I started writing about life…full circle as you say. People, Christian and non, are very respectful when posts are written from the heart. Write what you feel…you shine through your writing whatever it is you are writing.

    • jannatwrites January 24, 2011 / 7:23 PM

      I agree, Suzicate. So far, it seems that my worries were unfounded because everyone has been so nice. It takes a weight off just writing about it 🙂

  9. Tim Weaver January 24, 2011 / 9:23 PM

    I write because I can. And because I want to see if I can create the type of story I like to read.

    What motivates me to get published? So they make a one-hour Dram-Com about me being a writer, and I get to star in it with a hot actress and do awkward love scenes.

    As for the “G” word, bring it. 🙂

    • jannatwrites January 24, 2011 / 9:35 PM

      I can tell you put a lot of thought into your answers. I have to admit, I did laugh at the publishing motivation. Good luck with that!

  10. Maimoona Rahman June 20, 2011 / 1:18 PM

    Wow, this is a bold and commendable move. I missed out on a lot on your blog since I took down my blog in January, and when I came back today, I was surprised to see so much religion in your posts. Well, relatively so much. Good for you, Jannat. Good luck 🙂

    • jannatwrites June 20, 2011 / 7:43 PM

      Glad you stopped by, Maimoona! I noticed you made your blog private a while back, and I was disappointed because I enjoyed your sarcasm 🙂

      When I started my blog, I kept everything neutral – mostly because I didn’t want to offend anyone. After a while I felt like I wasn’t being me by editing that out of my writing. I still don’t want to make others uncomfortable, but I feel better now that my spiritual journey has a place to reside (on Sundays.)

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