by Michelle McLaughlin
Sometimes staring at a blank page disheartens me. The words I thought I had in me before I sat down have vanished. I have nothing to offer. The blank space, sitting empty, taunting me to fill it up, is as intimidating as standing before a crowd of people and feeling I am paralyzed to open my mouth. My fingers sit poised over the keyboard but I cannot strike the keys. I cannot string together the individual letters that will form words into sentences to convey my ideas. There is nothing.
It's a difficult conundrum. To write is the very act of...writing. It should be simple really—make words flow together into sentences to express an idea to share with others.
But writing, that is something entirely different. When writing is something born of yourself, created in your imagination alone, and something others may (potentially) read, it takes on a whole new significance. It becomes not just words and sentences expressing an idea, it becomes a piece of your soul exposed to the world. Even if no one else ever reads the words put into print, once it is brought to light, the writer becomes unshielded.
Displaying my own vulnerability by writing, then sharing it through my blog, leaves me feeling naked. Thoughts formed in my mind and shaped by my words are available for others to examine and judge. Every time I hover over the post button, I pause, feeling a wild moment of panic. As much as I desire to share my writing, my desire to keep what I compose private is stronger.
Blogging has moved me forward in my journey as a writer. Joining a writers group has motivated me to quit hiding. I enjoy weaving words and expressing myself in ways I would never achieve verbally. I have journeyed through, apprehensive at first and gaining boldness along the way. I'm finally embracing writing as one of my passions and owning it. I can call myself a writer and not feel I need to justify why quite as strongly as I did at the beginning. I feel I have proven to myself that I do have something worth sharing.
Michelle McLaughlin makes her home in the Ontario countryside with the love of her life and best friend where they are raising five young boys, an overgrown puppy and a cat that rules the roost. She grew up in the country as the youngest of four, often finding her many unusual pets to be her best playmates and great fodder for her imagination. She is still prone to daydreaming while tending the necessary but mundane tasks of motherhood. Recently she has rediscovered her love of writing, trying to make space for it as it is a needed reprieve from the piles of dirty laundry and tummies that are forever hungry. When she isn't tending her garden or whipping something up in the kitchen, you'll find her sitting on her back deck on warm days or by the fireplace when it's cold enjoying a cup of tea with a favourite book or a good friend.
You can find Michelle hanging out at her blog, Simple Bounty, or on Twitter @simplebounty
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