My Marathon of Writing
I watched a video clip of a fellow blogger as she shared her passion for trail running. The smile on her face, the laughter bubbling up and spilling out as she told about her upcoming challenge of running 100 miles, made her excitement contagious. She is quick to point out her lack of a stereotypical runner’s physique, but it does not dim her passion for the sport and the happiness in accomplishing such a huge goal. I loved that inspiration and challenge and wish her all the best in an upcoming run.
Sherri believes in her ability to complete this huge goal, and inspires others to reach for their goals by not limiting themselves to the perceptions of others. Or the limitations they try and place on us, or we place on ourselves by believing the lies.
I needed to think about what I have accomplished despite obstacles that might have arisen or lies that beckon to be believed. For years I buried my love of writing and hid behind being shy instead of stepping out to share the stories itching to escape. I convinced myself I would not write for anyone else to read which freed me to continue to journal, but not think of myself as a writer. I was terrified to speak to groups of people older than age eight. I had no self-confidence to take steps to move out of this comfort zone.
The lies of “you don’t have enough training” or “what do you have to say that others would want to hear” echoed in my mind, drowning out affirmations and possibilities. Yet, I finally decided to give in to my husband’s challenge, nag, encouragement – it depended on the day as to which word I chose to use – and began writing the memoir of our journey with our youngest daughter, Amee, who had a stroke at birth and was not expected to live. I wrote and deleted more times than I can remember. The negative voice in my head kept saying, “Others have stories too. Why write this one?” I learned to counter with, “Why not?” It was a marathon endeavor for me.
I began to tell stories and speak to groups of women, teens, and kids. I discovered I loved it. I still enjoy telling the stories more than writing them and called myself a reluctant writer until several years ago when my teenage grandson challenged me about how negative that sounded. I needed to evaluate my thinking and what voices I listened to in that department as well.
In January 2010 the boxes of Amee’s Story arrived at my house. I held the book with tears streaming down my face – I had taken many small steps and had now crossed the finish line. It was hard to believe. Since then I have continued to take steps to write for others to read, enjoy, and hopefully be encouraged – maybe even a little entertained. The first time I held a Chicken Soup for the Soul book that contained one of my stories I almost needed to pinch myself to believe the reality that stared me in the face. The excitement does not get old. I will keep working towards the next story to be published or shared in some way.
Everyone does have a story, a passion about something that brings life to their days. Running is not and never has been able to do that for me. Telling stories and encouraging others to share theirs is what I enjoy. It brings a smile to my face, lets laughter bubble up and gives me something to look forward to. I love that we are unique and our abilities and enjoyments vary. It gives a sparkle to the world we inhabit, a chance to learn from each other and cheer on those we journey alongside. So, cheers to each of us for taking the first step and then the next and the next until we accomplish huge goals. I salute you and cheer you on Sherri as you run those 100 miles and the next event and the one after that.