Surrender

After a long and weary road of being Jonah, I have once again (finally) come to the conclusion that surrender is, after all, a beautiful thing. Whether we run away from God because of hurt or pain or apathy or anger or whatever other reason, we only end up hurting ourselves in the process. Surrendering to God always brings intense relief, peace, contentment, and a sense of grounding. The floor is no longer shaking beneath my feet-it’s solid and real.

I don’t know why I keep doing this, but either way, it’s good to be back in His arms. It’s not safe, and it’s not easy, but it’s the best and most peaceful place to be. The most secure.

A while ago, I wrote this poem, and I’ve shared it a few times on this blog. But I keep experiencing layers of it, and today is yet another day when Like a Dance is relevant, so here it is once again. Happy Monday, everyone. xxx

Like a Dance

I am not interested in the mediocre.
Destiny, breathless, alive, fire.
These are a few of my favorite words.
I am not interested in living on the edge;
I am interested in jumping off it.

Let me fade, let Him grow clearer.
Where I am, I am in the way.
Where I walk, I walk in the wrong direction.
He is a breathless symphony;
He is the beat in my heart
and the fire in my chest.

Where I am mediocre,
He is extravagant.
Where words fail me,
His song always prevails.

He is adventure; He is love.
He is raging fire; He is a silent wind.

Being with Him is like a dance;
a dance none of us know,
a dance we once knew
and now must learn.

He leads and we follow;
He goes and we go after,
into places strange, unseen.

God of mountains, God of seas
God of the tempest and the firestorm:
take me there.

Coming Back

Yesterday I wrote a post about how I was feeling disconnected from myself and feeling¬† a little paralyzed as a result. So although I’m never one to “go back” to things (choosing instead to always move forward), I realize that something that has helped me a lot in the past was blogging. Aside from the occasional post about writing, I haven’t been blogging very much, and I think I’d like to get back to it.

Blogging is like art journaling. It’s creativity without pressure. It’s feeling free to let my mind do its thing and not worry about what the result might look like to other people. This blog, right here, is my own little sanctuary of whatever-I-want-ness. Because as much as other people have the right to existence, the right to an opinion, the right to make decisions, so do I. And this is where that has always happened, from when I was seventeen years old. That’s right, y’all, this blog is that old.

And today I need a little bit of me again. So, in the words of Samwise, “Well…I’m back.”

Poem Ashes

For some reason, I haven’t written poetry in a while. I think it’s because things have been so stressful, and the chaos of it all makes me feel utterly disconnected from myself. Writing in general keeps me sane, but writing poetry especially keeps me sane. Isn’t that the way of things, though? When things are stressful and you most need to do your self-care things, you end up shoving them aside because “there’s no time”.

On the other hand, I’m not going to sit here and pretend that I can muster up a poem just so that I can write an inspiring blog post. Read the title, people: attempting authenticity. So instead I’m just going to say that whatever it is right now that’s holding you back, whatever it is that’s making you feel disconnected from yourself and out of touch with the things you used to be entwined with, don’t overthink it. Just be. Struggling in water doesn’t make you swim, you know?

So be patient, and don’t waste energy worrying. You’ll find your way back to yourself soon enough. ‚̧

A Day in the Life

Right, so the last few posts I’ve written have been slightly morose and a bit of a downer, so I thought we’d spice it up a little bit. To be fair, it’s been quite an adjustment to this new lifestyle, and I’ve always lived up to my “I’ll be real on this blog” promise, so that’s what’s been happening. But there are less…uh…”will I have food this month” realities to write about, so here we go! A day in the life of an indie author. Or, at least, a day in the life of me. An indie author.

3 am: Wake up in a bit of a stressed sweat, pull the laptop out from under the bed. Check book sales, cry over the three or so fickle Instagram followers that I lost. Other social media. Post, post, post. Have a presence and all that.
3:30 am: Pick up my phone. Bite lower lip. What’s an interesting way of taking a picture of my laptop (open to Scrivener, of course) that I can take? What haven’t I done before? Squint at laptop screen. I mean, there are only so many ways to photograph a laptop. Settle for the usual and hope the People of Instagram find it charming and quirky.
4:00 am: After posting an Instagram photo, write or edit. Like the wind. If the inspiration and productivity dries up, keep going anyway because food is a thing that we need. Stopping is not an option.
6:00 am: Cuddle with husband and cats.
6:30 am: Write some more even if Captain Creativity doesn’t show up. Again, food. I need it.
8:00 am: Take a short nap. Yay sleep.
10:00 am: Breakfast with the Husband. Or, rather, lunch, because I have around 4 hours of work under my belt already.
11:00 am: Get back to work, but not before posting another Instagram photo because social media is basically the Mob in ancient Rome and I have to court it. Look at the photo I took and laugh inwardly at the fact that people think I am actually this put together. No, friends. I am not. And neither is my laptop (though it is a Macbook Pro, and we Instagram peeps all know that counts for a lot, know what I’m sayin’).
Late afternoon: Reading. Yes, because a) I like books, okay? and b) the best writers are good readers. I’m on Goodreads, by the way, if you’d like to connect with me. I’m all for that. Seriously, come find me so we can nerd out about books together. (This also constitutes another Instagram photo).
After late afternoon: More writing and editing. Another photo.
Early evening: Take a break. Cook and eat dinner with my husband, and chill with him. Money or not, we prioritize spending time with each other, because otherwise what is life, even?
After dinner: A lot of social media. An insane amount. Find more people to follow, comment on their posts, and invest in relationships with people I already follow who are cool and deserve support. The world of the Indies is one where you had better freaking have each other’s backs.
Before bed: Maybe write and edit some more, but honestly…mostly feel happy about the five or six Instagram followers I gained, about the cool people I met that day, about the progress I made, about the books I sold, and about the fact that I get to do what I love every day. And most of all, feel happy that I’m trapped by Husband and Cats. Yeah. Mostly that.

The Truth About Writing

The transition from “I write for fun when I have time, and I do NaNoWriMo” to “I’m going to dedicate at least half of my time to writing and see if I can make this indie author thing work” is exciting, terrifying, exhilarating, and oh yeah, terrifying. It’s having to trust myself and my writing ability in a way that I’ve never had to before. There’s something wonderfully simple about writing for fun and managing to convince yourself that you’re the best thing since sliced bread, but let’s be honest, you can afford to do that if your food pantry doesn’t depend on your books.

And it’s not the romantic ideal you think it’s going to be, either. It’s a lot of stressing in the middle of the night, waking up at 3 am to get a head start on that day’s writing, forgetting that you need to cook in order to have food, occasionally wondering how on earth you’re even going to buy said food, and getting frustrated when your creativity isn’t flowing the way it did the day before. I spend half my “writing” time on social media, networking and setting up cute Instagram shots and doing research on hashtags.

But you know, I wouldn’t change it for the world. I may sound like I’m complaining, but the truth about writing, the actual truth, is that I love it. I love it. And I get to do the thing that I love most every single day of my life. Things might be financially tight at the moment (my husband and I even have a kickstarter thing going just to help us over the bridge a little), but I’m happier than I’ve ever been.

So what’s the truth about writing? It’s hard and it’s intense, but if it’s what you love, you can’t go wrong. I’m an indie author and a possibly-soon-to-be-starving artist, but I’m happy and I wouldn’t change it for anything. So if you’re on the fence, do it. Take the leap. Be brave.