Going out on a limb…

I been breathing. Simmering.  Stoking.  Working up some cajones. Yup.  It’s that class I’ve been taking again.  Damn that Liv Lane (in the nicest possible way, of course, Liv 🙂 ).  She’s been asking our class some really hard, soul searching questions, and expects us to *gasp* to answer them.  Who does that?  Well, she does.  There’ve been some pretty cool aha moments along the way

Yup, that's me, out on a limb...holding on for dear life

that have just been resonating with me about the whole creative process.  Some of her content includes some videos from guest speakers, some pretty well known ones at that.  And man, was it refreshing to see the humanity in them. They get scared about their creations just like the rest of us. There were many key insights, but the one that blew me away the most was a segment by Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of Eat, Pray, Love. She was talking about the book that made her famous (and mind you, she had been a writer for years), and someone said to her, you know, it will be awfully hard to ever top that book, and you probably won’t.  Talk about a wow, let you down to the ground kind of moment.  That person may very well have been right.  Elizabeth may not write anything truly in the groove at the right time and place for so many people ever again.  How on earth can you possibly want to keep writing after that?

So, that little realization for Elizabeth above, makes my own work in today’s class even more frightening. Today’s challenge:  Can you write a brave post?  Something that takes everything that you have to hit the send button.  Something that makes you sweat and quiver as you are banging it out on the keyboard.  Ok.  I’m ready.  Breathe.  I. AM. A. WRITER.

Whew, there it is, I said it. There is no turning back–at least I don’t think so. I’m sure many of you people are thinking, man this chick is nuts, she’s been writing for a while now, what makes her think she’s not a writer? Well, I’ve always hoped I was one,  all the way back to when I was a greasy faced, pimply covered, braces toting teenager. I can remember taking a creative writing class back in high school and I loved it. But, I shied away because when I looked at how creative the other students were and how easily it must have come to them,  I said to myself, wow, I guess I’m not good enough for this.  Yes, my stuff was okay, but it didn’t seem to be anything near the caliber of some of the kids in the class.

Over the years, the electronic world has ended up being my friend and an outlet.  I can’t tell you how many voluminous e-mails I’ve cranked out over the years describing one adventure, quirky story, or something that just moved my soul to anyone that cared to listen.  I can’t tell you how that little creative outlet has stoked my fire like not many other things in life.  Setting words to paper often transports me to a zone where I often feel, wow, was that an hour that passed by?  No way.

But, it doesn’t always happen that way.

Nothing feels as empty as a blank page...

Being in that euphoric place where everything just flows is not a given by any means.  Sometimes all I can do is stare at that blank page–and get nothing.  What a scary place to be in. Especially if you call yourself a writer.

I have one particular story close to my heart that I’d really love to get out, but I haven’t had the courage yet.  But I hope to. Many of those close to me know that childbirth and I do not go well together.  I have two amazing, beautiful boys, (and a little Jessica and Adam up in heaven) but, man was it a long and difficult road.  I have no problems getting  pregnant–I often joke to my husband that he just need to walk by and BAM!  But keeping ’em in there, that was our own private hell that we lived through for years.  There were several hair standing up on my neck, spine tingling, spiritual experiences that happened throughout our saga that I will never forget.  While living through that heart wrenching, emotional journey I never found much comfort in the things I often went to the most for such things–books.  I never really found a story that I could relate to that would get me through it all.  I made it of course.  Thanks to an incredible network of wonderfully supportive family, friends, neighbors, and oddly enough, strangers.  But, boy it was tough work.

I’ve always wanted to leave this legacy in print so that others might find some from comfort in all of the unfathomable heartache.   Stories like ours more often than not don’t turn out nearly as well, but I want to show living proof that there is always hope.

Who knows where the words will take me?

Declaring that I am a writer, I’d have to imagine, is the first step towards that goal.  But how?  When?  Ever? I haven’t the foggiest first clue. At least I’m taking a baby step in the right direction.

Selfishly, one of the reasons I started blogging was to practice writing–after all my high school persona certainly didn’t think I had it in me.  I wanted to see if what I had to say could really matter to people.   Thanks Liv Lane, I think, for urging me to go out on that limb and do something scary.  Wherever it might lead, even if it doesn’t lead in any particular path, it still feels good to work in that direction…but, man am I terrified.

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16 Responses to Going out on a limb…

  1. Amy Kelsch says:

    Barb! Way to be brace! Nice work!

  2. Barb Welsh says:

    Thanks Amy. Appreciate it….

  3. Anita says:

    I really like this! You write very honestly, and clearly from your heart.

    One of the many important lessons that I’ve learned in BBTL is that we are what we do. Do you write? You’re a writer. Take pictures? You’re a photographer.

    Clearly, most of us are not going to produce one of those right time, right place, just what the publisher wanted and the reader was looking for books, but if you write, it will get read.

    One of my favorite things about the internet, (even more than the way it’s revolutionized shopping!), is that it gives us all the opportunity to read and be read. So go ahead, press the publish button!

    xo, Anita

    • Barb Welsh says:

      Thanks Anita. It’s been nice to be digging deeply once again. I will tell that story more fully, and hopefully in book. Never hurts to be reaching for that dream 🙂

  4. Christie says:

    What a brave post, Barb! And you are so very right, you ARE a writer. I have some issues about child birth / genetics too, my daughter was carried by a gestational surrogate. I don’t feel ready to delve and share the whole process yet, but one day I will. Share when you are ready and when you think it will be healing for you. I look forward to reading more of your work, because you’re a writer 🙂

    • Barb Welsh says:

      Thanks Christie! I hope you share your story too, because those shelves were awfully lacking way back when I needed it. I wanted something to hold in my hand. Something to look at and refer to and tell me that it would be ok. Thanks for the kind comments ! (I still feel beat up after writing, and just finished up my glass o’ red because I totally deserved it after all that button pressing!)

  5. Sue says:

    Barb,
    Great story! I just finished my “brave” story and started to read the others. I had to giggle a little after reading yours. I think we had a similar story- you a writer, me- an artist. How funny that creatives like us have a hard time calling ourselves by what we do??
    You have a great writing style, no worries there!

    • Barb Welsh says:

      Thanks Sue. It is funny. I love the videos that Liv has shared in our blogs that echo the same sentiment…I think it takes a very courageous person to be a creative person. Keep creating, it totally nurtures your soul like nothing else!

  6. Emma says:

    Hi Barb, I loved reading your post. I write every day and have done since I was a child but find it so hard to call myself a writer. It is my dream to have a book published. I love that you have declared to the world and the Universe that you are a writer. It’s so brave. You’ve inspired me to do the same. Yaaaaay for you! Em xxx

    • Barb Welsh says:

      Thanks Em. If you think you are, you are right? The way I look at it, if it feels good and brings joy, why not? Best of luck with your future book 😉

  7. Sandi Volpe says:

    Hi Barb,
    Great post my writer friend, I want to see your “Hope” journal full of writing:-)

    • Barb Welsh says:

      Thanks Sandi–I carry that little journal with me all the time, and just looking at it makes me happy. Let’s hope all those creative ideas keep overflowing 🙂

  8. Janet says:

    Barb, I arrived at your post thru Liv’s current BBTL class (livlane.com) & laughed aloud at the very name of your blog. You can’t NOT be a writer.

    • Barb Welsh says:

      Thanks Jane. I have fallen off the horse, and have not been writing as regularly, but I hope to get back up there again soon. Thanks for you comments and hope you stop by again..

  9. Amie says:

    It was nice to read your post and realize Im not the only one. I love to write (I even have a creative writing minor), but I have never felt like I was a good enough writer. When I was taking my writing courses, I always felt like everyone was more creative and had better stories to tell. Im starting to realize that I am a writer too! Sometimes I look back at my old work and it is hard to believe that it was me that wrote it. I think we need to give ourselves more credit and be more confident in what we do. It is wonderful that you have realized this and are taking a new journey into writing!

    • Barb Welsh says:

      Thank you Amie. Best of luck as you go into your own journey. I’m a big believer in stoking your creativity, because it’s truly one of the ways to let your individuality shine to the rest of humanity, and one of the big things that make the world a more lively place. Thanks for reading! 🙂

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