Writing

Where Words Fail Art Prevails

I’ll always call myself a writer. There is no doubt about that. But there are some seasons where words-of any kind- don’t come easily. I’m not necessarily saying I give up on writing completely during these periods, but typically any words I do write don’t make sense or bring satisfaction or healing (if I’m working on personal writing that is). Writer’s block. I hate it. Mostly because I consider it my craft, but also because the habit writing relieves me of my burdens and also reminds me of life’s many, many joys.

And so, this week I decided to give the arts another chance. Painting, sketching, sewing, crocheting. They’re all things I’ve experimented with, but¬†hardly ever been consistent in. I can’t say I’m completely disciplined in my writing but I think you get the picture.

I went to a Women’s Retreat with Northshore Community Church and during our very first session Lindie Freed shared her testimony in the most unique way. It’s called a Storyrope‚ĄĘ.

. She held in her hand one long strip of fabric. Thick and sturdy. On it various scraps of fabric. Some patterned, others with different textures. All represented different seasons or events in her life. I nearly cried hearing her share her story. The imagery was simple and beautiful. She was so transparent. By the end I was close to tears. I knew that I had to make one.

The rope I interpreted as Jesus, the one firm and sturdy thing on to which everything else is wrapped around.¬†He has been constant every single day of my life. He hasn’t always felt close. I’ve pushed him away. I’ve doubted. But numerous times I’ve come to the end of myself, mentally and physically and been reminded that he really is everything. By pushing him away I render myself incapable.

For every¬†area of my life that I feel like I don’t measure up I’ve chosen to try and prove myself in an area I feel that I am proficient. My junior year of college and my first time away from home I took six classes, started working two jobs, and tried to keep up with different clubs and activities. I burnt out quickly.

Nobody asked me to work. Nobody said “Kayla, you have to finish school in two years.” I brought all of those burdens upon myself. After pushing my limits and then suffering a serious health event I realized that school is secondary to my well being. School and work isn’t going to make me happy unless I allow God to take control of the steering wheel.

I’m both nervous and excited for this special season in my life where God is bringing people and ministries into my life to help heal past wounds and turn them into something beautiful. Only He can completely restore. When we try in our own strength to stuff and hide our garbage it makes for a heavy heart.

What’s funny is that after working on my story rope today I’m here, on my blog writing again and sharing with all of you. It’s good to be back.

Much love,

Kayla

P.S. For more information on how to make a rope see http://storyrope.blogspot.com/

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Rhymes With

Sometimes I Write Poetry

Sometimes I write poems. Not really. One time I took a poetry class and that poem, an ode to be exact, was published in an art and literary magazine. A few of you were asking to read that poem. Here it is!

Ode to Boots

My grandma gave me a pair of boots

chosen by herself especially for me.

Two durable covers smooth

as saddles.

The mustard colored leather

keeps a firm grip

on the ground.

They promise to carry me anywhere.

I showcase the gift the way

I imagine Cinderella modeled her

glass slippers.

My boots appoint me

a royal adventurist.

With wool socks,

my feet become two durable vehicles

with the power to bring me to

any destination my heart

so desires.

They smell of asphalt and dirt,

of course gravel ad dark mulch.

Sweet grass and dust.

They have danced down

empty hallways and bustling stairwells.

Kicked dead leaves and hopped puddles.

Many steps are left in their lifetime.

All I know is where I have been,

not how far I will go.

The path ahead remains a mystery.

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Writing

Excuses Excuses

Creative Commons/ Alan Cleaver https://flic.kr/p/7NcEL3

Writing is hard a habit.

This happened last weekend:

“So, you keeping up with your writing?”

*Squirm*Cough*Eyes downcast*

Out come the excuses. “Well school, y’know, it’s hard to make time.” Blah blah blah. Sometimes I wonder if I should have chosen a career involving more public speaking. I’m good at obnoxiously rambling. I’m sure I looked quite pathetic.

It’s a bad deal y’all.

I was asked this question at a graduation party last weekend. To say my response was vaguely pathetic would be an understatement.¬† when talking to someone you haven’t seen in several months, it’s more than tempting to sugar coat things.

I didn’t quite sugar coat things, but I didn’t quite tell the truth which would be: no, not really.

A blog post here and there doesn’t exactly count as writing.¬† True writing is a habit. Habits require a person to make time. Nobody¬† has the time. It’s a choice to get up early or stay up late or forgo any bit of free time you have to simply veg out.¬† It is important I point out that “free time” is different for everybody. Maybe it’s your thirty minute bus commute or your lunch break¬† or while you’re eating you’re waiting for your coffee to finish brewing.

You may be wondering why I write so many personal reflections. I’m a relational person. I also learn a lot from people who are down to earth and totally transparent. I’d say more so than someone who sits down and says “so this is the right way to live life.” It’s important to establish credibility. No matter if you write or blog or whatever you do. It’s always good to be real.

Anyhow, back to my writing (or lack thereof), I need to up my game.¬† I keep saying I’ll do so in the near future. But let’s be honest.¬† I push a lot of things to the future. It’s easier to do so because it means I don’t need to do anything. This is me vowing I’ll try harder, regardless of the fact that it’s practically finals week. There will always be something trying to get in the way of what I love, but if I say I love it, then I’ll do whatever it takes to make sure I continue working hard at it.

Whatever it is you love, DO IT.

Today is the start of a new week, filled with new opportunities.

-Kayla

 

 

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Blog Series, Writing

Something For Sunday

photo: jeff kubina, creative commons

photo: jeff kubina, creative commons

 

On the weekends, I enjoy sharing articles I’ve read online during that week! I’ll never share anything that’ll take you hours upon hours to read–unless otherwise noted. Happy reading!

5 Inspiration Writing Quotes¬†by¬†Writer’s Circle

If you’re a writer of any kind, these are motivating, must read quotes from the experts.

Keep A Diary by John Berendt

This is a fantastic *short* piece on how to turn a diary into a story. If you hear “diary” and immediately think of your little sister’s Hello Kitty notebook, this little quip is for you. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge advocate for blogging, but it’s certainly better to write for yourself than to not write at all!

Writing Your Story Could Be the Most Important Thing You Ever Do by Claire De Boer

Everyone should keep an account of their life story. If you’re anything like me, then this is a task which is difficult, especially if you plan on being consistent about it. I found Claire’s own experience in writing¬†her¬†story to be both useful with the technical details of writing a memoir, but also the the personal, roller coaster side of your story. ¬†This is something to read regardless of whether or not you have any plans for a book in your near future.

Facebook Basics

I am very very very glad I found this easy to read, simple, overview of Facebook for Business. Similar to everything else, Google has millions upon millions of “solutions” or “how to” suggestions. Obviously, I couldn’t read all of them and had to start somewhere. If you’re thinking about starting a page for your blog or book or business or whatever, it’s definitely worth a look into. With a whopping ’65’ likes, I’m not the best individual to model after, but I’m learning! I still have a lot of work cut out for me.

 

Before you go…

Read anything exceptional articles this week? If so, share below!

 

-Kayla

 

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Writing

Something for Sunday

Hey there! Here are some cool articles I read throughout the week. In case you missed  my first weekend reading list, just click the link. Enjoy!

How Can You Make Your Weekends More Awesome? by Eric Barker

Make the most of your weekend! This is an article full of great methods (backed by science) which just might help you to enjoy leisure time while not being completely lazy. Psst! With all good things comes some measure of hard work.

Happiness Is Not the Goal by Tyler Ward

I found this article on happiness very interesting. The idea that we spend so much time prioritizing happiness that we forget to be happy is intriguing. Key thought: Tyler writes, “The key to finding happiness is to not let it guide you. It’s electing a better, more meaningful guide in life that will create a reason to be happy.”

29 Ways to Stay Creative by TO-FU

This is a super cool 2 minute video. Got a creative block? Looking for some fresh ideas? Check this.

Creative Faith: Living and leading with an artist’s heart¬†by¬†Cole NeSmith

This is a longer read available at¬†Noise Trade, but if you have an hour or so, it is most definitely worth your time. I love NeSmith’s approach to creativity, faith, and how the two are intertwined.

 

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Writing

Writing Is Hard

Writing is hard.

Every writer has this defining point in their writing journey where they ask themselves the questions:

¬†“Why am I writing?” “Is it all worth it?” “Who should I write for?” “Should I write for high stats, or what’s on my heart?”

I’ve been blogging for a year. I haven’t even reached 2,000 views. I’m pretty sure I get the most views when my mom shares my posts on her Facebook page. My fan-base is limited. (I’m not sure it even qualifies as a fan-base). I’ve signed up for about every suggested social media site one could think of. And, consequently, I haven’t seen much change in my stats.

I continue writing. If I don’t write, I feel as if part of me is missing. Still, it’d be nice for a complete stranger who is more successful than I have been to recognize my work. There is no denying that wishful thinking.

I hate sounding cliche, but no great thing comes easily. Good things come with hours, weeks, even years of hard work. ¬†That’s what I missed when I first began my journey. I missed the tears, the calloused fingers, the rejections, the failed attempts. The ceremonious burning of drafts. The promise to get up, leave, and never write another word. Those are defining moments in any artist’s life. The rise to fame hardly compares to the time spent laboring to arrive at that point.

So if it’s not easy, why do it? I’ll tell you why. Because that one person who¬†is¬†impacted by your writing, makes up for the lack of viewers, the low stats, the rejection letters.

One of my Twitter followers responded to my post¬†stepping away for awhile¬†with these words: “You shine.” Folks, that’s why I keep writing.

If you write for numbers, there’s good chance you might not write anything great at all.

Keep at it.

-Kayla

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Writing

A Paintbrush Is An Ordinary Object

 

For those of you who are unfamiliar with persona poems–as I was a couple of weeks ago– a persona poem is an attempt to tell a story or paint a landscape through the eyes of another person. The poet must lay aside their own biases and even voice in order to effectively do justice to the person they are attempting to essentially be. I chose to write about Mother Teresa to write about because I’ve always admired her ability to see the power in ordinary people doing extra-ordinary things. We can learn a lot from her story.


Mother Teresa

1946

Mother Teresa  1946

The streets of Calcutta perturb me.

Ditches, slums, and waste.

The busyness and disquiet

muffle the sounds of the poor and sick.

I see big dark eyes searching for light in dark alleyways.

The hungry cries of malnourished little ones pierce the air.

The noise reaches deaf ears.

Let us touch the dying, the poor, the lonely

and the unwanted.

They too, deserve our love.

I received a call from God.

Now I live with the poor, as a ghost, blending perfectly in. Alongside them,

in a position of authority I work like

a servant.

My only adornment is a blue-bordered sari.

Attention is not what I seek.

I consider myself a little pencil in His hand.

I am an artist. Drawing His picture.

I believe in doing small things with great love,

In helping one, rather than none.

Long ago I turned my back to worldly pleasures.

I turn my eyes upward to

my Creator and it was then

that he opened my eyes to what He sees.

The world is my canvas.

Revised on March 13, 2014

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Bible, Writing

Mark it Up!

I don’t know about you, but…

I write in my Bible.

A lot.

I mark it up.

Maybe it’s simply because I love annotating and post-it notes, and highlighters and journals and gel pens.

Maybe not.

God gave his word to US to devour and share and hide in our hearts.  How incredibly blessed we are with this gift?!

We need to SOAK IT UP.

We need to make it personal.

“A bible that’s falling apart usually belongs to someone who isn’t.”

Charles Spurgeon

Our Bibles can’t stay on our nightstands collecting dust.¬†I realized how important making our Bibles personal when I left my Bible at church on Sunday. I could have borrowed a Bible or used one of numerous others lying around my room and house, but there is something about the bible we use on a consistent basis that helps us dive into the Word with a profound eagerness. In my bible I’ve written prayers, scrawled in the margins, asked questions and made comments. It’s practically a journal.

I’m resolving, TODAY, that I’m gonna be in the word more, because frankly, I haven’t been too appreciative lately of the fact that God gave it to ME to use! I look to everything else except what’s right in front of me, readily available. Aside from giving himself to me Jesus has given me the truest form of wisdom to be found.

“…he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”

Hebrews 11: 6

Will you resolve to seek Him as well?

-Kayla-

I appreciate your feedback! Comment below and tell me what you think (:

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