On Losing My Voice

Some personal news: (Don’t you just hate social media posts that begin that way? As if the actual point of social media isn’t explicitly for the sharing of personal news? Okay, I’m being a little cheeky, but I do have a point.)

Some personal news: I have lost my voice.

First, don’t panic. I don’t have COVID (again), and my physical voice is fine. But it seems I have lost . . . misplaced, perhaps . . . my voice. As a writer. As a craftswoman. As just “me.”

Don’t misunderstand: I spend a lot of time writing. My job as marketing content manager and a writer/editor for Revive Our Hearts guarantees it, and I relish every minute. Truly. But it’s rare that I take the time to sit down and write as “just Laura,” and to be perfectly honest, when I do, I struggle knowing what to say or how to say it. So maybe it’s an occupational hazard—or maybe I’m afraid to dig in and think what Laura thinks, feel what Laura feels, and write what Laura must write. That’s likely a contributor, too.

Whatever the case, it seems I have lost my voice. But I think I know how to find it.

This Is the Voice

Have you ever spent a whole day alone? I mean alone alone, without so much as your cat or your kids or the UPS guy to talk to. After hours of silence, maybe your phone rings or you go through the checkout at the grocery store.

“Hello,” you croak. “A-hem. [audible throat clearing] Uh, how are you today?”

“Would you like paper or plastic?” the clerk asks.
“Pap . . . ” [gurgly cough] “Sorry, paper is fine.”

Those first few syllables feel like a special kind of torture, until after a few more words, stringing together a few sentences, finally a paragraph or two, whatever seized up the engine of your voice breaks lose and finally the words coming out sound like your own. The tune of your voice becomes familiar once again as it echoes through your ears, sounding more like a song than a sputter. It takes time, but eventually you find your voice.

So will I, but I need to work out the crackles, and the only way out is through. Translation: this mama needs to do some serious (but not too serious) writing.

This Is the Challenge

Over a year ago, “Santa” put a small book in my Christmas stocking at my parents’ house. In straight silver print across a black cardboard cover it read, 300 Writing Prompts. Inside, I laughed at the gift. Why on earth would I need this? Sometimes we get the gifts we didn’t know we need.

Here’s how I’m hoping to find my voice again: as my friend and coworker Erin Davis encourages those of us on the ROH content team, “Butts in chairs, words on screens. Messages into hearts.” For me, that will mean a minimum of two prompts a week until the words begin to flow on their own.

I want to learn to relax into writing again rather than bracing myself for it. I want to remember how to write for fun. But more than anything, this will be a spiritual discipline for me, because I believe that when He knit me together in my mother’s womb, God wove in a special type of thread. It’s not unique to me, just as your athletic thread, your crafty thread, your entrepreneurial thread isn’t unique to you, but a common grace gift from an infinitely creative God to His people. It’s not unique to you (or me), but it’s unique within us, isn’t it? Many people out there could write as Revive Our Hearts, but who else can write my words? Who else can play your game? Who else can craft your projects? Who else can dream your dreams?

Nobody.

God is weaving together my story, just as he’s weaving together yours. Part of my story is woven in words. Being faithful to God means being faithful to—enjoying, even— all of whom He’s created me to be. That’s what I want to get back to in the days that remain of 2021.

If you’d like to join me on the journey, you’ve come to the right place. And who knows? Maybe you’ll be inspired to contribute some words—or whatever thread God has woven into you—of your own.

This is Only a Test

I work at a university, and we’ve just had a test of our emergency alert system. Perhaps this should be a post about gun violence, mass killings, terror . . . but it’s not. It’s just me, writing a post about writing a post.

This is only a test. (Or perhaps the ravings of a mad writer. You decide.)

I know, I started this blog with the promise of regularly appearing words. I won’t make more promises, but I can tell you that I’ve been testing the waters of wordsmithery once again. I’ve just submitted my first actual piece in many months to my editor over at Revive Our Hearts.

Writing again was strange. Not writing has been stranger. The piece I just submitted was one I put off writing for at least a month. I felt paralyzed, you know? It was a story I had to tell, but not one I ever would have chosen. Who wants to write about a terminally ill child for Christmas?

Who???

Thankfully, the piece (I hope) is less about a terminally ill child and more about the only Truth that will get her friends and family through these days of darkness. One way or another, the post will appear in this space in due time, but for now, with no pomp and circumstance, you’re stuck with this lackluster post about writing a post.

This is only a test.

I’ll leave you with a limerick, because, why not?

In Silence Cell I’d lost my pen,

Now alas! I’ve found Home Keys again.

Writing’s joy is brought back,

Though cheery mirth hard Truth lacks,

Words in hand, Christ is King. Amen.

 

Grace and peace, friends.

-LJE

 

 

 

 

What’s Holding You Back?

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Previously published on the Revive Our Hearts True Woman blog, this post will give you a glimpse of how I moved from fear to joy as I began to write again after a decade-long break! Original content can be found here

While scrolling through my email inbox recently, the title of the latest True Woman blog post jumped off the screen and into my 6 a.m., early-morning, not-enough-coffee existence. It might as well have been flagged, “Important”; “Read Now”; “Urgent.” But it wasn’t, and I didn’t. I kept right on scrolling toward my latest credit card statement and the thirty-minute crockpot freezer-meal recipe of the day. I had no plans to read that post.

But it bugged me. It bugged me for nine hours, until grudgingly I resumed my position on the couch, tablet in hand, to read “Why I Write” by Erin Davis and to ask myself why I don’t. Now, the temptation here is to launch into a belabored litany of explanation of why I wasn’t writing—which happens to be my thing, but I’d rather reserve some space for exhortation as to why you should do your thing, whatever that is. So in brief, let me share with you three reasons why I wasn’t doing my thing: Continue reading