Feelings About Feelings. Yuck!
I have always enjoyed writing. Over the past 25 years, most of my writing has been academic in nature. Writing for a degree is much different than writing a memoir or humorously. Scientific and seminary writing requires the absence of feelings and emotions. It is a fact-based form of writing that I conformed to because it was what was required. All that changed when I wrote my memoir.
Writing a memoir requires writing about feelings and emotions. It also requires deciding what to leave in and what to leave out. For instance, deciding where to stop the story is difficult. In addition, admitting to feelings and emotions effects one’s perspective of self. Did I really want to reveal that I was worried or afraid most of my life? No. I wanted to project a confident person, one that trusted God and acted accordingly. But that would have been a lie. I was also worried that it would appear that I was trying to justify my behavior when in fact I was confessing it. So not only did I write about feelings and emotions, I had feelings and emotions about writing about feelings and emotions. Yuck.
I was worried and afraid a lot in my life. Even after being saved I still worried and was afraid. I made terrible mistakes in judgment and acted the fool at times. I wasn’t sure I wanted people to know all that. But I wrote about it anyway. That’s because I wanted to reveal the truth about my struggles and hopefully help others. I wanted to make a truthful attempt at being transparent. With the help of others, I think I did that.
Writing humorously is another thing altogether. It allows for creativity and is a release of a part of me that had been dormant for so long. No longer am I under the thumb of being told what to write or forced to conform to stylistic requirements inherent in scientific and seminary writing. In many ways, it is who I am; a person that sees the humor in many situations others do not. My humorous writings are not as much to entertain as they are the release of the person inside me; the kid that never grew up and isn’t likely to anytime soon. I like that. I realize some do not like that and find it silly or offensive. Well, sometimes that is exactly what I am; silly and offensive.
Another part of me that I discovered during the memoir writing process was that I did not want to sell myself or the book. Initially, I chalked that up to being insecure about putting myself out there. It took me a little while to realize that insecurity was not what caused my aversion to marketing. I simply find it distasteful. I don’t like it. I am not saying it is wrong for others to feel the opposite. I am simply saying that, for me, it is not something I like to do. I feel that it taints everything I do in life if it is viewed through the lens of my trying to sell something to someone; especially myself.
So where is God in all of this?
Well, as usual, right in the midst of it all! He tells me to be who I am and to help others if I can. That’s pretty much it. I like that.