Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Writing Through Fear

By Susan

Not long ago, I found myself in an email conversation with Page Lambert, author of In Search of Kinship and Shifting Stars. I confessed how I struggle to write through fear. No matter how many times I may hear the virtues of "shitty first drafts," I worry that my writing will not be good enough. Here's what Page had to say:

"You asked, 'How can our writing matter if it’s not any good?' I think it matters because expression matters and has an intrinsic value from first blush to final polish. The first blush of creative endeavor might not yet be refined into artistic expression, but the only way thought and human behavior can possibly reach toward a higher expression is when we humble ourselves enough to express even the simplest thought.

Some believe that all matter begins as thought. When enough like-minded thoughts collide in the metaphysical universe, matter is created. A million single expressions can lead to the manifestation of a sea change of thought.

Your writing matters, Susan. All writing matters. All singing matters. All creation matters. We keep the world alive through our expressions."
She went on to share:
"I’m in Montana, celebrating the birth of my son’s second little daughter. What a blessing. The older sister, three-year-old little Carly, was painting rocks today with grandma’s help. It never would have occurred to her that there was a 'wrong' way to paint rocks. Oh how I wish we adults could be so joyful in our expressions!"
There you have it. Go, be joyful in your expressions. There is no wrong way.


A member of the International League of Conservation Writers and an advisor for the Rocky Mountain Land Library, Page Lambert has been writing about the western landscape and leading nature retreats in the West for twenty years. A founding member of Women Writing the West and longtime member of Wyoming Writers, Lambert’s writing can be found inside monumental sculptures at the Denver Art Museum, online at Huffington Post, and inside the pages of SojournsThe Writer, and elsewhere. She designs and teaches graduate writing courses for the University of Denver’s University College. Forthcoming works include “Not for Sale” (Langscape Magazine, publication of Terralingua.org), and “The Rural West” (The Light Shines from the West, Fulcrum Books). Lambert writes the popular blog All Things Literary/All Things Natural from her mountain home west of Denver, Colorado. Find her online at www.pagelambert.com