Writing as an Act of Courage

Wednesday April 19 2017 12:55 pm | Comments (0) Tags: , ,

This blog post was originally posted on Seriously Write on 3/17/17.

Greetings Writing Friend,

I have not met a writer yet who didn’t say it took courage to put pen to paper and tell their story. After all, it is scary to wonder what your critique partners or best friends or potential readers will say about the piece of writing you share.

“If we had to say what writing is, we would have to define it essentially as an act of courage.” Cynthia Ozick

I remember creating a children’s book for my high school freshman English class. This teacher, Mr. Crnich, loved the red pen and always gave feedback on my work. I had a lot of fun writing my story of a sweet little bunny who permanently scarred his bunny ear when a rose thorn poked a hole in it. He had to learn to live with looking different. I loved my little story and it took great courage to turn it in. Especially because I don’t consider myself an artist and I illustrated it myself.

Had we not had that assignment, I may never have thought of myself as a storyteller. But the encouragement from Mr. Crnich gave me the courage to see myself as a writer.

Dictionary.com defines courage as “the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear; bravery.

I often think of the cowardly lion from The Wizard of Oz when I think about overcoming courage to write one of my stories. Cowardly Lion

What did he do to gain the courage to approach The Wizard?

  1. He admitted he was scared.
  2. He surrounded himself with encouraging people.
  3. He used positive self-talk.
  4. He was afraid, but he did it anyway.

When I was writing my first book, Caregiver’s Devotions to Go, I was afraid. Did I really have thirty stories to tell? Would the editor like them? Would anyone read my book?

Here is what I did to get through to the end.

  1. I admitted I was scared. I asked for prayer to help with my fear.
  2. I met weekly with my friend and mentor, Cheryl Penn, and we talked about devotional ideas. I read her the stories and she helped me polish the prose.
  3. I reminded myself that my stories matter and sharing them would help others.
  4. When I wanted to quit, I pressed on and wrote anyway.

Just today, I received a note in the mail from a reader.

Caregivers Devotions

Dear Gigi:

I love your book, Caregiver’s Devotional to Go: The Women’s Devotions to Go Series

Please send me one more. I hope this money is enough. I saw you at Philipsburg, Montana where I bought three at the After Five group. My mom, Frances Glynn, Carol Bowen and I all love the book.

It’s the best spiritual book I’ve ever read and I’ve never been much of a reader. Carol has read it several times. 

I don’t have internet so that is why I’m writing you.

With Love, Thank you, Sandra R. Matesich.

 

If you are looking for courage in your writing, let me know and I will pray with you. I’d like to suggest a book that might help. It is called. The Courage to Write [How Writers Transcend Fear] by Ralph Keyes – author of The Writer’s Book of Hope.

May God Bless you with the courage to write that next sentence.

Bless you

Gigi Devine Murfitt

www.GigiMurfitt.com

FREE Ebook October 4, 2012 – Caregivers’ Devotions to Go Hits #1 on Amazon

My publisher has agreed to offer the EBook of Caregivers’ Devotions to Go on Amazon Kindle for FREE. It happened on October 4, 2012.

As a result, my book hit #1 in the Parenting Advice category and #4 in the Spiritual Religion – Christianity category.

Gotta love it.

Hurry while it remains free.

God bless your caring heart

Gigi Murfitt

I Love Tulips!

Although it is nearly winter, I’m thinking of tulips.

Why? Because I found the most amazing scarf created from a painting by Joni Eareckson Tada! www.JoniandFriends.org

Buy this scarf at www.JoniandFriends.org

It reminded me of why I love tulips.

My first official outing after our son Gabe was born was a trip to Mount Vernon to see the tulips. Oh so beautiful!

Around the same time, my mother-in-law shared a clipping from Ann Landers that contained a story written by Emily Pearl Kingsley. It was her explanation of what it is like to raise a child with disabilities. I share it often when I speak to groups about how we can change our perspective and survive surprises that come our way.

Tonight I made a card on Shutterfly.com sharing Emily’s story, a photo of Joni’s scarf and a photo of Gabe smelling the tulips a few years ago.

Here is a link to the card on Shutterfly. I have way too much fun making gifts on Shutterfly!:

5×7 Folded Card
View the entire collection of cards.

On the inside of the card you’ll find the story that warmed my anxious heart twenty-one years ago and helped me change my perspective.

WELCOME TO HOLLAND

by Emily Perl Kingsley

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability – to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It’s like this…

When you’re going to have a baby, it’s like planning a fabulous vacation trip – to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It’s all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, “Welcome to Holland.”

“Holland?!?” you say. “What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I’m supposed to be in Italy. All my life I’ve dreamed of going to Italy.”

But there’s been a change in the flight plan. They’ve landed in Holland and there you must stay.

The important thing is that they haven’t taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It’s just a different place.

So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met. 

It’s just a different place. It’s slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you’ve been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around…. and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills….and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy… and they’re all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say “Yes, that’s where I was supposed to go. That’s what I had planned.”

And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away… because the loss of that dream is a very, very significant loss.

But… if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn’t get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things … about Holland.

I pray that whatever you might be facing today, God will help you see tulips and find your way through your unfamiliar place.

I’m so glad I landed where I did. I’ve learned to love the tulips in my life.

God Bless Your heart.

Gigi

Feedback on Caregivers’ Devotions to Go Book

Friday January 22 2010 1:09 pm | Comments (1) Tags: ,

Now that my first book is in print, I’d love your feedback.  Please use this blog post to share your thoughts on the book.  I am excited to hear from you. 

If you have not purchased a copy of the book yet I hope you will order one from my publisher at www.edmbookstore.com where they are currently being sold for $6.95 each.  If you live locally I also have a stock of them.  Perhaps we could meet for tea and discuss the book!

Please submit your comments below.  I will monitor and respond as often as possible.  Thanks!