Monday, March 14, 2011

A Writer's Voice

A writer's voice is a malleable thing.

It's often easily swayed: by another writer, by one's own emotions, but the expectations of the audience. Easily swayed, so subtly. One could swiftly lose her voice in the gentle lean of silent persuasion.

Four times last week, I heard the same message, over and over: Tricia, don't lose your voice.

"I'm praying for Tricia, specifically that she will continue to write with authenticity. It's easy to write for the audience, to write what they want to hear. But what we love is what she is - authentic. So I am praying she doesn't lean in any direction but toward authenticity."

"I lit a candle for Tricia today before the statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. In that depiction, the heart of Jesus is exposed. I lit a candle for her, reminding me to pray all day, because she has chosen to venture this journey with her heart exposed as well. And Jesus knows implicitly the pain and scrutiny that comes with living life with one's heart exposed. I'm praying for her."

"Tricia, you don't have to explain God to us. It's not your job to explain his intentions or why he took your husband. So never let yourself feel that pressure. But please, keep talking to us."

"Keep it real, Tricia. Don't give in to pressure for positive attitude, morals to the story, or legalistic guidelines. Keep it real."

When the same message comes at me from many different avenues, my sensitivity heightens. This is usually a message God wants me to hear, and he affirms and confirms it through unexpected venues, surprising voices, and agreeing sources.

So, here I am, promising to keep my voice.

And that means these words won't always be pretty. I won't intend to put a neat and tidy bow on that which is messy, confusing, endless, and without answer. If my heart is reeling in the depths, I won't pretend otherwise.

But neither will I write with grief when my heart spills with joy. I'll write what I feel today, whatever is on my heart. And if I laughed today, my writing will show it. Even if 'widow', by anyone's definition, should reflect constant, endless sadness.

When it's sunny here, we'll let it shine. And on my rainy days, bring your umbrella. Because I'll take you with me if you want to go. And there might be some splashing involved.

A writer's authenticity: a wild goose to chase.

We'll find our way.


ralph said...

GOOD! xoxo

Graced! said...

honk, honk, honk! here's to the chase...

Tina said...

I've got my sunglasses and umbrella packed and ready to go. Continuing to pray for you and your boys.

Sarah said...

Amazing post. I am ready for sun, rain, and chasing!

Penned Pebbles said...


Penny said...

I found you March 2nd in this post It's only taken me this long to comment, because I was reading your entire blog. Yes, the whole past four years! In twelve days. Just cried through the first post that I read, about the day you lost Robb. Then, I started with your very first post and kept going to the present. I love the way you write, fell in love with your boys (weakness for redheaded babies:) and agonized and rejoiced with you through Tucker's struggled with language delay. I had a similar experience with my child~ Selective Mutism~ and I know the emotion that comes with having a beautiful, smart, funny child that you can't 'share' with the world. Shelbi's journey was much longer than Tucker's~ 17 years actually. But, OMGosh, how much sweeter is the victory?!!! My blog is not kept up like yours (last post was almost two months ago) and nowhere near as eloquent and emotional, but if you'd like to read Shelbi's victory over her anxiety disorder~ just follow the links in the labels (Selective Mutism, faith, miracles). I am also a Christian, a wife, a mom, and a kindergarten teacher. (Oh~ and a "Mimi," but that we do not have in common. lol)
I am beyond sorry for your loss~ Robb was an extraordinary person. So are you and your little boys. God bless, Tricia.

Jodi said...

I love how those others encouraged you with the same message! Your post has given me a lot to think about...authenticity is even a word I use in my profile...but you're so right. We want the little bow at the end to tie it up. Thank you for letting us see the whole package. Not just once, but all the time. Six traits, girl! There's that teacher in me seeing the teacher in you. : )

Charles said...

Your willingness to lay it all out there, the good, the bad and the ugly is what we want to hear. We don't take pleasure in the tears but rather we are inspired to persevere. Through your writings, God is definitely glorified.

In the midst of my own struggles and trials I remembered questioning God as to His purposes. I gently told my friends that God can handle my questions, doubts, fears and even my anger! If He can't then He isn't who He says He is.

Your openness and vulnerability is a magnet that draws those who hurting or unsure about what they're facing. Your writings encourage others and yours is a voice they need to hear!
Connie Hopkins
Denton, Texas

Constance said...

The previous comment was published not realizing my son was signed in, sorry!