In a yellow cardboard box on the bottom of my bookshelf are the battered remnants of what made me become a writer. Their covers torn and worn from so many countless rereadings, I’ve boxed them away in their original packaging and bought new shiny gingham covers for my girls and we snuggle under a quilt and up against too many pillows and dive in.
Laura Ingalls and her pioneer family driving across a nation when it was still in the labor pains of birth. Those were the stories that made me want to find my story. Those were the tales that made me want to tell.
But I got lost. I got lost in criticism and thin-skin and rules and regulations and shoulds and shouldn’ts and I got so very, very scared that I had no stories worth telling. So I scribbled in a journal and on napkins and in the backs of notebooks and hid my secret until I felt ready to share.
I’m never going to feel ready to share. I’m never going to really feel like I deserve to be here, to write here, to be going here to learn and dive and swim in these waters that scare me to death with their beckoning call.
But I’m doing it anyway. Somewhere along the way, I got the courage just to put a little bit out there, just to chronicle some real life, just to write it down and choose to believe a few people might care.
You did. You do. You let me hand over my broken story while it was still breaking me and you received and loved and poured grace and encouragement back into me.
And I’ve become a writer.