Sunday, October 7, 2012

Do It Scared

I've written about my amazing writing teacher before, the lovely and talented Maureen Ryan Griffin.  She is teaching me to write, yes. But she is also teaching me about living. Maureen's classes are less about craft and technique than they are about finding your own voice. I thank God often that He had a divine appointment for me with Maureen.

A couple weeks ago she offered a free webinar on banishing writer's block. Her thoughts were well-organized and inspiring and I truly enjoyed the seminar. But there's this one thing she talked about that keeps coming back to me.  She talked about this idea that sometimes what stops us from writing is that we are scared. Scared that people won't like our writing or won't like what we have to say. Scared that we are no good. Scared that we are good. There are a lot of ways to be scared when it comes to writing.

Maureen's advice was this: Do it scared.

Do it scared. Write anyway. Push past your fears and get on with it. Do it scared.

This isn't just sage advice for writing. It's also wisdom for the pursuit of most any other dream or goal. But this isn't easy for me. I'm a person who is easily paralyzed by fear. I'm not exactly what you'd call a risk-taker. I like things stable and secure. But I know that's not how I'm meant to live. It isn't God's design for me. It's why I return, time and again, to 2 Timothy 1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. I can't say that I live out of this truth all the time, but it is my heart's desire. That's probably why Maureen's advice resonated so much within me. 

And so...after my last writing class, I wrote a poem. I'm pretty comfortable putting my essays up here. My poems, not so much. I have a lot of fear about exposing my poems to the light of day. But then I heard Maureen's voice telling me to Do It Scared. 

And so, here goes. I'm doing it scared. But I'm doing it, and that's what matters.

September and Everything After

with thanks to Adam Duritz

blue sky
crisp breeze

golden stars fall
from mother maples
and butterflies

looking for any
last blooms

The rays from
Autumn's sun
are sharp
and serious--


like the memory
of love

like the butterfly--


but gone


  1. Beautiful, you SHOULD share your poetry, as it is a gift!

  2. Beautiful, like the butterfly.