finding space in my writing life

I wanted a perfect ending. Now, I’ve learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next. Delicious ambiguity.
Gilda Radner

I first latched on to this quote in February 2008. At the time I added it to a post called “A Hiatus” on my first blog, Inspiring Readers and Writers. The post was titled “A Hiatus” because I just couldn’t write: The End. I supposed I should note I never wrote another post on Inspiring Readers and Writers again. (I also made it a private because I was getting some spam-comments and it’s never fun to read creepy words under your toddler’s adorable photo. Still, from time to time you’ll find Vintage Ayres posts.)

In the hiatus post I wrote:

And I’m learning that endings are okay. They open doors to other places in our lives.

In 2010, Stacey and I added the Radner quote to the “Closing Thoughts” in Day by Day. It’s a tribute to the way we develop our craft of teaching — taking the moments, making the best of them, never quite knowing what’s going to happen next.

Right now these words are speaking to me — Delicious Ambiguity — as I consider following certain paths in my writing journey.  It’s been stirring inside of me. This post, back in January, was the point where I began being bold in my collections, bold in documenting my story of faith and family and radical, crazy living.

And yet I still find myself afraid to take the leap. It’s because I don’t want to close the door on all of the writing I already do. I don’t want to let go of the professional words I weave. However, until I do, I won’t have time to write the story I need to write.

If I’m not writing the story my soul knows, then I’m always going to be looking back over my shoulder and wondering what my words should have made. It’s time I make space to write the story that is knocking around inside of me. 

I think this story is worthy of finding words on the page. 

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  1. Ruth, if you didn't write, you wouldn't be YOU. I hope that I will be lucky enough to read the story that is knocking around inside of you. Life happens and you need to document the ins, outs, ups, and downs. Take care. . .

  2. Although I recognize this as a “mulling it over” slice, I also feel this sense that you could use permission to go where the words lead you…
    So, wherever your Mission: Story takes you, you will surely be discovering, playing, and building. Whether that means words of teaching, words of family and faith, or words of delicious ambiguity, what matters is that they will be words of heart. Shine on.

  3. I think we talked about this idea – this path – at the writing retreat. I think you know in your heart what you need to write and I firmly believe you need to go for it. That is the path you are meant to go down and we will all learn from you as a result. The other stories will wait, write the one that needs to be written.

  4. So, I'm going to share a quote I'm sure you know by G.B. Shaw, but just in case, hear it again, please. They're words that guide my life's decisions often, Ruth, & I want to remind you that it's important to listen to your heart. “People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it.”
    My best wishes to you!

  5. I love those words- delicious ambiguity. Talk about juxtaposing ideas! I'm looking forward to seeing what happens next and hearing that story knocking around inside you.

  6. My dear friend, the words you are nudged to write bring hope and inspiration to your readers. Thank you for sharing your heart with us and being real. Life is a journey and you beautifully document those moments in life.

  7. No one else can tell your story. You don't need anyone else to decide for you what, when, and how you write. You have had other choices and decisions in your life – you know when you are ready, and whatever choice you make, it's the right one at that moment. I know that you were not looking for advice from any of your readers. It was more of thinking out loud. But a bit of encouragement has never hurt.
    Take care of yourself.

  8. Thank you, each of you, for the nudging me to write where I'm led. I didn't even realize that I needed the encouragement, but I'm so thankful for it. I think I'll print your comments and put them in my notebook — just to be reminded that I need to let the story come out that wants out.