write 2020 (olw)

write-ringW

It’s strange times, which is probably the only thing that propelled me back to this space. You see, some people got ahold of my last post and splattered it over social media, claiming it as evidence that I lack faith and have questionable character. Go ahead and reread it, seeing if you can find reasons to filet me open and attack me.

I’ve never had that happen before; my words turned inside out as evidence for something untrue, as evidence that I lack faith. I’ve never had anyone take my story…the stories of my core, and turn them against me. I’ve never had people rearrange my meaning in order to debunk my faith.

I felt violated.

I’ve thought a lot about what to do with this blog. I considered shutting it down. I considered writing a stinger of a rebuttal. I considered deleting the “questionable” post (except it didn’t seem so questionable).

One wise friend said, “You don’t really have to do anything.”

I decided that was the best course of action: do nothing.

I’ve been doing nothing here for many weeks. I wasn’t sure I would ever return. Perhaps this would simply be the end of my blogger life.

Then the whole wide world decided to pause, and my One Little Word became relentless.  (Who knew I chose a brat for my OLW 2020?) For the first quarter of 2020, I have been attempting to live my OLW, write, in every way except blogging.

I used to be such a powerhouse writer — efficient and fast. I was really good at getting things done and creating content. Now it seems that my writing process has adopted a new stage that I’ve decided to call simmering. It is very different than collecting or planning or percolating. I like all of those stages. They are active…and fun.

Simmering takes time. It takes quiet. It takes stillness.

Who knew that doing nothing would actually be helpful for my writing process?

I’ve wanted write to be my OLW for so many years, and now that it has finally happened, it feels like it bullies me. I’ve approached the word from so many different angles, but it keeps demanding that I blog…  even though I’ve decided to do nothing in this space.

I started Ruth Ayres Writes when I needed a place to write the stories knocking around inside of me. Now, I have these stories that are delicate and resilient; they are simmering. They aren’t nearly as loud, and they don’t need me to be loud either.

What I think might be true, though, is I can’t really fully live the word write without living as a blogger. After all of these years, it seems to be more of me than I knew. Doing nothing is more appealing, because now I know the courageous act it is to put my raw words into the world.

Maybe someone will get ahold of them and twist them. Maybe someone will question my authenticity or character. Maybe someone will try and ridicule my faith.

It happens.

Some of my favorite writing advice is to “write what you know.” Here’s what I know: I started Ruth Ayres Writes so I would stop writing for someone else. I wanted a place to stack my stories and to write for no other reason than to have written. I didn’t want my topics to be dictated. I didn’t want my format to be dictated. I didn’t want comments to dictate my worth as a writer.

I just wanted to write. I wanted to make sense of the world and have fun with words.

It’s as uncomplicated as that.

I’m going to keep blogging…unapologetically.

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7 Comments »

  1. I’m so sorry that happened to you. I really don’t understand the incredulous anger that people express in social media. I’m glad you are back and writing. We are on the brink of some shift. Not sure what it is yet. Hopefully, we will see more kindness.

    • Thanks so much, Margaret. Kindness definitely matters…sometimes it is marked by “doing nothing”! *smile*

  2. You go, Ruth! I, for one, need YOUR voice. I depend on you blogs. Even though we experience such different lives – I value your insights. I love your honesty. You keep going, girl!

  3. So many of your words touch me and have touched me–“do nothing.” I’ve experienced that for too many years then my many, harsh words came out but had to stop with much “simmering,” “quiet,” and “stillness.” All so important. You want that one important statement to stop something, so you keep trying to find that phrase, but it never comes. Words are twisting in the ears of many for whatever reason.

    Then doing nothing seems to bring out the thoughts of other people. Maybe all those words all gathered up as a whole finally made some sense. Or it forced someone to finally say. “You’re not listening either.”

    There’s a time for everything and everything in it’s time.

    Writing, communicating, listening has to be.

    Keep on writing, Ruth!

  4. Goodness gracious! I just have to say that’s CRAZY!

    So thankful for you. Your love for others and most of all, GOD, always comes through your words.