Desperately Seeking Words

Stephanie Bowie

Stephanie Bowie


Words. They run through my brain like ultra-marathoner Rich Roll. Weaved together like beautiful tapestries. Powerful words. Insightful words. Intelligent words. Inspirational words. Motivational words. Emotional words. W-O-R-D-S!!

In a rush of excitement, I sit down to capture them. I try to reach into my brain-space with a fishing net and gather them. I just want to pull a few out. You know…the good ones. My one desire is to populate the blank page in front of me with stars and planets and constellations of words and ideas.

Inevitably, the words are slippery. They escape through the holes in my mental net, evading capture. My Einstein-ian thoughts seem to be intimidated by the page. No longer floating eloquently through a vast, open space – they disperse as I attempt to force them into sensible patterns of speech.

I begin, “On a fundamental level, I believe that we, as human beings, are much more alike than we like to admit.” Then, I erase it, and try again, “As human beings, I believe that we are more alike than different.” I go on and on, editing and correcting myself for violations of self-imposed writing standards.

Ultimately, after bleeding out a paragraph – or two – I am mentally exhausted. My internal critic (IC) has now assured that me that I have nothing valuable or valid to say, and that whatever ideas and words may form in my mind, no one needs or wants to hear them. The IC reminds me that I am not a writer – I am a wanna be. It consoles me with thoughts of safety, in that no one would ever actually SEE the poorly structured ideas and inadequate words.

So, I turn to a much more rewarding activity – reading. There I am comfortable. I am in my happy place. Reading the words and thoughts and ideas of others. Marveling at their genius. Wishing that I, too, could one day string together a collection of sentences and paragraphs and ideas and chapters in a way that MOVES PEOPLE.

Maybe. Someday. If I stare down enough pages and stand up to my IC. If I continue typing. One more word…and then another. If I am gentle with myself, and remember that this is a wonderous journey. If I bleed enough, and type enough, and read enough, and cry enough, and try enough, and write enough…IF I KNOW I AM ENOUGH!

Here’s to everyone desperately seeking words – to everyone bleeding on a page today – everyone who WRITES.

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