By Linda Grupp Boutin
My friend and writing partner asked me if I had posted anything on my blogs recently. I explained that I had had a case of writing "laryngitis." She sounded confused about such an odd description. I have always had a tendency to lose my voice...both literally and figuratively. Some alchemy between my early experience in a large, confusing family and the trials of adulthood require that I sometimes sit back, observe, and search out order in my world. When life becomes a bit too crowded, my tendency is to find a small hiding place and wait to see.
And so my waiting continued for a month and more. Knowing that I needed to post something new, but just not able to find the words to fill the page. And I continued waiting and wondering why the wait needed to be so long. I have learned long and hard techniques for developing patience and rather than getting upset over the "laryngitis" I kept the faith that my voice would return when the time was right.
Then it happened! My voice re-emerged in the excitement of sharing the good news from a friend that her submission had been accepted for publication! Wow, I had a voice enough to carry on a conversation with her for hours. We both stood amazed that so much time had passed by getting to know one another just that much better.
In a way, I had been nurturing my voice, treating it with honor like lemon and honey soothes a sore throat. And by Wednesday I found myself typing up a personal essay. Almost 2000 words, it just sort of flowed out naturally and no evidence of my malady remained. I had found my voice and was just so grateful for its return.
Another friend asked me how my week had gone and I said it was busy but fun! And it has been. Sunday we celebrated 3 friends birthdays together just for food and conversation with our spouses. Monday night I walked with one of my speakers through her CoffeeBreak presentation. Talk about a faithful woman who followed God's lead every step of the way. She sounded so comfortable speaking in front of 175 women or so sharing how the Lord has worked in her life. After she spoke her son came up on stage and joined her. He sang a song he'd sung to her while she battled cancer and the love for his mother overflowed into tears. We in the audience sat in amazement at the family solidarity worked in this Mom's favor to overcome a very serious disease.
Wednesday night I spent coleading the Aspiring Writers' Forum with more discussion of stories submitted for publication. One of our members had not heard either way about the anthology she had submitted a story for consideration. I advised her that maybe she should e-mail the editor just to check because our other writer who was accepted hadn't heard from her either.
She went home from the meeting and searched out the editor's e-mail address. Within minutes she had her answer too. Yes, her "fun" family story had been accepted! Long and short of it, both of their stories had been accepted but because the stories needed no editing, the editor hadn't contacted them about their acceptances!
So although I have had a touch of writer's laryngitis, the seeds I have sown over the last 5 years for storytelling in CoffeeBreak and for writing in the Forum have sprouted and borne fruit. I am so thankful that the Lord allowed me to overcome my illness in 2006 & 2007 because now I feel like I have finally found the correct path He wants me to follow. I spend my days immersed in story, thinking about how to best portray my friends' stories and watching while they reach out and touch others with their poignancy. I have found my niche and enjoy the passion I feel for what I am doing. PTL!