It was around 1993 when I established a writer’s group I called Wordweavers. I found out a year or so ago that the name has since been copyrighted by someone else, so sadly I can only refer to my own “Wordweavers” outside of that official name. My mission was to provide a group where writers of all ages would be encouraged and equipped to discover the creative writer within.
I conducted a survey at the beginning of the first Wordweavers workshop, asking each writer for his or her impressions on the topic of creative writing. The responses were varied, but very informative:
“I loved creative writing when I was younger, but my high school English teacher edited my papers to death and my love for creative writing drowned in an ocean of red ink.”
“I would write letters more often if they didn’t seem so boring.”
“I’ve written a couple of poems, but I’m afraid to show them to anyone.”
“I think my writing is pretty good, but I’m too shy to let anyone see it.”
“I just want to write something people will actually read.”
“I have plenty of writing and no way to share it with anyone. But deep down I’d love to see my writing in print someday.”
“I’ve written from my heart all my life, filled 23 journals with my thoughts and experiences, and I need to know how to turn that into a life story.”
I’ve watched writers from seven to seventy catch the spark that ignited a brightly burning desire to write creatively. Some of the writings have brought us to tears. Some have simply left us all sitting with our jaws on the table. Some have made us laugh till our sides hurt. But all have encouraged writers to write.
One ten-year-old girl, when given the word ‘wish’, wrote: “I wish I could travel to Mars, so I could dance along the red moon without dying.” We all sat speechless as those few words captured our imaginations and gave us a glimpse into this young writer’s heart and mind.
One woman wrote a poem to the baby she had not yet been able to conceive, even after longing for a child for several years. Her poem touched our hearts and gave us a tangible view of her empty arms and yet-unfulfilled dreams. A short time later, barely able to speak through her tears, she shared her poem at a Mother’s Day banquet. She finished the reading to a standing ovation from a roomful of friends, symbolically celebrating the imminent birth of her sweet baby boy.
Whatever was written, we all celebrated together. That was the goal—the celebration of words and those who wove them, and the hope that the weaving inspired. That remains my goal, and I don’t see that ever changing.
And you, my friend—what is your story? What words to you long to weave that wait patiently for their moment to come? Dare you to start weaving.
5 thoughts on “This Weaving of Words Knit Deep in our Hearts”
Oh…swallowing around the lump in my throat picturing the woman speaking out her fears, her pain, her hopes, to a room full of mamas. WORDS are so very POWERFUL. Thank you for the reminder to write Jo Ann. Even if no one ever sees it. Even if it’s long. Or boring. Or edited. Just.write.
I’m not Jo Ann, but I wrote the post. 🙂 You’re most welcome, dear Caryn. I love your thoughts and hope everyone who reads them will heed your advice.
My story…that is what I long to write, to find value anywhere in me and bring it out in a story that won’t make people say “Please don’t ask me to read this.” I long to write the story of my family. My passion, genealogy, has shown me that they were not just side-liners while history was being made; they were in the thick of it, too. But, how do I bring their stories to life? I know the life that they give me, they built me, but I want to honor them by telling their stories. Their lives between the dash was so much more than “born” and “died” and it deserves to get out, from the general (who is known) to the potter that is less so, to the sharecropper that doesn’t even register really on any radar but my own. My heart is full, but my paper remains empty.
Dear Sis, I know well your passion for genealogy and for sharing not only your story but the stories of those who came before you and prepared the way for your arrival. I understand that deep desire to resurrect those stories now buried and breathe new life into them so that we who come after can truly know those amazing people and the lives they lived.
Perhaps you could begin a document with sections for ancestors who are most prominent in your mind, their stories the most vividly longing to be told, and fill in what you know and what you can discover to add as you go. As you come across new ancestors and new stories, simply add the sections and stories to your ongoing work.
At the same time I suggest that you begin a document for your own life story and label sections in whatever way makes it easier for you–whether by milestone or age or time period titles–and fill them in with the stories as you think of them. We are blessed today with the technology to continue adapting a manuscript-in-progress over time with much less time and effort than in times past. I would be happy to help you on a more personal and practical level via email as well.
I wish you good memory, ease of research, cooperative storytellers, and an abundance of time and energy to pour into your worthy project. Above all I wish you love and grace and God’s great hope in this endeavor.
Dear Sis, thank you for the wishes for a good memory especially. It is such a struggle and it is getting worse. I am not intending to claim it, but neither can I run from what is before me. I just have to find a way to get through it. Working on the family history is my way to get through it. I know that each day that I waste is another story left untold and forever forgotten.
I will take your suggestion about beginning a document with different sections for the ancestors, filling in as I discover more about each one. For my own story, for now, I have the document broken into decades and as I remember different things, I will add it to the decade in which it belongs.
Your offer of help is appreciated and accepted. My grammar/spelling/punctuation skills are going by way of my memory, it seems. I do not have the self-confidence that I once had when it comes to Language Arts.
Thank you for everything, Sis. I wish you love and peace as well. You are such a blessing to so many, may Our Father bless you.