As we travel through life we also make a spiritual and creative journey that alters over time with our own growth in knowledge and experience.

My life and creativity have been inextricably linked; there have been brief seasons of plenty, overshadowed by many fallow times too.

As I reflect back, I can see surprisingly rich pickings in experience as gold glints all the brighter through the murky detritus of dark places.

If you had suggested to me, only a few years ago, that good things would come out of bad, then I would have found it hard to believe you. All seemed lost and hopeless as I battled demons from my past.

But here I am now:sharing my story, hopes, dreams, lessons learnt in the dark nights of the soul, and revealing grace glimmers shining brightly throughout it all.

And I share, as always, with the objective of encouraging you to believe that you too can walk through painful times and come out the other side  – not necessarily unscathed, but able to trace God’s hand at work keeping you safe, loving and protecting you,  and never leaving or forsaking you, no matter how it may feel.

Today, I am sharing some of my life and creative journey by participating in the writing contest ‘You Are A Writer’  held by ‘Positive Writer’, Bryan Hutchinson – you can click on the link to find out more.

“Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart” ~ William Wordsworth

Becoming a Writer

As an eager child offering art or verse, my parents were indifferent, cold or worse
so I hid my work from prying eyes, indoctrinated as I was to secrets and lies.
And hidden they largely remained, with nothing ventured and nothing gained.
Though I scribbled in diaries, on paper and card, I had to try really hard
to believe anything good of myself at all when writing was seen
as time-wasting scrawl in the minds of parents, siblings et al.
Senior school English gave me a thrill as the only subject I felt capable
of nailing down or succeeding at will. So I wrote stories
shared on the grass during lunchtime soirees as time passed
with giggles, unwrapping of sandwiches and teenage yearnings of love
 voices hushed and stilled, and content lapped up by friends
 eagerly listening to each instalment from me.
Taking courage from true love’s embrace
no longer feeling so shy or shame-faced
my poetry was shared and aired in a minor public place –
a church magazine, a lover’s gaze – while I blushed grateful
to be on the page. Accepted at last as a writer of sorts
with words flowing freely amongst my cohorts.
More years of hiding the light and turning away
as my dysfunctional past began to hold sway
in my life and my head, leaving no space
for creativity to flourish, be expressed, or embraced.
Too much pain needing addressing lie close at hand
and no more years hiding my head in the sand.
Now older and wiser – at least I hope so –
I’ve experienced healing of emotions from letting go
and releasing everything I can be into God’s hands
as the best for me – just as He planned.
And thanks to Jeff Goins, for his inspiring book ‘You are a writer..’ 
stirred deep, made me pause, reflect, take a second look.
Reviewing juvenile scribblings and poems penned
unleashed desire to start over again with writing and publishing
my work on a blog, though much of it’s written through an M.E fog.
Learning to let go of perfection, learning to love the craft
daring to believe and say (in wonder), “I am a writer”
  even before compiling my first book draft!©JoyLenton2013

The words, “I am a writer” do not sit easy yet or roll blithely off the tongue. Rather, I tread warily in this brave new world, aware that they could be sharp stones to catch myself on, trip me up, stumble over and cut me open – revealing the full raw vulnerability within.
I also tread secure in my small corner invisibility, daring to speak with such audacity only because the One who beckoned me on this journey also accompanies, encourages, anoints and equips every step of the way.
He leads and I follow with hesitant, tentative step, knowing in my heart that this is an act of faith as I walk Ezekiel – like, marvelling at how God breathes life into dead things.
He calls those things which are not as if they were, and wants me to believe it too.
So I take His hand, strengthened by His voice of wisdom directing, leading and guiding my creative journey as He does the rest of my life.
If you are wondering whether or not you are a writer, may I encourage you to just do it? Pour your heart and soul out in words, in offering, and dare to share them.
One day, we will read and be thankful that you did. And so will you. Writing is cathartic, releasing and freeing, as well as a valuable contribution to life’s rich tapestry of experiences.
The world needs to hear and receive your creative voice too:in words, poetry, prose, through art, music, craft-making, home-keeping, sewing, baking – however you want to express it, the sky is the limit –  simply enjoy creating as you were created to do.You may have been seriously discouraged, derailed and disappointed by other people’s responses, your own low self-esteem or lack of confidence.

But you don’t have to stay stuck there.

I am living proof, in the Autumn of my life, that it’s never too late to start again.

Your reach may be large or small, with an appreciative audience or none at all.

Once you recognise you have the spirit and soul of a writer then you need to write,  regardless of who pays attention or not

 So do have a go.
Resurrect those dust-laden drawings, painting, poetry, prose, that creative urge; give them a good shake down and tell yourself, “Yes, I am a writer/poet/artist/creative person”, and go create, my friend!
What hinders or helps the expression of your creativity?
How can you begin to enjoy being creative once more?
Please feel free to join in with the comments below. I love to read and reply to them. Thank you.
This post is also part of the ‘Journeying’ series that started here. There will be more on that topic to follow soon.