Uncomfortably Speaking | Writing with Purpose

A friend sent me this a few weeks ago:

She gets me. (She’s also a total rock star but that’s beside the point.)

I’m no Ernest Hemingway, but I’ve etched my pain all over the pages of this blog. Hard and clear. Ugly. Scary-to-look-at. And oh, so very uncomfortable. For you. And for me.

When I share my writing with anyone, it’s like giving them a piece of myself:

Hello there. I’d like to share my art with you, which is a risk, because you may hate and reject it. Or even worse, you may hate and reject me. But let me show you anyway…let me show you my deepest thoughts and greatest fears, my hopes and dreams, my shame and guilt and failures…open your hand…yes, there…perfect. Here’s my heart, my very soul. I hope you take good care of it.

That’s how I feel every time I click “Publish”. And yet I keep publishing.

Why?, you ask. Ummmm…because God tells me to? (Insert hiding monkey emoji)

If ever there was a time for the term “cray-cray” this is it, right? Oh, she cray, alright. Or maybe she’s just arrogant? Presumptuous? I get it. Believe me I do.

And yet, that’s the truth. God has called me to speak, to share and to write. So I do. Even when I’m reluctant or embarrassed or downright terrified.

There’s a quote by the famous runner, Eric Liddell: “God made me fast. And when I run I feel his pleasure.”

Well, I do NOT relate to that. At. All. When I run, the only thing I feel about God is that with every step and every gasp I’m getting closer and closer to meeting Him face-to-face. Maybe that should make me love running. But mostly, I hate running. If you see me running, you should join me, because I am probably fleeing a wild animal, a ravenous zombie or an apocalyptic disaster of some kind.

So, while I don’t know exactly how Mr. Liddell felt, I do know this: God gifted me to write. When I write, God reveals the truth to me…the truth about Himself, about others, about me. And in those moments, I feel His pleasure.

I can already hear the gears in those big brains of yours, clicking and cranking…just like mine would if I were reading this. You’re thinking, “Wait a minute. Does she think she has a free pass to write whatever she wants? Is she saying that she never makes mistakes? That her word is as good as God’s?”

Well, of course not! Geez. (Could you see my eye-roll from there? Sorry. Reflex. Those are good questions to ask.)

What I am saying is that I write on purpose. I choose my words carefully and prayerfully. There is a method to my madness. And it looks something like this:

Continue reading “Uncomfortably Speaking | Writing with Purpose”


Photo by Mike Petrucci (Public Domain)

My heart is in my eyes, like a periscope

reaching up from deep inside my chest,

feeling everything I see.

But not seeing everything I feel,

I choke and sputter,

searching for a picture,

a story to settle the waves.

Fumbling, my fingers

cannot draw the dream,

cannot sculpt the scene

and so I paint with words.

Paint a landscape

with letters in black and white,

lines and curves

that you speak to life

with your heart-voice,

your mind-voice,

your silent voice only you can hear.

And your soul’s ear

hears my unsung song,

melting words like wax, into colors

that splash across the canvas

of your mind.

You color in my landscape with you.

So that together,

you and I,

we create this something.

This one thing.


We paint a world.

© Nichole Liza Q.

To Blog or Not to Blog

“You should be a writer!” When I first began hearing those words – from my husband, kids, family, friends – I didn’t know how to respond. Imagine me at a loss for words! It happens occasionally, mostly because I like to choose my words carefully, because I want to mean what I say and say what I mean and that comment, “You should be a writer!” stumped me every time. Then, one day it hit me….they might as well be telling me to be a girl, or a mom or a human being. So now, when someone says “You should be a writer,” I answer, “I am.”

And I am. There are not many words I would use to define myself. After all, I am a person, not an occupation or a role. But I’ve come to believe that there are some things about us that eventually, through time or intensity, become part of who we are. There may come a day when I can no longer write, but in my heart I will always be a girl who understands herself and her world best, when she puts her thoughts into words and puts those words onto paper…or a computer.

I’ve always enjoyed writing but it was during my freshman year of high school that I realized I was actually good at it. I don’t know who I surprised more, my teacher or myself. Even today, when a certain sentence rolls off my fingertips or a thought appears on the page I think, “Wow! Where did that come from?” And that’s how I know it’s a gift. I’ve done nothing to earn or achieve the skill or insight, it’s just there.

For years, I denied myself the pleasure of writing because I believed a lie. The lie went something like this: “Your writing is a waste of time and energy. No one reads it so it doesn’t matter and writing for yourself is nothing but self-indulgence.” There were a lot more lies like that to keep me from doing what I love, but over a period of years I felt the Lord nudging me on with little messages that would crop up in the strangest places – on a talk show, in a movie, in a song, at work, online – little reminders of an idea that was at first wispy and vague. Until one day, I heard the message loud and clear: “Write, Nichole. Write! Not for fame or fortune. Not for approval or self-indulgence. Don’t write to be understood. Write to understand.  Write…because you can.”

Olympic runner and Christian, Eric Liddell – the inspiration for the movie Chariots of Firewhen questioned by his sister about the time he spent training and running that could have been devoted to the mission field, answered: “I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run I feel His pleasure.” There is something right about doing what God has gifted us to do. I’ve heard people say that a bird brings God glory by singing her song, building her nest, digging for worms and taking flight; a tree glorifies God by growing, converting sunlight into food and swaying in the breeze. So I will write because God has gifted me to write, and because when I do, I feel His pleasure.

I am especially grateful for blogging, which provides a place, other than a journal, for me to put my thoughts without jumping into the competitive arena of publishing. Here, I imagine myself sending words out on the wind and trusting them to land where so ever they shall. At the same time, I long to reach more people, hear more feedback and engage in more dialogue with my readers.  One of the cardinal rules for increasing blog traffic is to post a lot….and I mean A LOT! This presents quite a conflict for a girl resolved to write for the sake of writing, a girl who worries that she is quickly wearing out her welcome among friends. Believe me, I am just like you – bombarded and overwhelmed by words, information, choices. How can I expect you, or anyone else, to take the time to read my rambling thoughts? There are so many reasons not to write and even more reasons not to blog but then I am reminded, “Write, Nichole. Write!”

So forgive me for the times I inundate you, bore you, preach too much, don’t make any sense or whatever else I do that drives you crazy. And thank you for subscribing to my blog, for commenting on my site, sharing your thoughts with me, recommending my writing to your friends, for your patience and for indulging me. You are to me like rays of sunshine, breaking through the clouds of doubt, reminding me that I am not alone.

© Nichole Liza Q.

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