Friday Speak Out!: The Light Is Green. Go!

Friday, October 11, 2019

by Jeanine DeHoney

The title of this essay may throw you off. What does a green light have to do with writing you might be asking?

Well for me, it has a lot to do with it. You see lately I’ve been feeling as if I’m habitually stuck at a red traffic light when it comes to writing. There I am sitting in my car (computer chair) with my fingers on the steering wheel (computer keyboard) at a complete stop (writer’s block or perhaps self-imposed writer’s doubt in my abilities to go further in my career) waiting for the light to turn green so I could proceed on to my idyllic (finishing a manuscript, submitting my work, and getting published while writing fervently and passionately) writing journey.

But low and behold no matter how many horns are honking at me to go (my inspirers of family and friends who see my gift and the merit of my putting pen to paper and don’t want me to stop,) when the light changes to green instead of accelerating and following the yellow brick road of my dreams, I am stuck there seeing red. And I know with every part of my being that I shouldn’t be.

Writing is my soul nurturer, my skylight, my artistic side kick. Rising to write each day is a blood, sweat and tears move on days when you are dealing with a plethora of life’s problems, but it is also a chess move of faith, confidence, and beauty when you put your collage of words together to tell your story in a way only you can.

I’ve finally decided enough already. I’m tired of sitting at those red lights while everyone goes on their merry way. To get moving though I know there are some things, some people, and some ideas, I have to absolutely eliminate from my life. Things like distractions, from those reality television shows I watch, and surfing the internet for great deals, when I should be writing. And people; people who are toxic or negative and bring me down instead of lifting me/ my emotions and my craft up. They aren’t happy with themselves so they can never be happy for me, thus they will no longer be welcome in my space unless they change.

And unfruitful ideas, those critical thoughts that ruminate in my head before I sit down to write I must eradicate. For example, thinking my writing isn’t as perfect as others. It stops me from moving forward every time, so my new motto is, "my writing is perfect because it comes from my heart and my experiences." Though I can take notes from other writers I admire, I don’t have to compare myself to them. We each own our voice and all of its intonations however flawed, and each voice is as powerful as it is beautiful.

So, if you’ve feeling stuck at a red traffic light like I was, for whatever reason, the light is green. Remove any physical or emotional hurdles that’s stopping your progress and drive to your destined path. Put the pedal to the metal. Go!

* * *
Jeanine DeHoney has had her work published on several blogs, in magazines and anthologies. Among others her writing has been published in Essence, The Children's Ark, Metro Fiction, My Brown Baby, The Write Place At the Write Time, Literary Mama, Mutha Magazine, True Stories Well Told, Parent. Co., Brain Child Magazine, Jerry Jazz Magazine, Today's Caregiver Magazine, and Rigorous Literary Magazine. She is an essayist in the anthologies "Chicken Soup for the African American Woman’s Soul,” "Here in the Middle: Stories of Love, Loss, and Connection from The Ones Sandwiched in Between," “Theories of HER-an experimental anthology, in the anthology, "In Celebration of Sisters," and in the Chicken Soup For The Soul Anthology, The Power Of Yes.
Would you like to participate in Friday "Speak Out!"? Email your short posts (under 500 words) about women and writing to: marcia[at]wow-womenonwriting[dot]com for consideration. We look forward to hearing from you!


Diane Martin said...

Great thoughts that were exactly what I needed this morning! You have a wonderful way with words. It's rainy and 45 in my part of Texas today -- a welcome change -- so I'm going to fill myself with the confidence of a teen who just passed her driving test, and take a road trip on my laptop. I don't know where I'll end up, but today's focus is about having fun on the journey.

Jeanine DeHoney said...

Thank you Diane and I hope your road trip on your laptop will lead you to places far and wide with your writing.

Margo Dill said...

I agree with Diane above. I recently went through a period where I was doing nothing for my own writing. I was either writing for my day job or other people and publications, but not my own goals. I am glad I was writing but frustrated at my lack of progress. But then I wasn't doing anything to help myself. I recently gave myself the green light and have committed to working at least 20 minutes a day on my own stuff. (And this always goes into more time--it's just getting started). thank you for your post!

Jeanine DeHoney said...

Thank you Margo, and so glad to hear you gave yourself the green light. Making a commitment to write 20 minutes a day is a great start. I'm sure before long your writing time will increase immensely.

Sioux Roslawski said...

Jeanine--You wrote again for WOW! I am so glad. (You have a great name--a perfect one for a writer.)

I have to do some accelerating--I have to push down on the gas pedal with a bit more force so I can get back into the writing groove.

I think your post and Margo's comment might be the nudges I need.

Thanks for this post.

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