I am terrified of being misunderstood.
Am I choosing the right words? Do I unintentionally offend someone? Am I writing to impress or express? Are my sentences clear and concise? Do I have the correct spelling and correct pronunciation? Does what I have to say matter? Does anyone really care?
I wrestle with these questions and many more, as most writers do, on a daily basis.
But I also think about the alternative: Never mind. Remain silent. Be a turtle and stay inside my shell. Pretend everything will turn out okay for everyone else without my voice in the wilderness.
Then I ponder the words of C.S. Lewis when he wrote these words in his book, The Problem of Pain:
“God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”
I also embrace this advice: “We should not write so that it is possible for the reader to understand us, but so that it is impossible for him to misunderstand us.”—Quintilian (Marcus Fabius Quintilianus), rhetorician (circa 35 – 100 AD)
So I decide to rise up, take a fresh look at my journey, and dare to tell my story. Why? Because I believe in the power of storytelling, which can help others along the way.